Transforming 20 Acres into Productive 3’ Farm Beds in Okeechobee, Florida

Planting 3’ beds
Black farmers Making farm beds


 Okeechobee, Florida, renowned for its favorable climate and fertile soil, presents an excellent opportunity for agricultural ventures. Adley Solomon, a market farmer, has taken on the ambitious task of transforming 20 acres of his land into highly productive farm beds. Utilizing 4800 square feet of this land and employing a Grillo G110 walk-behind tractor with a rotary plow attachment, Solomon aims to create 3-foot raised beds that promote healthy plant growth and maximize farming potential. This article delves into his method and the benefits of this innovative agricultural approach.

Grillo G110 rotary plow beds

Benefits of 3’ Farm Beds

Optimized Water Management

 Raised beds are a boon for managing water effectively, especially in Okeechobee’s unpredictable climate. The 3-foot farm beds facilitate better drainage, reducing the risk of waterlogging that can damage plant roots. Additionally, the setup allows for efficient use of drip irrigation systems, delivering water directly to the plant roots and minimizing waste, thereby promoting healthier growth.

Enhanced Soil Fertility

The raised beds significantly improve soil structure and fertility. By incorporating organic matter and compost into the beds, Solomon creates a nutrient-rich environment conducive to robust plant growth. The raised structure also helps prevent soil compaction, allowing roots to penetrate more easily and access essential nutrients.

 Effective Weed and Pest Control

Managing weeds and pests becomes much simpler with the 3-foot farm beds. The defined borders create a physical barrier, reducing the spread of weeds and pests. Mulching the beds further suppresses weed growth, while the structured layout facilitates the use of row covers and other protective measures to keep pests at bay.

Preparing the Land with the Grillo G110

Soil Testing and Amendment

 Before creating the beds, Solomon conducted a thorough soil test to determine the pH, nutrient levels, and composition. This information was crucial for amending the soil to meet the specific needs of his crops. Given that Okeechobee’s soil is often sandy, he incorporated organic matter such as compost or aged manure to enhance its fertility and water retention capacity.

 Clearing and Tilling

 Solomon cleared the designated 4800 square feet area of any debris, rocks, or existing vegetation. The Grillo G110 walk-behind tractor with a rotary plow attachment proved invaluable for this task. The rotary plow attachment allowed for deep tilling, breaking up compacted soil and incorporating organic matter to create a loose, aerated soil structure ideal for planting.

Creating the 3’ Farm Beds

Grillo G110 walk behind tractor making beds

 Measuring and Marking

Solomon divided the 4800 square feet area into smaller sections to facilitate the creation of uniform beds. Using stakes and string, he marked out the beds, ensuring each bed was 2 feet in height, 3feet wide, and 150 feet long. The paths between the beds were made 1.5 feet wide to allow for easy access and maintenance.

 Building the Beds

 With the Grillo G110 and its rotary plow attachment, Solomon shaped the soil into raised beds according to the marked measurements. The rotary plow was highly efficient at creating consistent and well-formed beds. He ensured the beds were level and the sides firm to prevent erosion, adding a layer of compost or organic matter to the top of the beds to further enhance soil fertility.

Rotary plow 3’ beds

 Mulching and Irrigation

 A thick layer of organic mulch, such as straw was applied to the beds to helps retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Solomon also installed a drip irrigation system along the beds to provide consistent and efficient water delivery directly to the plant roots.

 Planting and Maintenance

 Selecting Crops

 Solomon selected crops well-suited to Okeechobee’s climate and soil conditions. Suitable options included tomatoes, peppers, beans, cucumbers, okra, and leafy greens. He also considered crop rotation and companion planting to optimize soil health and reduce pest pressure.

Planting and Care

 Following the recommended planting guidelines for each crop, Solomon ensured proper spacing and depth. He regularly monitored the beds for signs of pests, diseases, or nutrient deficiencies, applying organic fertilizers and amendments as needed to maintain soil fertility throughout the growing season. 

Harvesting and Post-Harvest Care

Solomon harvested crops at their peak maturity to ensure the best flavor and nutritional value. Handling the produce carefully to avoid damage, he promptly cooled and stored it to maintain freshness. Implementing value-added processes, such as washing, sorting, and packaging, enhanced the marketability of his produce.

3’ farm beds Grillo tractor


Transforming 4800 square feet of his 20-acre plot in Okeechobee, Florida, into productive 3-foot farm beds with the help of a Grillo G110 walk-behind tractor and a rotary plow attachment has proven to be a practical and efficient method for maximizing agricultural output. This technique has enhanced soil health, water management, and simplified weed and pest control. By following these steps for preparation, creation, and maintenance, Adley Solomon has enjoyed bountiful harvests and contributed significantly to the local agricultural economy. With careful planning and diligent care, these farm beds have become a cornerstone of sustainable and profitable farming in Okeechobee.