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.
Lockwood 'Pooh' Sprague, Edgewater Farm. Plainfield, NH.
This is the Lely weeder that we acquired last year; it cost us I think in the vicinity of seventeen to eighteen hundred bucks. We bought it at that time with the gauge wheels which is an optional thing. I like it because it controls the height a little better. If you’re in an area where your tractor makes a little dip you don’t have that action of digging in. The gauge wheel keeps it, floats it, and gives it a little bit more regulation and flotation over the top. I use them also to adjust the tension of the springs. Just by pulling this up I can get more action on top of the crop - just by raising and lowering the gauge wheels. The normal way to adjust these is by moving this spring back and forth bracket and as you can see on this machine that takes quite a while so we use the gauge wheels and as a matter of fact we use gauge wheels on pretty much all of your three point hitch cultivators.
This is an updated version of an old Dearborn weeder which they used in the thirties and how it works is that these tines will vibrate as it goes over the crop. I use the Lely specifically for potatoes, up to certain growth stages on my leafy crops, and when crops get a lot larger. Spinach, four or five inches high, I won’t use it anymore. I also use it in conjunction with my baskets a lot of times. The baskets will churn up in between the rows and the action will break up the clods and it will also mulch around the plants. So I use it not only as a separate tool but often in conjunction with another tool.
Our soil is very sandy so in the land that is very sandy this is well suited for shallow cultivation. Of course we don’t want to disturb much soil, one either to turn up weeds and two to let any of the moisture out, especially in a year like this where it’s so dry.
So this is an idea thing, you have to use it at least weekly. I’m pretty good about it except during strawberry season. Things get ahead of us but if you use it weekly you can get weeds out without even having to go through and hand hoe. So it’s an important item especially in the smaller vegetables.
This video project was funded in part by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (USDA).
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