Friday, May 20, 2011

The Water Wheel Planter

A while ago, I told you about our road trip to pick up our new machinery. One of the pieces we picked up was our water wheel planter. We had an old one, but we needed something more efficient. We're very happy with the new one. We can do 3-4 hours of work in 1 hour! I wanted to show you how it works for cucumber planting.

Plants need to be removed from their trays.

It would take too much time to remove them once the tractor is moving.

The yellow wheel pokes holes in the plastic. Water is dumped from the tank into the holes.

A plant is placed in the hole. As the water is absorbed the dirt grasps the plant and it firms up around it. There is a suction created with the water in the hole that binds the plants in the dirt.

The people riding the planter alternate turns of placing the plant in the hole. It's very convenient when you have a right handed person and one who is left handed or left side capable.

The hot sun dries up the water quickly.

The plant is ready to grow big and give us lots of cucumbers for our customers.

Planting Greenhouse Plants
The three ways that we could plant are
1. by hand (These cukes would have taken 6 hours.)
2. using our old planter (These cukes would have taken 3-4 hours.)
3. using the new planter (1 hour)

We respect old ways of doing things, but to be competitive in the market, machinery is necessary to get the work done quickly and well. This is not a family style garden, but a 5 acre market garden. There were over 500 cucumber plants put in the ground that day. It took one tractor and planter, a farmer to drive the tractor and two planters to ride the machine and get the young plants to their destination. I just wanted to share the way we do things here.

Farm Friend Friday is my
awesome friend Miss Amy!
Hugs, girl:) 

***For those of you with sharp eyes-there may have been some other trays of plants put in after the cukes. There are some knowledgeable folks who really look at pictures and catch things like that. Overworked, under-paid, always busy farm wives like me might just miss a purple elephant sitting on the planter. I'm just too busy for perfection, but don't tell anybody! Shhhh! :)


  1. What a wonderful piece of machinery! I reckon it'd be madness *not* to use something like that when we are able to ....
    More time for other chores and duties... ahem, or cupcakes and a good book ;)
    (though at this time of year, books get pushed down the list, don't they )

  2. i think efficiency is a very good thing when you've got lots to do!!!

  3. This is incredibly cool! Nothing like sitting down on the job! But... I bet it is is still back-breaking labor!
    I laughed at the right hand/left hand comment. My hubby and I are opposite hands and it comes in very handy at times!

  4. If I had one of those think of how large of a garden I could put in. :)
    I do it on my hands and knees and the old hips don't like that much anymore. I would love to come and watch someday, it just intrigues me to see it. I think any bit of machinery that cuts that much work and saves that much time is worth it.
    I loved the beautiful smiles of your helpers by the way.

  5. This piece of machinery reminds me of how our neighbors plant their tobacco...and how my parents used to plant their acres of tomatoes.

  6. I love this! Oh how I wish we had one when we were planting our trees. ;)

  7. Wow what an interesting post and piece of machinery.
    I bet you bum goes num after a couple of hours!!!
    Have a good week
    See Yea George xxx
    PS hope you show us the cucumbers later in the year ;)

  8. WOW~! I'm impressed! Actually, I'd just like to walk behind to watch it work!
    I'm always on the fence about "how" to do things. Sure the old-fashioned way helps keep history alive and carries on tradition, BUT isn't it all part of the pioneer spirit to find more efficient ways to get work done? That's making history in itself. I mean, someone finally had to stand up and decide to put a plow behind a horse/ox/mule so they could provide enough for their family and have extra to sell. That's just what you're doing!

  9. YOu need to check out my friend's post today;

    She is talking about the same thing only a bit bigger!

    Very interesting! Glad you found a way to make planting easier. Don't think for a minute our ancestors would have turned up their noses at a quicker, easier way to get work done!

  10. This was great! Thanks for stopping by my blog, I would love to follow each other :)
    God Bless!

  11. That's really neat and so helpful that it saves all those hours!! Thanks for sharing that with us! :)

  12. Thanks for following me! I'm following you too:) And I also look forward to being "Farm friends following the Father"

  13. Love that machine, and I'm all for the fastest, easiest, safest way!

  14. It's always interesting to learn about the way food is grown, we are grateful for all the people who work to provide us delicious food.

  15. My dad use to raise tobacco and we planted like this. Very cool to see again after so many years.

  16. my father lives in Hanover County, VA. we are a vegetable family. I cant count how many hours me and my brother and uncle have spent of the back of the planter or argued who gets the left seat. Its good to see other people still makeing a living at farming like we do.


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