Community gardens are springing up around the world.
Increasingly we find urban and suburban spaces being conserved as growing space for vegetables and small fruits. These spaces can absolutely show great productivity, but they sometimes embody a very ad hoc approach to land management.
It can surely look charming to have some beds with log sides, some with boards, some earthen-mounded and others with rocks. But a more productive approach to the whole system would (and should) benefit the long-term sustainability of the community garden.
Two-wheel tractors offer a unique opportunity for these small-scale growers.
Why Two-Wheel Tractors Are Perfect For Community Gardens
The benefits of two-wheel tractors are appreciable, and all of these apply to community gardens. Two-wheel tractors are:
- maneuverable in small spaces
If community gardens can manage to secure funds for mutually held equipment, then the two-wheel tractor is the most affordable option. This device can allow community gardens from 1/4 up to 3 acres to manage their landscape at a fraction of the cost of larger or more specialized equipment—and with great labour savings.
For instance, a two-wheel tractor and multiple implements can be purchased for under $10,000. A compact four-wheel tractor alone, without implements, will cost more.
Additionally, a single two-wheel tractor with only one engine and general systems to maintain can achieve a multitude of jobs such as:
- forming garden beds
- preparing beds for planting
- applying compost to bed tops
- mowing access paths
- mowing cover crops
- maintaining perimeters and paths for winter access
Other specialized equipment such as lawn mowers, walk-behind tiller and snow blowers would cost more and require much more maintenance. And storage of these pieces of equipment would take way more space than the multifunctional two-wheel tractor with attachments.
Read more: Yes, you can till responsibly—using S4 tilling principles.
What Two-Wheel Tractors Can Do
But do community gardens really need a two-wheel tractor? Can’t community gardens be maintained by hand tools?
Well, sure. But the benefit of a two-wheel tractor for community gardens is in systematizing the function of the garden.
For starters, community gardens benefit from a highly organized system of raised beds. Permabeds of equal width, length and height—all organized into plots—would enhance garden organization for crop rotation, fertility management, weed management, irrigation and harvest.
Permabeds, with earthen sides and made with two-wheel tractor, would be easy to weed using customary garden hoes. (Weeding around wooden and rock edges is notoriously difficult.) Also, if there were disease issues in one section, it would be easy to cover crop the Permabeds, flail mow and turn in the debris to break the disease cycle using two-wheel tractors.
Additionally, growers could easily reform a bed using a power ridger, making a quick pass down the paths to turn over diseased plants and allow enhanced soil building by moving path material to the bed tops.
Disease, weeds and desperate management systems are notorious issues in community gardens. Uniting these obstacles under a standard bed system, as market gardeners do, would be of massive benefit to this important setups.
The two-wheel tractor is the correct equipment scale to make this a reality and has the affordability, storability and maneuverability to meet plots of this size.