Bringing it all together; One tool

I have been wondering about an all in one tool.
The tools so far:

  1. Seeder (current tool)
  2. Watering (current tool)
  3. Weeding (Current tool)

And the purposed ones are (feel free to add them or others in to be assimilated):

  1. Tiller (Air version)
  2. Fertilizing (via liquid fertilizer sucking from a bucket back to the reservoir)
  3. Reservoir (located after the air and water intakes but before the gantry)
  4. Water blowout system for cold weather storage. (in conjunction with the reservoir)

For the tools that have multiple imaginings I am choosing the ones I think work best for the all in one tool, not the cheapest, or coolest or most professional even. If you have a better idea on the ones I chose or a way of adding in one I did not choose please comment it in.

So to bring all of these together I think of the seeding tool but with a needle like 1/16"pipe hole through the center and a the tip that is meshed over. This would allow for the seeding and Air tilling to happen with the same tool and if there was a bracket the extended out and hand the weeding tool attached at center it could be there as well. It would pre-punch the hole for the seeds as well.

Around the outside of that center section of the tool would be a chamber that is attached to the water system so that it would flow around the center section and go to the three or so outlet holes.

The rest of the alterations would happen at the added reservoir. It would be a tank with two inlet lines from the water and air stations (the air one would be controlled by a powered valve and split from the main one that is going to the center of the tool) and one out to the water part of the tool. With the tank it would be able to act as a normal watering tool but also reverse suction and suck up a liquid fertilizer to be used and then refilled.

The blow out would be accomplished by switching the air feed into the water system

Configuring farmbot this way would allow integration of all tools into one (I think) and I would then use the tool holder to hold spares so that it can be switched out on the fly in case of failure while the user is away from the station.

I would really like this idea for anyone using a overhead, track power, rail system that might have two or three multi function arms working at once on a very large plot, with no power cables and possible wireless control. To do this the air compressor and added tank would have to be part of the gantry arm. And (as brought up in another thread) the water, fertilizer, or whatever could run in troughs beside the bed.

Note: the track power rail would be made more weather tight by having slightly overlapping rubber flaps that get parted by the moving gantry arm and fall back in place after.

This is all possible based off of what I have read in the threads if there are a bunch of holes in the idea I would be greatly interested in working them out. Okay for outdoors I think but freaking awesome in a 2 meter high green house type enclosure or a full sized green house.

The tiller and fertilizer are not necessary and are in fact harmful to the environment.

Tilling is an outdated practice that has proven to be more harmful than beneficial. Please research this, there are countless articles explaining why one should not till with the possible exception of the first season. Tilling kills practically everything and leaves the ground ripe for erosion, thus requiring fertilizers. If, however, one practices permaculture the mycelium and other micro organisms will be able to keep the plants thriving forever. Fertilizer is a product sold to ignorant people who do not understand the symbiotic relationships that happen naturally in the earth. The planet has done very well for billions of years without fertilizer, in fact one could argue nature does better without it in the long run.

This is NOT a scientific article, but still a good story http://www.offthegridnews.com/survival-gardening-2/why-almost-everyone-is-wrong-about-tilling/

And finally, I hope that someone who still wants to use a tiller, will do a side by side experiment with a farmbot showing the difference of production and costs of additive vs allowing nature to do what it does best. My hypothesis would be the first few generations of modified earth would do better, but after a year or so the permaculture practice will be the obvious winner.

Basically this is just a hardware how to type discussion. I think the ethical parts is up to the individual. There is a section they started just for gardening know how. This would be great there.

I do understand your point of view, i should have put a side note on it that says if the individual wants to use these methods.

I am going to keep it in there for people who do want to use a tiller. Anyone that does not want to use could just not.

Also as for liquid fertilizer I meant compost tea but it was just easier to say liquid fertilizer to get the function across. What i really would have meant is anything that is liquid but not water and you want it transported and sprayed on the plot. Ie soapy pepper water.

