Merry Tiller Potatoes

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  andyfrost 2 weeks, 4 days ago.

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  • #34811

    gillettadam
    Participant

    Hi all. At the start of this year I planted my Potatoes at 26 inches between the rows. Bulking them up worked well with my merry tiller and potato ridger, but only when the plants were just above the surface. We’ve had a fair bit of rain lately and it’s begun to level off my ridges so I thought I’d run the machine through again just to bulk the ridges back up. Unfortunately it seems that the extension tubes for my ratchet wheels are going to hit the plants as these measure 28 inches wide when on the tiller, so although I can set the wheels narrow enough to miss the plants the tubes themselves catch. I’m guessing next year I’ll need to plant at 32 or 34 inch spacings? This seems very wide to me, my Dad uses a Massey 135 for his potatoes and the Massey implements work at 28 inches between the rows, so for a merry tiller to need to go wider between the rows than a tractor seems a bit counter intuitive to me. If anyone has any experience or a manual, or even better both for the merry tiller ridger I’d be grateful to know how you use your machine. I did think about using the smaller 12″ wheels directly on the rotor shafts without tubes, but these don’t seem to give enough traction when I had a practice run on some unplanted rotavated ground so I’m dubious about going that way. The 16″ ratchet wheels worked really well, it’s just that now the plants have grown I have a problem! It’s not the biggest problem in the world as I haven’t got that many plants so I can build the ridges back up with a shovel this year but it’d be nice to know how to do it properly next year. It was so close to working well this year too!

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    #34819

    andyfrost
    Participant

    When using a merry tiller all I used to use were the two internal rotors combined with the ridger. I found that by using the rotors “backwards” it improved the traction so to speak.
    I now use a Howard bantam system , which are by miles the best potato machine .

    Andy.

    #34820

    wristpin
    Participant

    From a position of total ignorance of the job in hand I seem to remember the MT accessory sheet showing some dinner plate sized discs called “ crop guards” . Would they have any application in this case ?

    #34822

    andyfrost
    Participant

    Life is always about opinions , but personally I never could see the real point in those discs , the optional inturned outer rotors did exactly the same thing.

    Andy.

    #34831

    plonker
    Participant

    I think Andy ,s Rotors are the “Finger tines” that were a popular extra to produce a fine tilth for the seed bed , The merry tiller book describes them as giving excellent traction, and they are right, they do, my problem is trying to steer the thing in a straight line. you can also get for the merry tiller special “Narrow slasher tynes” that are designed to work between the rows, using the back wheels for stability.

    #34834

    andyfrost
    Participant

    I actually learned the ridging idea from my Father , he bought a Titan brand new in the early 70s , I spent hours with it as a youngster ridging up Leeks , never used the finger tines , just the two inner tines , it worked extremely well

    Andy.

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