This contraption hooked to the tractor is perhaps our new favorite farm tool. It is a plastic mulch layer. But, it doesn't only lay plastic mulch. It lays drip-tape, digs up soil and then covers the edge of the plastic mulch to hold it down. All in one smooth action!
This attachment is on loan from Farmer George. We are so thankful to have it. The benefits of this attachment are many. Plastic mulch keeps the weeds at bay and holds moisture in the soil. Drip tape enables water to go exactly where we need it and not be lost to evaporation. The attachment also means Farmer John and I aren't trying to fight a roll of plastic all on our own - something we tried once without much success.
Now, it's not completely perfect. Since our ground isn't perfectly level sometimes the plastic doesn't get covered, or the row isn't straight. However, its easy to cover up any spots it missed, and the plants don't care if the row isn't straight.
Farmer John and I made eight rows the other day. We are still working on planting them - peppers, pumpkins, melons, squash, and eggplant will go in the ground soon. Then the drip tape system will have to be hooked up to the water pump. For now we are just excited about all this space in the garden that will be weed free!
And, since it is a little hard to imagine how this contraption works, here's a video of it in action: