The NEW IDEA No. 5 Transplanter
INSTRUCTIONS and REPAIR PARTS LIST For Setting Up and Operating
The NEW IDEA No. 5 Transplanter
If you are new to reading SFJ we need to introduce you to how we present this old and older equipment manual information. Often these materials come written for the buyer of a new implement, explaining how to uncrate and assemble the implement before actually using it. Most times we leave the presentation this way as it provides valuable insight. Some times the material includes a lot of fine print and small illustrations of parts and pieces. We don’t always include that here in the Journal. If you need the entire manual you can call SFJ and, for a nominal fee, we’ll get a copy to you. Thanks, SFJ
Place the main Transplanter frame on boxes or trestles about 18” high as shown in Fig. 2.
If fertilizer attachment is to be used, loosen set collar No. 318 and drive pinion No. 231 “A” Fig. 1, and pull water mechanism drive shaft outward, removing pinion No. 231. Do not remove set collar No. 318 and spacing washer. Slip the following parts on the water mechanism drive shaft in the order listed. The 3/4 x 6 3/4” spacer pipe, a 3/4” flat washer, fertilizer clutch bearing No. 380, fertilizer clutch lever No. 263, a 3/4” flat washer, clutch mitre gear No. 187, 3” compression spring and a 3/4” flat washer. Now replace No. 231 pinion gear to its original position and insert shaft in its bearing. Then tighten set screw in No. 318 set collar.
Put pin through mitre gear No. 187 and shaft, and also put spring cotter through shaft ahead of washer holding compression spring in place. “A”, Fig. 3.
Carefully remove all paint from the ends of the rear axle and then grease the axle. Remove the small seven-tooth drive sprocket No. 243 from the drive shaft, being careful not to lose the half-moon key and lay the sprocket in the chain that is wired to the large drive sprocket on the left ground wheel. Hold the ground wheel with its drive sprocket, drive chain and seven-tooth driven sprocket in position as illustrated in Fig. 2, and slip both the ground wheel and sprocket in place. Make sure that the sprocket slips over the half-moon key so that the hub on the sprocket will be toward the frame. If turned around, the chain will not line up. Never attempt to crowd chain over the sprockets — such action will either bend the 3/4” drive shaft or stretch the chain.
Tighten the set screw in sprocket No. 243 and adjust the chain tightener to proper operating position.
Bolt the drive chain shield in place over the drive chain, see Fig. 3.
Place the right ground wheel in position on the axle.
Put the axle collars in place and check the main ground wheels for end play. If they have too much end play, use spacing washers in the axle collars. Do not forget to spread the spring cotters in front of the axle collars.
Remove the mud scraper pipe from the machine and attach the scraper rod lever with wire and pedal. Replace the scraper pipe so that the casting No. 323 works between the main frame and the left subframe hinge bracket. The wire pull rod for operating the scrapers should work below the diagonal brace. Attach scraper pedal to its support and adjust the mud scrapers No. 322 so that they both will bear equally against the wheels when the pedal is pressed forward. See “C” Fig. 3.
THE PLANTING DISTANCE IN ROWS
The planting distance or trip of the valve is regulated by the setting of the pinions in various positions with the right number of rollers. These pinions and rollers are under the shield below the driver’s right foot. See spacing chart Fig. 4 and illustration Fig. 5. The spacing gears may be changed at any time to suit the needs of the planting.
TO SET GEARS AND ROLLERS TO REGULATE PLANTING DISTANCES
The arrow on the large ring gear should be set to point straight up. The numbers on the gear will then be so arranged that 1, 2, 3, and 4 will be on the side toward the water trip lever, denoting the positions in which the driven pinion No. 231 meshes — while numbers 5, 6, 7, and 8 will be toward the drive side and denote the positions in which the driving pinion meshes. See Fig. 5. The numbers are directly opposite the rows of teeth on the large spacing gear and are intended to show where to set the small pinions. See that casting No. 74 is equipped with correct number of rollers as shown in Chart, Fig. 4.
