Potato Digger

jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)March 17, 2013

Brother in law sent me a link about this Potato Digger, I thought it looked kinda neat and for $25 I thought I would go look at it, then I bought it.

The guys grandfather built it from scrap pieces laying around the farm in the 60's/70's. He said he was an "inventor". He remembered using it as a kid and then when his kids were younger they used it. His dad passed away long ago and then they moved his mom to town and they she wanted to keep it. It was painted and has been sitting there for a long time. They finally moved her to a retirement home and decided to let it go.

Yes it looks a little strange and it will take two people to operate, but even it doesn't work it looks kinda cool. The digger lifts the potatoes and then the grates on the back move up and down. There is a wheel on the back and it has spokes that lifts and drops it. It shakes the dirt through and the potatoes roll off the back.

Just thought I would share. Even if it doesn't work, I have a use for the metal wheels to put on my 3 point blade so I don't scrape rock when I move snow. That alone is worth $25. Also I thought I could mount it on a 3 point tool bar without much trouble too.


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Actually it takes a horse and a person. I've seen several being used, just not painted so nicely.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 9:22AM
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we used an old horse drawn potato shovel which was kinda similar, behind a small tractor a few times. They work pretty good.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 3:22PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Thank you for the information, I thought it looked very professional, but I went along with the story. I have searched for more information online, but I found very little.

Doesn't sound like it is worth big bucks, so I will still keep it!


    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 11:37PM
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Working they are rare around here, most are rusty at the best. It was the best digger for a small plot. Since I'm so close with the Amish community, I see lots of equipment from 'olden times'. Plus I'm old enough to remember seeing these types of tools in the back of the sheds.

Since you have a tractor, you can use it with the tractor going very very slow, with another adult guiding it. You have to be able to get it deep enough to 'pop' those taters. Then the girls (lil man will have to wait a couple of years) can pick the taters up off the ground.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:49AM
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It looks like a fine piece of art to me. Might even help that sore back of mine.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 4:01PM
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Looks to me like it'd be easier just to dig the potatoes.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 11:36PM
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I tell you what, Vikki - come on over and I'll even lend you my good spading fork. I hate digging taters. I have seen several videos of similar style units being used - most of them use a shaker - and seem to work pretty well. Most of the vids are from Eastern Europe so I have no idea what they are saying.


Here is a link that might be useful: Potato digger/shaker

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 2:58PM
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Here is the one I would like to build (somewhere on the list between my elbow and shoulder). Does not look too complicated and works well. I think the hardest thing would be finding something to use as the chain.


Here is a link that might be useful: Potato chain digger

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 3:02PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

I guess when you use a digger you gotta make sure not to hill up too much.

If I planned on planting my taters on the edge of my garden space I could have the neighbor farmer dig for me with the giant tractors they have. Maybe I will put it like that next year. Then after they are dug just dig a hole and pile them in for storage.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 3:43PM
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A friend of mine uses a middle buster and then just picks the taters up. He can get really deep if need be.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 6:01PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

You know the big commercial potato diggers, would they handle sweet potatoes too? I was thinking of moving my taters to the one edge of my garden and the sweets are already at the top edge and then I could have the neighbor potato farmer dig it all for me in mid September. I had planned on winter squash on the one side and sweets on top but they told me specifically they will have taters next to me this season and I thought I could ask them to dig for me. The problem is they might harvest well before I want to dig sweets.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 7:39PM
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