Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/216

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
202
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

the quantity of seed deposited in the seed-boxes. The seed-drills are furnished with little plows, which open furrows for the seed, deeper or shallower in proportion as they are laden with weights provided for the purpose, and, being hung on pivots, they readily adapt themselves to any inequalities on the surface of the land. In returning across the field, the inner wheel follows in the track made by the outer one in going, and thus the last row of a twenty-acre field is parallel to the first, and the spaces between the rows are uniform. With land thoroughly prepared, and with men and horses practiced in their work, the machine could plant twenty-five to thirty acres per day.

The beet-cultivator, Fig. 2, is also drawn by two horses, and cultivates five rows at each passage. It consists mainly of five

PSM V35 D216 Beet cultivator with young plants protector attachment.jpg
Fig. 2.—The Beet-Cultivator, with Attachment for protecting the Young Plants.

sets of scuffles or hoes, set in a framework, suspended between the hind-wheels of the machine. By means of a lever, terminating in a cog-wheel and playing on a cogged semicircle, this frame can be moved from side to side, or elevated to pass over obstructions, or for convenience in going to and returning from the field. Each set of hoes comprises three different forms of implements adapted to the cultivation of the crop at different stages of its growth. The first set consists of a broad, single scuffle, almost as wide as the distance between the rows; this is intended to be used about as soon as the rows can be traced, and it is provided with a contrivance which bestrides the rows, and protects the young plants from being covered with earth. The second set of implements consists of two narrow scuffles, which penetrate and stir the soil to a greater depth, and are used after the plants have been thinned out and have grown stronger, and there is no longer any danger of covering them with earth. The third set, connected with the beet-cultivator, is a kind of double mold-board plow, and is used for the last hoeing or hilling, Fig. 3. The shape and use