ASSEMBLING THE FRONT TRUCK
Bolt the half-moon shaped pole-lock lifter with the curve leaning toward the front wheels, to the front end of the subframe. See Fig. 6.
Remove the pole-lock plate No. 224 which will be found wired to the spokes in one of the front truck wheels. Remove the hitch-cap casting No. 136 (top casting), and the half-moon key, slip off the hitch casting with its tongue irons and assembled tail, slip casting No. 225 off the fifth wheel post and take the bolts out of the casting. Now put grease in the casting No. 225 and also some grease between the bottom of this casting and the fifth wheel flange. Put the casting No. 225 on the fifth wheel post and raise the front end of the Transplanter and drop the channel bolster over the casting No. 225. Place the two long bolts crosswise through the bolster and casting and then lay the pole-lock plate No. 224 on top of the bolster so that the notch in same is to the rear and bolt this casting to the bolster and casting No. 225 with the two short vertical bolts (see Figs. 6 and 9). Next apply a little grease on to the fifth wheel post projecting above the pole-lock plate. Now slip the hitch casting with the pole irons and the polelock tail in place over the top of the fifth wheel post, making sure that the tail will drop to the bottom of the notch in the pole-lock plate casting No. 224. This tail must work freely up and down in the notch, as the tongue is locked in position by this means. Next replace the half-moon key in its seat at the upper end of the fifth wheel post and put the hitch-cap casting No. 136 in place, taking up all the loose play in the fifth wheel post.
NOTE — The front truck wheels should be 1 1/4” apart at the bottom and about 2 3/4” apart at the top. If, after long use, the edge of the rim at the top of the wheels cut into the casting No. 225, it is evident that the axle has straightened. In this case, the axle should be removed and bent so that the edge of the wheel will not rub against the casting. Make sure that the bolts of the axle clamp castings are always drawn up tight.
Attach tongue or tractor hitch to the front truck pole irons, depending on which is to be used in the operation of the machine Figs. 7 and 8.
HOW TO LINE UP THE TONGUE AND THE FRONT WHEELS
It is important that the tongue and the front wheels always line up centrally with the Transplanter. Notice that in Fig. 9 there are adjustment set screws in the hitch-cap casting, and that there are also set screws in the lugs on the pole-lock plate. In order to line up the tongue, follow this method; put the lever that raises and lowers the subframe in its top position so that the tail will drop and be properly seated in the notch of the pole-lock plate. Next loosen the two vertical bolts which hold the pole-lock plate down on the channel bolster, and both set screws in the pole-lock plate, be sure to back up lock nuts on same.
Now sight over the tongue and the center of the Transplanter and if the tongue leans to one side bring it to the center. Notice that the pole-lock plate moves with the tongue. While the tongue is held in this position, set the set screws in the lugs of the pole-lock plate against the legs of the channel bolster. Then set up the lock nuts, and finally draw up the nuts on the vertical bolts.
Now it may happen that when the tongue is lined up centrally, the front wheels run to one side or the other. In order to correct this, open up the set screws in the top hitch-cap casting. By screwing one of these set screws in and the other out, the front truck can be made to run centrally. This adjustment should always be made after the tongue has been properly aligned and while the tongue is held centrally with the machine.
When operating with horses, remove the small block casting “A” Fig. 6 from the notch in the pole-lock plate. This block is used only when the machine is operated with a tractor.
When the levers controlling the furrow opener frame are pulled down, the half-moon tail lifter must lift the tail out of the notch, otherwise it will be impossible to turn.
Put the hitch irons and doubletree on the tongue. It is important that the iron which supports the double tree be placed on top of the tongue — attach as illustrated in Fig. 7. Be sure the doubletree is placed on top of the raising iron and not between the raising iron and the tongue. Unless the hitch is built up high as shown, it will fail to clear the plant boxes while turning.
