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advice building potato digger tool


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hello, I should make a simple potato digger tool, as I conceive and make it to be efficient, robust and effective, what material I use, what size, I think it is a big pitchfork or a big rake. let me know, thanks.

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I would suggest using 3/8" (9.5mm) mild steel.  That should last you a lifetime.  Some soils are tough, therefore I would not use anything smaller.  If you will be digging in cultivated soil, I see no need to heat treat the tines, although if the soil is rocky you could heat treat the tips for wear resistance.

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the land has been abandoned for some time about 1000 square meters, I am cleaning it up and tilling it little by little with a hoe and pickaxe a hard job, it would take a mechanical shovel, but unfortunately I am short of cash at the moment, I have to create a small vegetable garden for the home economics, with the little that I can scrape together, bad times in my part, between crisis and virus, let's hope it ends well.

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Locally we have a lot of potato farms and they use a machine like a conveyor to dig out the tubers. usually the belts are about 22" or so wide and are made from round stock which is kinked on the end to make a chain link. My point in explaining this is the bars are basically like a medium carbon and tempered to as a spring. They hold up well against the abrasion from the soils.  If I were making a hand tool for digging in soil I would choose similar carbon content. Perhaps you could find some thin axle or CV shaft that you can source for free and see how that works for you.  

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Our soil is subsoil, so to make a garden I built a raised compost bed and have added kitchen vegetable/fruit waste, horse manure, sandy ground from the arroyo.  Since I dig in the kitchen waste it gets turned a lot.  Tomatoes and cantaloupes are planned for this year. I also hope to plant a couple of apricot trees.   Not a large garden as everything has to be watered to grow here in the desert!

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Angiolino: I did a quick web search to see what you were talking about. Seeing as you're cultivating soil that has laid fallow for some time it's going to be kind of hard. Were I making one I'd use coil spring with smaller wire, say 5mm minimum, 7mm would be better I think. 

Do you have plenty of compost to turn into the soil? It will not only make it more fertile but lighten it, potatoes grow larger in light soil. The more you turn it and mix in the better and it'll give you more time to pick rocks out.

We grew potatoes in elevated rows, there was less weight of soil on the plants and the soil was warmer, so the potatoes grew larger faster, we watered in the channels between so the roots were always spreading farther, making more spuds. Last and best for the back, it's easier to harvest. We raked them out of the rows rather than dig much. 

 Do you have compost working? It takes time to turn grass cuttings, leaves, plant kitchen scraps, herbivore! manure into good garden compost. Avoid wood in the compost, some is pretty toxic and will kill almost anything you want to grow. 

Raising worms is pretty easy and they are not only good fishing bait, they make good chicken feed and they can really make compost. Both themselves and their casings. One of the guys in out club raises "Red Wigglers" in silly big batches and has tackle/bait shops and garden supplies buying all he has. 

Sometimes I forget how lucky we are where we live. Alaska has short but intense growing seasons and plenty of water. I grew up in the high desert of S. California and remember how hard it was to grow a garden without powered equipment. 

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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I have plant residues, the resulting material, I don't know if it is adequate and suitable for the purpose, what tool I should make, you would have some images with photos, not a machine but a tool that I can simply make at home with a few recycled tools and objects. thank you.

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it is not flat it is in the hills in ancient times it was a terraced terraced vineyard, my uncle had it filled with waste earth to make a square and build a shed, then nothing has been done for decades it has been uncultivated, now passing time I'm cleaning it with farmer's hand tools, but it's a hard job, a sprout of ailanthus has turned the ground into a small jungle, first I cut the plants now I'm undermining the roots with a pickaxe and an iron pipe that I use as a lever if I do not transfer everything will turn into a wild jungle and you will not be able to enter even with excavators and mechanical shovels. sweating blood elbow grease fatigue and a bad back that I don't tell you, in the evening I am physically destroyed but gym.

https://www.metric-conversions.org/it/area/acri-a-metri-quadrati.htm

2000mq = 

2187.2yd

 

 

 

 

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The tools shown in the videos break up the soil easily enough. It just takes a little time and effort to make it work.  

You may want to consider breaking up one row and planting potatoes.  The soil may need to be broken down finer, so the potatoes can more easily develop in loose soil.

Only take on a small amount of ground at a time, and get it planted  so you do not wear yourself out.  Stop when you get tired and rest.  You can come back later and continue.

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You might also look up the "Broadfork", which is very much the same tool (although usually without the rearward projection for extra leverage). I've been seeing more of those with flat tines (rather than round) for more strength to resist the levering action:
bf14_large_0c0367c0-6721-4ab3-af64-a91b4dfd25fa_1024x1024@2x.jpg?v=1579578661

I'm playing with the idea of making one of these for myself as well.

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Posted (edited)

062 forca larga - diagrammaParti principali di una forca larga

 

[Commercial link removed]

 

I should first remove the stones and the roots and dig up everything, otherwise with this tool if I leverage and buried there is a big stone risk of breaking the tool, wasting time and effort and giving me the hernia due to fatigue, I should proportion it to my weight and to my body, at the height and age, 180 centimeters by ninety kilograms, anyway thanks for the advice, as I progress with the reclamation, I understand I hope the right strategy to be adopted thanks.

Edited by Mod34
Commercial link removed per TOS
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