Wednesday, July 12, 2017


It must have rained here for a while
Prior to the rains that started in late June, we were feeling pretty good about how our fields looked with respect to weed control.  We weren't as happy about the growth of our crops, but rain can help with that.  But, since weeds are also plants, they liked the rain as well.  So, our peppers, beans and eggplant between our tomatoes in the East field weren't looking as photogenic as we would normally like last Wednesday.

It's amazing what you can do with a wheel hoe.
 We do have some tractor cultivating tools that we use on the farm.  Sometimes, they are the best tool for the job.  And, at other times, the trusty wheel hoe is our choice.  Personally, I like the viewpoint I get as I walk the rows while I run a wheel hoe.  Yes, yes... I know.  I walk back and forth many times in order to get these results.  I get that some find that to be inefficient.  But, I also get exercise AND a detailed appreciation for my crop status without performing a field walk.  I put the two things together this way. 
Oh, now that's looking very nice.
Will I need to cultivate this field again?  Of course I will.  But, we should be past the bulk of the grass germination stage, which is our worst enemy in this field right now.  The wheel hoe is a shallow cultivator, so we aren't bringing up a bunch of the seedbank that can be found deeper in the soil and I make sure to overlap my passes so I can be sure to turn roots up to the sun for all of the small and newly germinating weeds. 

I like to get the blade moving fast enough so soil comes up over the blade in a bit of a cascade.  This won't work so well if the soil has a crust on it or if the weeds are too big - and that's why you have more than one kind of tool.

I mentioned the exercise component earlier.   We're actually beginning to wonder if we should teach a 'wheelhoeroebics' class at our farm.  Anyone up for it?  We have other fields to wheel hoe.


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