[Market-farming] no till, Williams cultivator, basket weeders, and whell hoes

Pat Jackowsky 3littlepigsmkt at bellsouth.net
Mon Jul 31 22:19:38 EDT 2006


This year I used Sandea herbicide >>>

What types of weeds/grass does Sandea control? The name is not familiar in 
my parts (MS) but would like to know whatever you can tell me about it.

Thanks,
Pat
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Robert Schuler" <sunnfarm at verizon.net>
To: "Market Farming" <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, July 31, 2006 9:07 PM
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] no till, Williams cultivator, basket 
weeders,and whell hoes


From: Paul Bucciaglia <pbucciaglia at yahoo.com>
Date: 2006/07/30 Sun PM 06:31:26 CDT
To: market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] no till, Williams cultivator, basket weeders, 
and whell hoes

Paul,  Many of us in south Jersey use basket weeders to maintain a dust 
mulch, this not only controls weeds but keeps the soil moisture from wicking 
up. Our soils are flat stone free sandy loam which is well suited for basket 
weeders. I don't think they work well on stony or heavy soils. I use 
herbicides to control weeds in the row and dust mulch to keep the alleys 
clear. When crops get too tall for tractors I run through the row middles 
with a troy built  set to till 1/2 to 1" deep as fast as the tiller will go, 
mostly I barely brush the surface
This year I used Sandea herbicide on tomatoes at the 1/2 ounce per acre 
rate, together with dust mulching I have the most weed free tomatoes ever.
There has been quite a lot of work done in NJ with no till vegetables but 
except for sweetcorn and pumpkins the results have not been good... Bob.
Sunny Meadow Farm
Bridgeton, NJ

  Some unsolicited, heat-induced rambling:    -for a commercial veg farmer 
to get into no till requires investments in equipment and changes in growing 
practices that will cost money in the short term in terms of capital 
aquisition, management time, and potential crop failures. Its a great 
concept, and somethiing I hope to start experimenting with, but for most 
market farmers (earning most or all of their living from farming) its not an 
easy thing to jump into. Too bad the universities throw millions at biotech, 
and only a few daring souls (notably at Virginia and Rodale) venture into no 
till veg. Even fewer have demonstrated commercial success using only organic 
methods (no herbicides). I am not a nay sayer, in fact in 5 years my goal is 
to have 1/4 of my acres under no till (but I ain't starting with arugula and 
carrots, baby!). I think its imporant to first make sure ones business is 
solvent, then start experimenting. I do think people need to more clearly 
think out their reccomendations to a grower to 'just go no-till', theres a 
lot involved.    -re cultivators for roots and alliums: if you have 
relatively stone free soil, the combo of a basket weeder and a tine weeder 
(Lely or Williams both work in my experience, there are other out there 
(Einbock is one) I haven't tried) is hard to beat. Use the basket weeder to 
weed very small seedlings and newly transplanted plants. Once the crop is a 
bit larger or transplants have rooted (ie. they survive the tug test!!!) use 
tine weeder. Usually a fair bit of hoeing and rogueing is requried as well. 
One great use for a basket weeder is to prepare a stale seedbed--let weeds 
germ (but not get to first true leaf stage) and then till top half inch to 
kill weeds, repeat 1 to 2X more after rain or irrigation and you will kill 
95% of weeds before you even plant. THis works best in late spring to late 
summer when enough heat and moisture are present to kill the summer annuals 
(pigweed, crabgrass, lambsquarters, etc) that are our biggest headache. Once 
you get a basket weeder system going it should replace wheel hoe work you 
are currently doing, and yoiu will be very happy with the speed and 
precision of this tool. I have 2 basket weeders, one with all baskets pushed 
togehtert permanenly mounted on an IH 140, and one 3 row basket weeder on AC 
G. I have another G for seeders, hillers, and finger weedres. I got a thing 
for old cultivating tractors. They are cheap, and were the state of the art 
for killing weeeds without chemicals before the world discovered better 
living through chemistry. Still great machines. And very cool and 
     -Hi David. Hope you are a little cooler up there in MA.  Paul 
Bucciaglia  Fort Hill Farm, New Milford CT
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