Using a cultivator to prep new garden beds and reduce weed growth during the growing season for your crops is a great idea. But, there are hundreds of cultivators on the market with many of them costing a pretty penny. Us homesteaders typically like to live frugally, so learning how to make a cultivator using cheap/free parts is a fantastic weekend project. Use this guide to learn how to make a cheap cultivator using an old bike and a few extra parts!
What You'll Learn Today
How To Make A Cultivator Using A Bike Frame
Here is all that you will need to make your DIY cultivator for little-to-no cost:
- An old bike (doesn’t have to even work, just needs an in-tact frame and working wheel
- Makeshift tines (broken pitchfork, the bicycle front-wheel fork, etc.)
- A few nuts and bolts
- A drill with bits that match your bolts
That’s it! It’s quite a simple design that can last you years and save the back-breaking work of cultivating your soil by hand only. Here are the steps of how to make a cultivator from a bicycle.
Step One: Disassemble Unnecessary Bike Parts
To get started, you won’t need your front wheel, chain and gears, pedals, or seat. Get these off the bicycle so all that you are left with is the back wheel and the bike frame with the handlebars still attached.
If you want, you can leave the rubber tube on the wheel or take it off entirely. Either way will work with this DIY cultivator.
With the handlebars, you can bolt them to stay in one place or allow them to turn to make steering the cultivator a bit easier. This choice is up to the end-user.
Step Two: Assemble Cultivator Tines
Using your makeshift cultivator tines, bolt them to the bicycle frame towards the bottom so that if left standing, the wheel and tines are the only parts resting on the ground.
You can use an array of random scraps for these tines. The fork from the front wheel assembly of the bike works great if you can get your hands on an extra set as well from another bike. This way, you can bolt a fork on each side of the bike frame and you have 4 cultivator tines to work with.
You can also use the head of a broken pitchfork or other garden tools that you have around.
If you use a little creativity, there is no way that you should be paying any money to get your cultivator tines, unless you simply have no junk laying around your homestead!
Step Three: Use & Abuse As Needed
Push the cultivator by the handlebars with the tines between yourself and the wheel that will be sitting in the front. The harder you push down, the deeper your tines will cultivate. The heavier your bike frame the better it will cultivate, although it may be harder to maneuver.
The more heavy-duty the bicycle frame, wheel, and bolts are, the better results and longevity you’ll get from this DIY cultivator.
This isn’t rocket science but it sure does provide more use from junk that you probably already have. What’s better than a brand new cultivator for free?!
How To Make A Cheap Cultivator Work For You
With the ability to switch tines, you can have a modular tool that you can use at a variety of tine widths as needed. You can also bolt more pieces on the bike frame to use, like a hoop hoe or markers for garden rows. The opportunities are open to your imagination as this bike frame can serve multiple purposes beyond just a DIY cultivator.
A rake head could help level out a garden bed and remove large rocks or clumps from the surface of the soil. A trowel could be used to create a length of garden bed ready to be planted.
Finding more use from this funny-looking bicycle frame cultivator could turn this guide on how to make a cheap cultivator into a game-changer for cheap gardening tools on your homestead!
Go Cultivate Your Soil!
Nothing replaces awesome garden and field tools that the big companies produce on their assembly lines. However, this DIY bike cultivator is easy to make and can even be free if you happen to have a salvageable bike and a few other parts lying around. Nothing beats free when improving your homestead. That’s for sure!