For the next couple Fridays I want to take some time to talk about tillage tools and what they are capable of doing for the up coming spring planting season. This week’s featured tool is the middle buster, potato plow or lister depending on what part of the country you’re from.
A middlebuster or lister is shaped like two moldboard plows joined together. It opens a furrow and throws soil in both
directions. One middlebuster can be mounted on a toolbar to make a furrow, or two middlebusters can be mounted on a toolbar to form beds. A middlebuster is good for forming a furrow for planting crops such as potatoes. It is also useful for
busting out existing beds. A common practice among vegetable growers is to plant crops such as cucumber or antaloupe on every other bed; then when the crops start to run, the alternate beds are busted out to make wide beds. A similar use for a middle buster is to plant a cover crop such as peas or beans on beds, then bust out the beds and bury the cover crop in the middles. A middlebuster is generally harder to control than a disk bedder. It will tend to catch on roots, rocks or even hard clay and jerk the tractor to the side; a disk bedder will tend to ride over such obstacles. Middlebusters can also be used for ditching to help aid in water runoff.
Next week I’ll dicsuss the benefits and uses of a “subsoiler”. Thanks for reading!