Next attach the front raising levers as illustrated in Fig. 10. In order to assemble the levers it will be necessary to remove subframe tie strap “A”, the left plant box holder and lever sector “B”. Replace parts to original position when assembly is complete. Be sure the subframe guide supporting angles are placed below the supporting straps “C”.
The guides keep the subframe in position, preventing it from swaying to right or left when the machine is in operation. Note that there is a slotted adjustment in the bottom of the subframe guide and it should be set so that there is 1/16” clearance between the guide and the side of the subframe when the furrow opener is in the center of the machine. Measure from the furrow opener to each main frame side angle and see that the distance is the same.
The connecting strip “A” that is bolted across the front subframe guide should never be removed except when the fertilizer tank base is to be mounted on top of the subframe guide.
Attach the water screen and cast elbow to the water tank. Make sure to assemble as it was bolted together in the shipping bundle. Remove water hose from the water line pipe and slip it over the water tank outlet casting as far as possible and clamp securely in place. Next set the water tank in place and at the same time slip the water hose back on the pipe as far as possible. Draw the hose clamp down securely and make sure that the tank sets level. Fig. 11. Bolt the water tank cover in place so that the hinge is toward the front. This allows it to be tilted forward so the tank may be filled easily from the rear, and if the machine is to be pulled with horses, bolt the seat to the plate. No seat is furnished when the machine is to be operated with a tractor. Place the tank rods around the tank in the groove near each end. Insert the hooks of the rods into the half-moon slots in the rear angle of the frame. The threaded ends of the tank rods will be in front of the tank and should be slipped through the holes in the steel arm bolted on each side and on top of the axle bearings as shown at “A”, Fig. 11.
CAUTION. The water hose must not be kinked. Make sure that the tank is set right and that the hose is slipped far enough on the pipe and the tank outlet.
Turn the right and left 13” tapered wood blocks on top of the main frame angles (“B”, Fig. 2) so that the narrow part of the block is toward the inside.
Next lay the steel Plant Droppers’ seats in place so that the high edge of the seat will lay next to the subframe and the single hole at the end of the seats will be to the front. See Fig. 11. Then take the two pieces of channel steel, (about one foot in length, “A”, Fig. 2) and place one at the front of each seat so that the seat will rest on the flat side of the channel, and that the edges of the channel will rest upon the side angle.
Assemble the back of the seats as shown in Fig. 11. The lower part of the back should be slipped underneath the rear end of the seat before bolting in place.
In case marker bars are used, the two pieces of angle steel measuring approximately 7 1/2” long should be bolted under and behind the backs. The top of the back should be fastened with two carriage bolts to the end of the “Z” support which have large counter-bored holes. The other end of the “Z” support is bolted to the angle of the main frame, directly in front of the tank. See “B” Fig. 3. Note that the seats and backs are slightly inclined toward the center of the machine for better arm action while planting.
Bolt body rests in place as shown, “B” Figs. 11 and 12.
When marker bars are going to be used, they should be attached as shown in Fig. 11 and 12. Be sure the latch for the marker bar is bolted to the rear of the leanback.
Now bolt adjustable foot rests in place to the front end of the main frame angles as shown in Fig. 11. These foot rests are adjustable and can be bolted to various positions for the comfort of the Plant Droppers.
SUSPENSION BOLTS AND PACK WHEELS
Now refer to Fig. 12 and notice the method of placing the spring bolts through the floating frame into the subframe cross angle. Insert the spring bolts through the cross member of the floating frame downward and bring the bent end of the spring bolt forward through the hole in the angle. Now insert the spring cotter in front of the angle, and then screw the hand wheels partly down on the spring bolts. These spring bolts apply the packing pressure to the pack wheels and the pressure can be adjusted to suit various conditions. If the pack wheels push the soil in front of them then the pressure is too great and will have to be reduced. The pack wheels can now be bolted on as shown in Figs. 12 and 13. Make sure that the wheels line up centrally with the furrow opener and that there is about 1 1/4” opening between the bottom edges of the pack wheels; furthermore, set the wheels so that they will be even in front. For very close planting, the pack wheels may be set in a forward position and for various conditions they may be rocked so as to give either a smaller or larger opening at the bottom, also test the action of the floating frame as shown in Fig. 13.
