Vegetable Farmers and their Weed-Control Machines [DVD]. V. Grubinger and M.J. Else. 1996. University of Vermont Extension. Available for purchase at http://www.uvm.edu/vtvegandberry/Videos/weedvideo.htm (verified 31 Dec 2008).
This is a Vegetable Farmers and their Weed Control Machines video clip.
Chuck Armstrong, Fiddlehead Farm. Brownsville, VT.
The other cultivation techniques they use are some Bezzerides Weeders; I will use the Bezzerides tools.
There’s a torsion weeder that you can get real close to the plant and it has a springing action so that it will bend away from the plant but it will still kill the weeds but it’s less likely to kill the crop plant. It has a very minimal amount of hilling so you can do it when the crop is very small. There’s another tool called the spring hoe that’s similar action but it give a little bit more hilling action so that gets a little bit more aggressive so that you can come through that on the second time through.
This is a tool bar cultivator; I use it on my corn beans and winter squash. I try to use this as soon as I can after the crop is up and just big enough for me to get in there.
These are called spiders and they’re a Bezzerides tool and I’ve got them set up now so they’re taking soil away from the crop and you can reverse it so you can hill up the crop. Supposedly it’s a little more or less aggressive according to which way you point these tines. They have a little bit of a curve to them. If you point them forward they’re supposed to be a little bit more aggressive. I point them to take soil away from the crop when it's small so that the last tool that comes through which is this, won’t have very much soil so that it pushes against the crop so it won’t bury it. I’ve got one on each side of the crop and it goes just under the soil and the distance is only three and a half inches apart. I use it really similar to a shovel but it’s a little bit more forgiving because it doesn’t have a sharp edge here so it’s less likely to cut your crop and it will flex. As it’s in the soil, it will flex around a little bit so you can get it a little bit closer than you probably could a regular shovel.
That’s what I have for the last two and in between I have some side knives. I find if I just have the spiders and these that I was missing some spots so I just put that in there to sort of clean it up and it also levels back out whatever kind of a hilling action this tool makes.
This video project was funded in part by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (USDA).
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