Pem Lham, Zangmo, Kinga Norbu & Ugyen Phuntsho
Growing vegetable on a raised bed improves soil physical parameters, and irrigation drainage and prevent waterlogging which ultimately increase the yield of vegetables. Making raised bed manually is not only time consuming but also a tedious job that involves much labour. A bed-making implement to be attached to a tractor machine was designed and tested to determine the dimensions of the bed formed specifically to suit the available plastic mulch width for cultivation of vegetable crops. A 34HP tractor was used as a power source for the bed making implement. The machine was tested at three different tractor forward speeds of 1.89, 2.54 and 5.04 km/h to record the width and height of the bed formed at these corresponding forward speeds. The results indicate that although the bed width increased with an increase in forward speed (76.89, 80.11 and 87.22 cm for 1.89, 2.54 and 5.04 km/h, respectively), the optimum bed width suitable for vegetable cultivation using the available plastic mulch was 80.11 cm with a bed height of 25.33 cm formed at the forward speed of 2.54 km/h. The machine field capacity recorded at the forward speed of 2.54 km/h was 3.80 acre/day, while that of a person’s capacity to make the bed of the same dimension manually was 0.02 acre/day.
Keywords: Bed making; Bed width; Bed height; Productivity