The Deep Shoe or Furrow Opener which makes a furrow 8” deep and 3” wide may be bolted on in place of the regular shoe which cuts a furrow 5” deep and 2” wide, Fig. 18. Pack wheels should be used with the deep shoe.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR ATTACHING THREE SPOUT FERTILIZER ATTACHMENT
Remove the drive chain shield, left main ground wheel and at the same time remove No. 243 sprocket wheel from the water mechanism drive shaft. (Do not pry chain off.)
Remove the shield covering water mechanism drive gears.
Loosen set collar No. 318 and pinion gear No. 231 on drive shaft “A” Fig. 1 and pull shaft outward, removing No. 231 pinion gear.
Slip the following parts on the drive shaft in the order named: a 3/4 x 6 3/4” pipe, a 3/4” flat washer, fertilizer clutch bearing No. 380, fertilizer clutch lever No. 263, a 3/4” flat washer, clutch mitre gear No. 187, 3” compression spring and a 3/4” flat washer. Also slip pinion gear No. 231 back on the shaft to its original position and insert shaft in its bearing. Then again tighten set screw in No. 318 set collar, see “A” Fig. 1.
Put pin through mitre gear No. 187 and shaft. Then put spring cotter through shaft ahead of washer holding 3” compression spring in place, see “A” Fig. 3.
Now replace ground wheel, No. 243 drive sprocket with chain and drive chain shield.
Bolt fertilizer drive shaft bearing plate to the upper cross angle and then bolt can base to the subframe guides. Bolt the tubular brace with the malleable casting at each end in place between the can base and the upper cross angle of the main frame. In some instances it may be necessary to add another washer between the clutch lever No. 263 and the mitre gear No. 187 on the water mechanism shaft to get desired results. Take a little extra time and care to get these gears lined up.
Bolt the diagonal brace in place between the lower end of the rear fertilizer drive shaft bearing plate and the gear frame.
Attach the galvanized fertilizer can to base.
Now remove the front subframe cross piece and pole-lock lifter and bolt in place the new cross piece furnished. Then bolt pole-lock lifter to the new cross piece.
Bolt the rear fertilizer furrow opener bracket to the sub-frame.
Attach the two fertilizer furrow openers to the subframe cross piece and the rear furrow opener bracket. The furrow openers can be adjusted so as to distribute fertilizer in the ground from three to five inches deep.
Slip the drill tubes through the guide and attach them to the can base.
Now go over the entire attachment and make sure it is properly set up. Grease all bearings, put some grease on the gears and turn the attachment to make sure it does not bind and works freely.
Replace the water mechanism drive gear shield previously removed.
The fertilizer attachment is started by engaging the clutch on the water mechanism drive shaft.
The amount of fertilizer dropping through the three spouts can be regulated by the individual controls or valves, any one of which may be shut off at any time without interfering with the others. Above each of the valves is a slide that can be opened to see what amount of fertilizer is flowing through the spouts.
Due to the many varieties of fertilizer it is impossible to furnish a chart giving the approximate opening for sowing a given amount of fertilizer per rod length. Some fertilizer flows more freely than others. It will be necessary for the operator to experiment with the valve openings until the desired results are obtained.
The front tubular protector should be set so that it just scrapes over the ground. This tube cannot be run in the ground as the main furrow opener pushes the ground ahead and clogs the tube. The side furrow openers distribute the fertilizer in the ground from three to five inches deep and approximately five inches from the planted row.
