technical questions

Technical Frequently Asked Questions Questions

First, you must make sure the frame of the machine and press pan are level. Then, after you make your first pass you may have to adjust your top link on your tractor to adjust the height of the machine to the ground. You may also need to add weight to your press pan if you aren’t getting a tight enough bed. Your sweeps should be in the ground ON AVERAGE 4" to gather enough soil to fill the pan. The wider your beds the more soil you need gathered from the sweeps so the depth will vary based on the size of your press pan.

First you need to know the side bed you will be making.  In addition to the size of the bed we recommend that you have at least 6” of plastic on each side to be buried to hold the plastic down throughout the season.

Using the dimensions of your bed you can use the below formula to determine the size of plastic needed.

Width of Bed Top + twice the height of your bed + 12” = total width of plastic needed.

There are no industry standard dimensions for planting beds; we custom manufacture each press pan to the customer’s specifications for bed with (A), bed height (B), and row center spacing (E).

Our press pans typically have a 1¼ in crown (D) at the center of the bed. This helps water run off the bed, which reduces disease and nutrient leaching.

Planting beds are wider at the base to produce a stable bed that will not collapse during plastic laying and plant setting. Our standard pans increase bed width at the base (C) by 2 in for every 3 in of bed height (B). For example, a bed that is 24 in wide (A) and 3 in high (B) will be 26 in wide at its base (C). A bed that is 36 in wide (A) and 6 in high (B) will be 40 in wide at its base (C).

Row center spacing is important. If the bed is too wide for the row centers, your sweeps may not be able to pull enough soil from the sides to fill the center of the bed. For example, you may have difficulty shaping a bed wider than 40 in with a 60 in row center. Soil preparation, soil type, and the addition of various bedding attachments can all affect your bed dimensions and your ability to shape a good quality bed. Best results are generally achieved when the bed width is about half of the row center. We suggest that you select a bed no wider than 65% of the row center.

Press pan sizes

Make sure your stretch wheels are positioned right outside your bed to stretch the plastic mulch into the cup. Then you can adjust your hillers so they are throwing the dirt onto the cup.

  1. How many rows of plants will be on your planting bed? If you have more than one row of plants per bed, you need the same number of wheels per bed on your transplanter. If you have more than one row, what is the spacing between the rows of plants?
  2. What is the distance between plants within the row? This will be the measurement tip to tip on the wheel.  Due to wheel slippage, soil moisture, soil conditions, and various other factors, we cannot guarantee plant spacing to an exact dimension. You can normally expect the actual plant spacing to be within 1 inch of the dimension requested.
  3. Which style punch and what size? The punch needs to be large enough to allow the plant to fit into it, but not so large that it can't be packed firmly into the hole. Confirm the cell size on your planting trays or pots, and then size your punch. As a rule of thumb, size the punch width ½ in larger than the width of the cell, and the depth 1 in deeper. For example, if the cell size is 1½ in wide by 3 in deep, then a punch that is 2 in wide and 4 in deep will work. The sides of the receiving hole will collapse to some degree after being shaped. Over-sizing the punch ensures that the hole remains large enough for the transplant.

It can depend on the machine and operation but our rule of thumb is to have at least 50 horsepower for each row on your machine. Example: If you have a 1-row machine you should have a 50 HP tractor. If you have a 3-row machine you’ll need at least a 150 HP tractor.

Yes. Your field needs to be properly prepped and tilled before creating a bed. We recommend using our bedding disks to disk the field and forming a false bed prior to using our superbedder.

If you are using a multiple row superbedder it is important to consider the levelness of your land. A multiple row superbedder requires a very level field so each bed is shaped at the same height, with the same available soil.

You may need to:

  • Add additional weight to the press pan
  • Make sure your soil is tilled/disked enough
  • Make an adjustment from the superbedder frame to your press pan to level out the pan.

You can add wheel weights to the machine to weigh down the wheel and get better contact. Kennco sells a variety of weights for this purpose.

Our “A” style punch is used on dry punch wheels. It punches through plastic mulch and makes a diamond shaped receiving hole. This punch is popular for setting bare root transplants.

Our “B” style punch is ideal when pulling transplants from pots. It punches through plastic mulch and removes a round plug from the soil. The punch is tapered so that the soil packed into it drops out as the wheel rolls. An angled slide under each punch directs the soil out of the wheel.

Our “C” punch is the preferred punch for nursery tray plants. It makes a square hole at the surface shaped like an upside-down pyramid in the bed. It does not remove soil. It can be used on wet or dry wheels. When used on a water wheel, its design allows water to enter the receiving hole.

Punch Types

It is possible you may have to adjust your hillers a few different possible ways:

  • Adjust the location of your hillers so they are closer to the bed when throwing the dirt,
  • Adjust the angle of your hillers to throw more dirt into the cup.

OR – it’s possible your plastic is not wide enough to cover the cup

cross section of raised bed