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 July 2010).
Mark Wheeler, Pacific Botanicals. Grants Pass, OR.
This is a Lely Tine weeder and this type of weeder has been made for over 50 years. This particular one has four rows of tine. You tend to run this very fast through the soil because its action is by shattering little clumps of soil and killing small weeds. It’s very good on seeds that have germinated but you really can’t even see them yet. It just picks them up on the soil, turns them over and dries them out. This is probably the most effective about three or four days after a rain or an irrigation where the top of the soil is drying out and the weeds have germinated and they’re very small. This will just take that crust and flick it off the growing crop plant.
This is used in a variety of crops. You can use it in grains, small grains, rye, wheat, oats, before they come up. Then when they get to the two-to-three leaf stage, you can hit them again. You can use them in potatoes for beds, before emergence, after emergence. They’re used a lot in corn, direct-seeded crops, before emergence and then at the three- leaf stage again. If you use this on direct-seeded crops, I tend to seed my seed a little thicker, because it will kick out an occasional plant when you have the tine going straight down a row. This is not a problem. It’s kind of disheartening to watch. You just grit your teeth and go down the row and you know some plants are getting kicked out. But you seed it heavy enough; it will be no problem at all.
On transplanted crops, this has more of a limited application because it takes at least two weeks for a transplanted crop to get rooted enough before you can use this and then, by that time, your weeds might be too large for this to be very effective, but in some cases it can be.
Whenever you use this piece of equipment though, it's good to use it in the afternoon when it's hot because plants tend to have less rigidity, less moisture in their stems when they’re hot and they bend over easier. They don’t break as easily and they come back up quicker. It works better at high speeds. It works well in rocks. It won’t get all the weeds around a rock if the rock is big, it’ll just bounce right up over the top of the rock when you go.
These tine weeders come in a variety of widths. Anywhere from three to four feet wide to thirty feet wide depending on your application. This particular one is ten feet wide and it covers all four of our rows because we’re set up on a four-row system.
One advantage of these, if you move this back to the last notch on the back, it puts more down pressure into the ground. If you move it up here, this one would barely touch the ground at all. Which means if you had a row right here and you just wanted to cultivate around the row with this machine, you could move this up to the front and leave a gap of no tines hitting the ground where your crop is, and then the ones on the sides would cultivate right beside the row.