For the proper operation of the attachment the fertilizer should be perfectly dry. Do not let the fertilizer lay around on the ground as it has a tendency to draw dampness.
When drilling damp or high concentrate fertilizer with this attachment a little fine sand mixed with the fertilizer will help materially in keeping the attachment clean.
Adjust the supporting rods at the heel of the fertilizer furrow openers so that the fertilizer will be placed in the ground at the proper depth.
If the 5” main furrow opener does not cut deep enough place No. 326 filler block (furnished with each transplanter) between cross angle and shoe, lowering rear end of shoe approximately 7/8 of an inch.
The soil should be plowed deep and thoroughly pulverized and preferably dry and free from roots so that it can flow freely between the furrow openers.
To prevent clogging at the heels of the fertilizer furrow openers, the transplanter must always be in its forward motion before the furrow openers are put into the soil and the frame controlling the furrow openers must be raised to its upper limit before turning.
The attachment should be cleaned twice daily and fertilizer should never be left in the attachment over night.
When the planting operation for the season has been completed, thoroughly clean the fertilizer attachment and give the can and drill tubes a good coat of grease, heavy oil or rustproofing compound.
TO SET GEARS TO RELEASE WATER FOR DIFFERENT SPACINGS
The planting distances or intervals at which the water is released, is controlled by the gear and pinions under the shield near the driver’s right foot. The large, flat-faced gear should be so turned that the arrow on the back points straight up, see Fig. 5. The numbers on either side of the arrow will then be so arranged that the number 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be on the side of the water trip lever and will denote the various positions in which the Driven Pinion, No. 231 meshes with the gear; numbers 5, 6, 7 and 8 will be on the drive side of the machine and will indicate the position in which the Drive Pinion meshes.
The numbers on the back on the large flat-faced gear are directly opposite the rows of teeth on the other side and are intended to show where to set the pinions. For example, if plants are to be set 20 inches apart in the row, the Driven Pinion is set opposite figure 4 and the Drive Pinion opposite the figure 6, while 2 rollers are to be used on casting No. 74. It is very important that the correct number of rollers are used in casting No. 74.
Study the following gear setting chart.
Plant distances in rows can be increased to 72 inches by using a 9-tooth sprocket No. 256 in place of the regular 7-tooth drive sprocket No. 243.
TO ADJUST FLOW AND QUANTITY OF WATER
After the gearing is set correctly to drop the water on the desired spacing the flow of water per stroke can be easily regulated. Simply adjust the TRIP CASTING No. 385 on the rocking valve stem so that it strikes upon the rocker arm at the beginning, middle or end of the stroke. If it strikes at the beginning of the stroke the maximum amount of water is released and if at the end of the stroke the minimum amount.
TO STOP WATER FLOW
When at any time the forward movement of the machine is stopped with the water valve open, it can easily be closed by pulling the valve rocker arm toward the rear so that it can pass the trip casting. This will allow the water valve to close. As soon as the machine is again started forward all parts will resume their regular position. See Fig. 22.
TO PLANT SETTERS
Plant setters should hold the plant in the heel of the furrow opener until the water has dropped then the plant should be set and must be held until it has passed the center of the press wheels.
TO REMOVE BALL FROM VALVE
Take cap off the valve, remove spring and bend a long wire in the shape of a hairpin. Get underneath the ball and lift it up along the side of the valve.
Always use clean water. Dirty water clogs the valve and fills it with grit. It is best to strain the water into the tank. After finishing the season’s work and before the machine is stored, turn the trip valve so that it will drain. Remove the hose from the valve or pipe so that no water will remain in the water line. This precaution will prevent much damage from freezing. See that the valve is perfectly clean and coated with grease before the machine is stored. Also clean the furrow opener thoroughly and apply a liberal coating of grease or rustproofing compound.
For setting plants, roots, bulbs, trees, etc., that do not require water, the tank may be removed and the space utilized for carrying additional plants.
