Group Title: Extension agricultural engineering mimeo report
Title: Machine laying of polyethylene mulch
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: Machine laying of polyethylene mulch
Alternate Title: Extension agricultural engineering mimeo report ; 61-3
Physical Description: 2, 2 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Harrison, D. S ( Dalton Sidney ), 1920-
Marvel, M. E ( Mason Edwin ), 1921-
University of Florida -- Agricultural Extension Service
Donor: unknown ( endowment ) ( endowment )
Publisher: Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 1961
Copyright Date: 1961
Subject: Mulching -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "January 1961."
Statement of Responsibility: Dalton S. Harrison and Mason E. Marvel.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00095009
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 436877532

Full Text

U bExteAsion Agricultural Engineering F L-L I
meo Report 61-3 uar y

) ( 3JUL 111972

Dalton S. Harriscn and Mason E. Marve
Assistant Agricultural Engineer and Assistant Vegetable 6 Ss lsJi Florida

A significant increase in interest in using plastic soil mulch has developed
during the past few years. Many Experiment Stations have conducted field experi-
ments using several types, colors, widths and thicknesses of polyethylene mulch
on many crops. Research workers in Florida have worked for several years with
plastic mulching materials with significant results en strawberries. Results on
other crops have not been sufficiently outstanding to recommend their use. How-
ever, such crops as tomatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupes, peppers and pole beans
could possibly be grown through polyethylene rulch. Several commercial growers
in Florida have tried or are trying, black polyethylene mulch on some of the
above mentioned crops.

Many problems exist in the use of plastic mulch which must be worked out
with research and practical experience. The principal one is mechanical ap-
plication of plastic mulch. The following info,:.ation is pressntcd to aid you
in solving this problem.

Machines for Laying Mulch

There are several commercial machines now available for laying polyethylene
mulch. Each will be discussed in this paper in as much detail as information is

1. For those growers who wish to assemble their own attachment, a demon-
stration model designed by Union Carbide Plastics Company of Bound Brook, New
Jersey is shown in the attached drawings. Parts for this machine are standard
John Deere parts. The framework of the implement consists of an 84-inch tool
bar, two "long rigs" (Coupling plate plus 37-inch beam), four disks, a film
handling unit, a pressure roller and two rubber-tired wheels. The "long rigs"
are attached to the tool bar and are adjustable to any width depending on the
crops to be mulched or the width of the available film. Film up to 6 ft. wide
can be handled with the 84-inch tool bar; however, the most commonly used film
for mulching is usually no more than L ft. wide.

Four disks are normally used on mulch laying machines. Two, located in
front are used as furrow openers into which the edges of the film are pressed

(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida,
Florida State University and United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating
M. 0. Watkins, Director


by the press wheels. The rear two disks serve to close the soil over the edges
of the film. The press wheels (rubber tires) must be set at a slight angle so
that they will not tear the film. The film is pressed to the soil by a steel
pressure roller.

The film handling unit should be kept as close to the soil as possible, so
that the wind cannot exert any pressure or great force on the film between the
roll and the pressure rollers, and so unwind the film.

2. The Agricultural Engineering Department of the Kentucky Agricultural
Experiment Station has constructed an experimental machine for laying plastic
film up to 8 feet wide; however, plans have not been prepared for general dis-
tribution as of this date.

3. The Engine Parts Manufacturing Company of Cleveland, Ohio now manu-
factures 3 models of sheet mulch applicators. These are (1) model 45, a 3-
point hitch frame, will handle all widths up to 72-inches. Retail price is
approximately $180.00; (2) model i45-D, will handle either paper or plastic
mulch, 3-point hitch frame, extra rollers for different widths, and handles
up to 72-inch widths, and retail price approximately $200.00; and (3) model
45-S, soil fumigation applicator and tarp layer, retail price approximately

Trade names are included in this article only for the purpose of infor-
mation and identification. The Extension Service does not guarantee or imply
approval of these products. Rather they are included to identify the principle
of mulching. In addition, there are probably other manufacturers of machines
for laying of plastic mulch not known to the authors.


The parts in these drawings are based on those furnished by John Deere and

are considered representative of their type. It is quite possible that equally

efficient; materials are available from other quality tractor manufacturers.

Tool Bar
sc 650 N*
Tool Bar is 2-inch square
Fits any standard 3-point hitch

long Rigs -
-- -Two sC 683 N*

Long Rigs are adjustable
And can be moved back and
forth on the tool bar

* John Deere Bundle Numbers

Long Rigs
Crossarms & Clamps
Two SO 105 AN*


Long Rig

Holes for 2 bolts
to bolt 1, 2, 3 to 4


iI I _

Steel Block

Attaclunent Part
--_-- _---_-- --(See below)


Soil Surface a -
y~wet A ~a* %a v~~~BI~Uttv* mM~lc~rcr 4sIkv44"WA4&4vo ~auCL


One Angle Welded
To The Other

!" x 3/16" Angle Iron


University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs