As nice as gardening looks in the lifestyle magazines, anyone who's spent a day building raised beds or weeding the carrot patch knows that gardening is hard work. It's rewarding work, but it's physically demanding, and the larger the scale of your garden or farm, the harder the work gets. Fortunately, there are a number of implements specifically designed to work with tractors that can make your gardening job much easier. Whether you need to break new ground or form perfect beds, these tools will take much of the most back breaking labor out of gardening.
If you only have a couple short raised beds to create, all you need is maybe some stakes and twine and a shovel to create some functional beds. But when you start talking about acres of land, you'll want something more efficient. A bedder uses angled blades to turn up the dirt into neat beds with paths on each side. Larger models can handle up to three rows at a time, which allows you to turn your bare field into a fully formed vegetable patch in no time at all. These devices are even specifically designed to erase your tractor wheel tracks so all you are left with is one consistently formed result.
When you're dealing with unbroken land, or land that needs new life, you'll want a tool that can dig deep and really break up the dirt. A plow is the perfect piece of equipment for the job. While in the old days they towed their plow behind an ox or mule, today, a tractor provides even more horsepower with no oat breaks required. A plow can really break up hard ground and dense root structures from things like prairie grass. The main consideration to keep in mind here, though, is finding the right size of plow for the size of tractor you own. Compact and sub-compact plows will want to use a plow designed for their size because they won't have the size or weight to use the bigger plows that larger tractors can handle. For small farms and ambitious home gardeners, a small tractor will work just fine for this job.
Tillers & Disc Harrows
Once the ground is broken up, it will need a little more TLC before it will be a good base for seeding or planting starts. Tillers and disc harrows are designed for this expressed purpose. Tillers use rotating blades to break up the dirt into smaller, more granular pieces. They do this by using power from the tractor's power take off (PTO) a driveline that comes off the transmission that's specifically meant for powering different types of motorized implements. For those who don't need all that power, go for a disc harrow. A disc harrow runs angled discs through the dirt cut through some clumps and crush others. While the tiller can reach deeper into the soil does a more thorough job preparing the dirt, both implements are quite helpful for a wide variety of applications.
Weeds will sap your plant's growing potential and steal many of their valuable nutrients, so it's best to eradicate those weeds with extreme prejudice. A cultivator is specifically designed for weeding rowed crops. It has a high center for cruising over the wanted plants and tilling tines that dig into the surrounding dirt to rip out pesky weeds. Once the plants are too tall to be safely driven over, they'll also be vital enough to fight off the weeds on their own, meaning you can stop worrying about weeding them.