TO ADJUST FOR STRAIGHT ROWS
Study the subframe guide adjustment as given and alignment of tongue and front wheels. Also look at furrow opener and make sure that it is straight.
ADJUSTING THE PACK WHEELS
The Pack Wheels are mounted on a floating frame which is independent of the subframe. (See Figs. 12 and 13.) The packing pressure is regulated by means of the two spring tension coils shown in Fig. 12. This pressure is applied directly to the floating frame and may be adjusted by loosening or tightening the coils. If the pack wheels push the soil in front of them, the pressure should be reduced.
The pack wheels may be set forward or back, and by loosening the bolts in the brackets, they may be set at different angles. The pack wheels should be set so that the plants pass between them at the exact center. They should be about 1 1/4 inches apart at the bottom and should stand exactly opposite each other and not one ahead of the other. NOTE: Before starting work be sure that the pack wheels have been thoroughly greased, and that the mud scrapers on the pack wheels do not bind.
DISTANCE BETWEEN ROWS
Marker bars can be furnished for each side of the machine. When the marker is set close to the machine, the rows will be approximately 27 inches apart. The marker may be adjusted to measure up to 50 inches. If rows are to be further than 50 inches apart, set the marker so that when planting the next row the inside ground wheel will run over the mark made by the marker. To set the marker, measure from the furrow opener to the marker and clamp same firmly in place on the bar.
When it is desired to set plants for cross cultivation, the field should be lined out, one way only, with the rows the proper distance apart. The machine is then driven at right angles to the lines and the plants are set as the machine crosses each mark. The Dropper on the left on the machine may set the plants, while the Dropper on the right operates the valve rod, releasing the water as the machine crosses the mark.
LARGE GALVANIZED TANK
A Large Ninety Gallon galvanized water tank, with special stay rods, can be furnished to accommodate large quantities of water for very long rows.
When it is desired to operate the transplanter with a tractor instead of horses a tractor hitch can be furnished. Fig. 8. The ordinary tractor throttled down and operating in low gear is suitable for plant spacing of 18” or more. When plants are to be set closer the speed of the tractor will have to be further reduced.
ADJUSTING THE FURROW OPENER
The Furrow Opener or Shoe is adjusted at the front. By releasing the bolts that hold the shoe casting No. 330 or No. 297 and removing the bolt and bushing from the front of the Furrow Opener, the cutting edge of the shoe may be raised or lowered. This adjustment is needed when planting on ridges and to compensate for wear on the front of the shoe.
DEEP FURROW OPENER
The regular NEW IDEA Transplanter is equipped with a furrow opener that cuts to a depth of 5 inches. Plants are set deep, at a uniform depth, with roots fully extended, firmly and evenly packed with every fibre brought into close contact with the soil. For deeper planting — up to 8 inches, a deep shoe or furrow opener may be had. This attachment is useful in planting Irish potatoes, bulbs, roots, bush fruits, mall trees and other nursery stock. (See Fig. 18.)
Marker Bars (when furnished) should be hinged to the back of the droppers’ seats, making sure to use the reinforcing angle 7 1/2 inches long, and the bushing on the hinge bolt. The latch for the marker bar should be bolted to the rear of the lean back. See Figs. 11 and 12.
TURNING AND BACKING
Before turning or backing lift the furrow opener clear of the soil and unlock the pole. Always raise the marker bars before turning or backing and be sure to throw both the water mechanism and the fertilizer clutch pedal out of gear.
MULTIPLE TRANSPLANTER HOOK-UP
Two transplanters can be operated back of a tractor providing the rows are 44” or more apart and being careful when turning at the ends of the rows. This hook-up is made by using a tractor hitch on the first transplanter and hooking it as far to the right on the tractor drawbar as possible. Then bolt a heavy angle on to the rear cross angle of the first transplanter, allowing this angle to extend over to the left approximately 3 feet. A series of holes should be drilled in the left end of this angle.
