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 a Buddingh Basket Weeder that we use alone and in conjunction with the Lely Weeder. Our beds are sixty inches from wheel track center to wheel track center. All of my tractors are set up that way. I can seed three rows of spinach, radishes or what have you at seventeen inches apart. So these are set up to do pretty much all the crops as well. I can use this side dresser in conjunction with it to scuffle in, due to the activity of the machine; I can scuffle in calcium nitrate (not allowed for use on organic farms) or whatever I want to put on.
These are a little different from some, if you’ll notice the wires here are at an angle. I used to have just flat straight wires across just like that but I put them on the edge because I put these angled wires on at the edge so I get a little more aggressive action on the edges of my bed.
I guess another thing to point out perhaps is that we use a couple of chains so that I get the driving action in the back. That rear set of baskets as you can see turns a little faster than the front ones. This kind of dimples into the soil and roots out the plant and that second line will come right behind and sort of kick it out so it lays on top of the ground. I understand that some growers will use these units without chains and run them over the top of the row. Right now I’m using it set up like this to kick weeds out and throw a little soil into the plant. Then by coming behind with the Lely I can also kick a little more soil and break up any small clods that are on top of the soil surface.
The tractor speed that I use really depends on the soil I am in and how much soil I am throwing around and how small the crop that I’m cultivating is. If you're in beans and they’re up pretty good I’ll clip along four to six miles and hour. If I’ve got out some newly transplanted lettuce and I want to go between it I’m a little more tender with the joy stick.
This video project was funded in part by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (USDA).
This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.