Weed 'Em and Reap Part 1: Tools for Non-Chemical Weed Management in Vegetable Cropping Systems [DVD]. A. Stone. 2006. Oregon State University Dept. of Horticulture. Corvallis, Oregon. Available at: http://www.weedemandreap.org (verified 17 Dec 2008).
Jeff Falen, Persephone Farm. Lebanon, OR.
This is a field of winter squash and pumpkins and these plants were all transplanted. The plants were about that [6-8 inches] high when they went into the ground about 2 weeks ago, I believe. Our strategy here is, because the transplants were so big, to try to push soil around the plants and thereby, basically smothering weeds growing around the plants. To enhance this strategy, when we transplanted, we made a furrow in the ground, a pretty deep furrow. Then we put the plants into that furrow. When we come through with the cultivator, we’ll push the soil back into the furrow and that will cover up the weeds that are growing in the furrow.
This is a close-up view of our squash cultivator. The row of squash would be right here if we were out in the field. These two sweeps are doing most of the work in the row. They are turning the soil up and exposing the weeds to the sun where they die. This sweep in particular is throwing a lot of soil into the furrow to bury the weeds that are in the furrow. Following right behind the sweeps is a Bezzerides spring hoe which finishes off the job by tucking the soil in right around the crop plant and burying any weeds that are real close to the crop plant.
You can see this has been cultivated here and the furrow is filled in and you can’t see any of the weeds that are in it. Right now you can just see little white threads and they’re laying on the surface and they’re going to die.
If the crop is small, a few plants may get buried, less than 1%, which means that the driver will have to walk the field and uncover plants here and there. We consider this a small price to pay to work as close as we do to the crop.