If you find that a combination of unpredictable temperatures and determined insects and mammals has left your home garden yields disappointingly low over the last couple of years, you may be considering expanding your garden to cover a much larger surface area. While doing so can allow you to plant a wider variety of fruits and vegetables and give you the yields necessary to meet your and your family's nutritional needs, it can also significantly increase the amount of work you'll need to do to keep your garden in good condition. Read on to learn more about some of the equipment in which you may need to invest when expanding your garden, as well as what you'll need to consider when deciding between makes and models at various price points.
What equipment can make the garden expansion process simpler?
- Compact tractor
Trying to till a large garden plot using a push-behind rototiller can take days and leave your arms feeling like spaghetti. You may also dread the thought of walking down lengthy rows planting seeds by hand or hand-picking and loading your eventual yields.
Often, once your garden has expanded beyond a fairly small size, investing in a lawn tractor or small farm tractor can be a good investment—saving you time while improving the quality of your soil, fruits, and vegetables. With the variety of tilling, planting, and raking accessories you can install on the back of your tractor, you'll be able to get your soil into top condition, plant your seeds in even rows, and harvest your final product—all without leaving the comfort of your tractor's padded seat.
The key to a healthy garden is healthy soil—and an aerator that can be towed behind your tractor can help you mix in peat or topsoil with the existing earth to provide your seeds and seedlings with the nutrients they need to quickly sprout. For certain seeds that don't need to be placed a specific depth into the soil, you may even be able to use your aerator for planting purposes by tossing the seeds behind the tractor as the aerator passes over them.
- Tow-behind cart
You may struggle when it comes time to harvest your crop—particularly if you're growing heavy or fragile items like pumpkins, tomatoes, or gourds. One accessory for your garden tractor that can make this process much more streamlined is a tow-behind cart that will allow you and your helpers to load up your produce and transport it just about anywhere without jostling it at high speeds or causing damage.
What should you consider when deciding which specific make and model you should purchase?
When it comes to selecting a lawn tractor and accessories for your garden, you may assume the pricier, the better—but fortunately for your wallet, there are high-quality tractors available at just about every price point.
Some of the factors you'll want to consider when selecting a tractor and accessories are:
- The quality (and availability) of a warranty;
- Which accessories you'll actually use; and
- The average resale value of used tractors and accessories.
An extensive and long-lasting warranty may justify a higher purchase price when compared to a tractor without a comparable warranty. By that same token, spending more money on a brand or model that tends to hold its value well can also be a good decision—if you later decide a tractor no longer fits your lifestyle, you'll likely be able to sell it for close to the amount you paid. On the other hand, paying top dollar for a tractor that includes a number of accessories or attachments you don't plan to use isn't usually the best use of money. Additionally, be sure to contact a tractor service company to learn how much repairs should cost you before purchasing at tractor.