The Vibra bed-former is a secondary cultivation tool and a bed former. It’s based on a spring tine cultivator, but also has an adjustable comb weeder and a hydraulically assisted drum roller.
It was developed as an alternative to PTO driven bed formers. Its working speed is 2 to 3 kms per hour. It’s a very useful tool for weed control on beds that have not yet been sown or transplanted. For destroying weeds, the tool should work just below the surface of the soil, with a driving speed of 5 to 6 kms per hour. The Vibra bed-former can also be used to destroy young green manures, if it is followed by a pass with the Bed Ridger to ensure the green manure is incorporated back into the ground. The joints and articulations make driving and adjusting the tool simple.
The tool cannot incorporate crop residue in the same way as PTO driven cultivators. The spring tines drag organic materials and the tool can be clogged up.
It’s possible to replace the drum roller with a cage roller, which levels out the soil without compacting it.
The traditional spring tine blades can also be replaced by straight tines which bring up less soil and weed seeds to the surface. It would also be useful to have the option of adjusting the depth of the side spring tines working in the wheelings.
The Vibra bed-former in use at Jardins du Temple (Isère, France)
Resources on permanent beds:
The Vibra bed-former is a cultivation tool for use on permanent beds. See links below for more information on this cultivation practice:
- 2011, report on a comparative trial on permanent beds vs traditional cultivation
- 2012, presentation by Joseph Templier on the permanent bed system in place at the Jardins du Temple (239 pages)
- System for permanent bed vegetable production, CETAB (Quebec)
- 2015, Colloque Bio pour tous (Organic Conference for all) on 6th March 2015 organised by CETAB (Quebec): Vegetable production on permanent beds
- 2015, an introduction to permanent bed cultivation by the GABNOR organisation
- And a comprehensive explanation of the permanent bed system in the Self-build Guide...
Documents to download
The technical drawings are also available in the Self-build guide, with additional information and research for permanent bed cultivation.Order a Self- build guide here.
The entirety of this article, including descriptions, photos and technical drawings, are available for all to use under a Creative Commons licence. They can be distributed and modified as long as the user mentions their origins (Atelier Paysan) and ensures that all related tools and documents are also under Creative Commons.