Just tooling around...
Sneak Peek - Hoss Discs and Seeder
An early look at the new Hoss garden tools for 2014
Each year we add something new to the collection of Hoss Wheel Hoe attachments and accessories. There is a lot of time and expense involved in each new creation, so usually it is just one new item. But this year there may be two new things.
Soon we will have the Hoss Garden Discs for sale here at Easy Digging. And if the testing and engineering revisions go well, we should have the Big Wheel seeder before the end of the year too. 2014 looks to be a great year! Read on for your Sneak Peek at these two new tools.
Click here to shop for the Garden Disc Harrow.
Thanks for reading! by Greg Baka
Using the discs for cultivating and seed bed creation
We expect that most people will use the garden discs for general soil cultivation and seed bed preparation. They do a great job of finely breaking up the top inch of soil. Running the disc back and forth a few times over an area to be seeded should be all that is needed, whether you are planting rows of crop or sowing grass over an area you recently dug up.
The discs do allow you to work over a space that is not very "clean". It will run right over plant residue, old mulch, and small stones. Since it does not have the immense weight of a full-sized tractor-pulled disc, it will not cut or break the long plant residue, but it will stir the smaller pieces into the soil and just ride over the larger pieces.
It also does a decent job of weeding. I tested it over an area of young grass and weeds, and it tore out or buried most of it. Not as effective as using the weeding Sweeps or the Oscillating Hoe attachment, but still pretty good.
Using the discs for straddle weeding?
Straddle weeding involves using a double wheel unit with a pair of weeding attachments spaced far apart to weed BOTH sides of a row of small plants at the same time, in one pass. It is primarily used by commercial growers with many long rows of small crops like radishes or carrots. For now, we do not know for sure how this will work - because we have not tested it yet. In theory is should work OK. With the discs facing outward (as these pictures show) they would weed an area starting 2" away from both sides of the row of young plants, and move soil away from the plant. With the discs facing inward, like the previous pictures, you could weed an area starting 1.5" from the row of youn plants and move soil in towards them. To really visualize how they would work for straddle weeding, we should have taken photographs with a double-wheel cultivator, but please just imagine a pair of big black wheels in the front spaced 5" apart.
Note - Couple of things you may not see from the pictures: The discs are keyed onto a D shaped shaft, so they rotate together. Each gang of discs can be pivoted all the way around, and locked in many different positions using the ring pin shown in the pictures. The left and right disc sets do need to mirror each other, if they both face the same way the wheel cultivator will want to turn in a big circle.
The Hoss Big Wheel Seeder
This new unit is designed to be a dedicated seeder - all it does is seed. Parts of the design are taken directly from the popular Hoss Push Planter, which hooks onto a wheel cultivator. The existing Hoss seeder attachment gives small gardeners the flexibility to use the same wheel cultivator for tilling, plowing, weeding, and seeding.
This new dedicated seeder, which I have nicknamed the Big Wheel seeder, is designed to have some features that commercial growers have asked for. The primary thing they asked for was coulters (discs) to open the seed furrow instead of a seeder shoe (plow type furrow opener). Coulters deal with leftover plant debris by rolling over it and pushing it into the soil, while a seeder shoe tends to drag the plant matter along and eventually need cleaned. To fit these into the design we had to raise the frame quite a bit, and fortunately the Hoss wheels were the right diameter to do just that.
Remember that what you see here is just a prototype. We will continue to test and tweak this design until we have things working nicely. So far the coulters and the depth adjuster seem to be OK. And the seed hopper system is fine since it is the same one the seeder attachment uses. The big wheels are easy to push and are providing enough traction for consistent seeding. One of the things we have not figured out yet is how to hook a row marker to it, but I think we may be able to attach one to the rear kickstand.
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