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State-Of-The-Art Walk-Behind Cultivator
“I tried using a couple of different commercial walk-behind cultivators to break ground for my garden, but the tines were spaced too close together and plugged up on sod clumps, weeds and roots. So I finally decided to build my own walk-behind cultivator that won’t plug up,” says Perry Gingerich, Wadena, Minn.  
  His cultivator covers a full 15-in. working width and has 3 rows of shanks with 3 1/4-in. wide shovels welded onto them. There are 2 shanks on the front and back rows spaced 10 in. apart, and one shank in the middle. All shanks bolt onto a rectangular flat iron frame that’s bolted to a short length of square tubing.
  “Most walk-behind cultivators have narrower shovels, with about a 1 1/2-in. gap between them that never gets touched. The shovels on my cultivator are tapered and lay flatter with the ground so there’s no gap between them,” says Gingerich.
  The cultivator rides on a single wheel on front and has wooden handles with a pipe connecting them on back. “The design lets you push against the pipe with your stomach and your whole body, whereas with other walk-behind cultivators you have to push everything with your wrists and shoulders, which is harder to do,” says Gingerich.
  But he says the cultivator’s best feature is that it has built-in “weed pullers” - a pair of V-shaped slots notched into each side of the point. “If the weeds just bend out of the way as I move forward without coming out of the ground, I can back up and the V-notch on either side of the shovel will catch them and pull them out,” says Gingerich. “Sometimes the notch just cuts through the weed’s root, but other times it catches on the root and pulls it right out of the ground. I’ve had very good results with it.
  “I used my cultivator last year for the first time and had very few problems with plugging, and very few weeds that I couldn’t pull out.”
  By pulling a pin, Gingerich can remove all the shovels and attach a 2-row marker, which he can adjust anywhere from 18 to 36 in. wide.
  He also built a row marker attachment with 2 shovels on it. It installs by unbolting the frame that holds the shanks and shovels from the square tubing and bolting the frame of the row marker attachment in its place.
  “I’m thinking about making more attachments for my cultivator, including a pony hitch, but I don’t have anything on paper yet,” says Gingerich, who notes that he’s willing to build the cultivator for others and can make it with 4 shovels instead of 5.
  The 5-tine model sells for $170 and the 4-shovel for $160. The row marker sells for $25 and the pony hitch for $12. All prices are postage paid.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Perry Gingerich, JR’s Sandblassting and Painting, 30225 610th Ave., Wadena, Minn. 56482.

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2017 - Volume #41, Issue #4