Now set the second transplanter so the row will be the desired distance from the first row and lay the tongue on the extending angle of the first transplanter. Then bolt a flat piece of steel about 15” long on to the angle and on each side of the tongue allowing sufficient room for the tongue to slide back and forth. Now run a cable from the fifth wheel of the transplanter to the drawbar of the tractor.
A three transplanter hook-up is satisfactory providing the rows are 28” or more apart. All three transplanters should be equipped with tractor hitches. Hook one of the transplanters directly on to the center of the tractor drawbar and bolt a long angle on to the rear cross angle of this transplanter. Then hook a transplanter on to each end of this angle so the rows will be the desired distance apart.
Pulling four or more transplanters at one time is not practical.
SELECTION OF SEEDS
Good results cannot be expected if poor seeds are used. It pays to use the best seeds. Buy from reliable growers, who you know will supply seeds which run true to name and show a high per cent of germination.
PREPARATION OF THE FIELD
No matter how favorable other conditions may be, the results from transplanting will not grade 100% if the soil is not properly prepared before planting. First of all to produce a successful crop the soil must be kept at the very highest point of fertility. Most transplanted crops are very heavy feeders and require an almost unbelievable amount of soil food to bring them to a profitable maturity. In some sections, because of a lack of natural fertilizer it is necessary to use a commercial chemical fertilizer. However, where it is possible, the soil should have an ample supply of animal manure. This not only provides fertility that is immediately available, but adds humus or organic matter to the soil, without which there can be no permanent fertility. Manure should be applied in the fall before planting, wherever possible, and thoroughly incorporated with the soil by plowing. Fall plowing should be practiced whenever possible, as the alternate freezing and thawing during the winter months promotes the decay of the organic matter and puts the soil in better physical condition. The sub-soil should be turned up gradually not more than half an inch each year. Before planting, the soil should be thoroughly pulverized to a depth of at least 5 or 6 inches and firmly rolled or packed. Do not expect good results unless the soil is given proper care and cultivation.
CARE OF SEED BED AND PLANTING
The plants in the seed bed should be thinned out so that the stems will not become thin and spindly. The seed bed should be thoroughly moistened several hours before the plants are to be pulled. Take the plants up carefully so that the roots will not be injured. The plants should be kept moist; otherwise the roots will dry out and curl, making it hard to separate them without breaking them.
Before the work of planting is begun, separate the plants carefully, throw out the culls and grade them to as nearly one size as possible. Fill the plant boxes that are placed conveniently in front of each Dropper and cover with a wet sack.
In case a larger quantity of plants are to be carried along a large box or basket may be arranged for this purpose on the rear of the machine on a pair of stakes or brackets anchored between the tank and the rear frame angle. The Droppers should alternate in setting the plants, inserting each plant in the furrow at the heel of the shoe, just as the water is released. A little practice soon enables the Droppers to become proficient in this work and the click of the valve gives sufficient warning. The Droppers soon become accustomed to the regular recurrence of the sound of the valve and quickly accommodate their motions to the rhythm of the machine. The plants should be held in position until they have passed between the pack wheels.
CAUTION: Always hold the plant so that the tips of the fingers will not be buried in the ground. The holes made by the fingers permit rapid evaporation and cause the roots to dry out quickly. The soil should be brought closely about the stem of the plant so that it forms a mulch to retain the moisture about the roots.
Before starting to plant, make a trial run along the edge of the field. Put the furrow opener in the ground so that it will scour. See that the pack wheels have free floating action and still exert enough pressure. To test the pressure, insert the hand in the furrow, finger tips downward, holding the hand in this position until the pack wheels have passed on either side of it.
Before the planting make sure that the proper amount of water is being released.
The regular tractor, when throttled down to as slow a speed as possible, moves at a rate of about 90 feet per minute and is satisfactory for comparatively close setting.