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Since we bought our 2520 in december 2010,we greatly expanded our garden last spring. Before it was postage stamp size. Well...it was eye opening. I tilled the grassy field in a approximately 90'x60' area,set up rows to 36" width,and planted . Not much thought on where things would be placed. The watermelon plants,squash,etc. overtook other rows. We had a heck of a time cultivating since things were so random...and we needed to cultivate alot due to the grass/weeds wanting to re-establish.

We had a very bad drought here in Texas with over 45 days of 100-110 degrees in a row. Sprinkling the garden was futile so we set up drip hoses down each row and next to the plants. As the plants became larger,weeding was only accomplished by hand. In the heat it was killer on my wife and I.

I want to do it different this year. I'm thinking roundup before we till,spacing the rows to allow my 60" tiller to go down the rows to cultivate,raise the beds with a row bedder,and set up a large raised bed for the watermelons and squash. What would ya'll recommend? We could sure use some input :flag_of_truce:

Oh BTW,we fought moles too. I think we will put some kind of chicken type wire under the raised bed for the watermelons.Bad idea?
 

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here's a pic from last year with a rake thingamajig I made to try and cultivate the garden. It worked for a little while..but as soon as the plants got a little bigger,it was useless
 

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We currently have an acre garden. Like you, it expanded as our equipment got larger. We still fight the same problems you do, but we have a few tricks.

At the end of each year, I plant oats over the complete garden, and a week before hunting season, November 7th ish, I spray it all with roundup and 2-4d mixed together. That kills everything.

In the spring, as soon as things turn green, but its still cold at night, I spray roundup only again.

The we till and plant. Our larger plants get spacing of 85" and our small plants and beats get a 36" spacing with raised hills so we can see where we seeded. I use the tractor and tiller around the stuff i can and my walk behind tiller on the small stuff. In this stage I spot spray if needed.

Once the plants come up, I use preen around them. That stops everything from coming up around them and makes it easy to weed or spray.

For my pumpkins, once they start growing together, its over. I have to spot spray or pull by hand. But over time I get less and less weeds.

I buy preen from the ag store we buy our seed from. It might be a generic, but it works great. I apply it 3 times over the garden season.

As for water, I hook 4 100" garden hoses together and water via sprinkler, but thats only when needed.
 

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You are not going to want to read this:
We bought this place with 12 acres 5 years ago and wanted a huge garden...60'x150'. We decided our garden should be at least the size of our entire lot size at our old place in the city, which was 50'x110'. We spent a ton of time in the garden the first year using a Cub Cadet rear tine walk behind tiller, Mantis tiller and our JD GX345 and cart. We had a spectacular garden. As each year has progressed, we have spent less time on the garden as other projects around this place have popped up. So 2 years ago I started putting in 4'x12' raised beds framed in in pine 2x6s. I spaced them far enough apart to get an LT with a 48" deck between them. The cultivated ground is now only about 30'x50' max. It sees only sweet corn, butternut squash and pumpkins for the kids. Everything else is in raised beds. Maintenance has eased up each year as the weeds have become less. I also mulch with grass clippings in the cultivated garden to battle the weeds. A scuffle hoe was a good investment too. Unfortunately the 48"KK 3PH tiller doesn't see much use, but the moment I sell it and go back to the Cub, is the moment I will miss it most. BTW I think the chicken wire is a fine idea, I myself battle field mice. Keep us posted and have fun with it, after all that's what it's supposed to be......fun!:good2:
 
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