Don’t mean to mean. But your point on tiller usage does not 100 percent apply to air spade and other related techs.

Correct usage of tilling provides advantages but the big issue most common usage is not correct usage.

Tilling first season or any season in fact without a reason is wrong. List of reasons to use air pressure to air rate soil or mechanical tiling are the following.

  1. Air Rate Soil or Mechanical Tilling is if the soil compacted badly there is a probe you can push into the ground and if you get greater than a particular PSI back you are over-compacted. Over compacted soil disrupts roots, mycelium and other micro organisms. So yes correcting the compaction disrupts and damages mycelium and other micro organisms but the correction allows them to populate the area that they would not be able to if it was left to own devices. Mechanical Tilling is it not ideal for this mass of machine end up creating deeper compaction. In these case you are also meant to spread material containing containing mycelium and other micro organisms to start repopulating.
  2. Mechanical Tilling to a max of 2 inches~5 cm in depth to dig in weeds for weed control. This should only be performed if you have a mass weed problem.
  3. Air Rate Soil or Mechanical Tilling to 1 inch or less in cases where the soil has become water repelling and the lack of water in these case has already massive harmed the mycelium and other micro organisms. This is so when you apply a soil wetting agent(natural or otherwise) to correct this it does not run off and you get correct dosage to area. Yes too much natural forms of wetting agents can in fact be more harmful to mycelium and other micro organisms than the 1 inch disruption.

Do note carefully that 2 and 3 that should be your more common usage don’t go to 3 inchs. Between 2 inches to 3 inches is where the most mycelium and other micro organisms are. Compaction is the only reason to be tilling or air rate deep.

History tilling causes big problems because it not done with valid reason.

Tilling to depth 2 inch in a field with out plants causes soil loss and major mycelium and other micro organisms harm but same action with plants that you are digging by tilling in mostly does not cause these issues. Few key differences.

  1. when you dig a plant in you are providing food and water for the mycelium and other micro organisms,
  2. the structural material of the plant you dug in acts as erosion limitation providing some protection to the mycelium and other micro organisms.
    So harmed then feed them and protecting them at the same time works out ok.

Ripping really deep into the ground when there is no compaction makes absolutely no sense yet you see people doing this.

You see with soil being water repelling where people with too much that I will not till end up causing themselves more issues because the wetting agent they are using is not being applied evenly or correctly so causing more harm. Lightly spraying the weting agent on closes up the 1 inch of tilling damage to the surface. Of course ideal would be to apply a light mulch that you dig in the same tilling process to feed and protect the mycelium and other micro organisms.

Issue here is tilling and not tilling are both harmful for different reasons. Tilling used correctly is beneficial. Problem is lot of people usage of tilling is totally wrong.

The planet has done very well for billions of years without fertiliser, in fact one could argue nature does better without it in the long run.
This is not 100 percent true. Places like Fraser island the lakes do the same thing gardens do with compost tea. Then compost tea liquid fertiliser goes into the water table. So Fraser island is one huge nature built hydro/aquapoinics system. Birds and bats also bring in other fertiliser materials to Fraser island. In Canada you find a relationship between bears and trees for the case where bears catch the fish take the fish into forest and the fish remains become fertiliser for the trees. Nature is not past using animals for fertiliser delivery. Of course nature does not use man made chemical fertilisers that don’t do things a lot of good. Nature in most cases does not grow the plants we want where we are so this results in us as gardeners having to replicate what the natural creatures and environment would provide to the plants if they were growing where they come from and of course this is not always simple.

Sorry to say a lot of what you are saying FuturistPlayground is overly simplistic.

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Thank you for putting together a more thorough response. I did not have the time or energy when I wrote my response, but wanted to point out that there is good information out there on this topic and people new to growing food might pick up bad habits simply because they saw it done somewhere without understanding why. Your input is greatly appreciated!