Thursday, August 14, 2008


Almost all of our farthest fields have been mowed & disked under already, and weeds are coming back up. Soon we will plant a fall cover crop into these fields, but in the mean-time we needed to just scrape the soil up enough to dislodge those weeds that were trying to grow. We used the "Perfecta" which is sometimes called a "tine cultivator" or "harrow". It is a series of shovels that drag shallowly through the soil, followed by a roller which firms down the soil afterwards.

Here are the fields that lay ahead of me in the early morning sun:
It felt pretty good to drive across the field in that first swipe. Looking back, I can see how effectively the weeds are being dislodged and uprooted.
There are some places with thicker grasses coming up, which I go over twice just for good measure. The Perfecta works well with tiny weeds like purslane.
Unfortunately, the buckwheat cover crop which we disked under last week posed a little bit of a clog-up problem. Periodically, I had to lift up the implement to leave a pile of buckwheat stalks which start to drag soil around. I went back over the field in these heavily "piled-up" areas to spread out the stalks a little bit. I think maybe using the discs might have been a better idea for the thick cover cropped areas.
There are a number of different tractor-driven tools that I am learning about-- each has it's specific uses. Circumstances like soil moisture, crop residue, rocky soil, etc., all affect the way each tool performs.

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