Friday, June 28, 2013

Fun With Farm Implements

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:

5 comments:

  1. Great video. Now I get it and can understand why this is your new favorite farm implement!

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  2. Hot diggety dog! I saw long rows of cukes and zukes growing out of that stuff 2 weeks ago at Fish Hawk Acres... but never knew it was put down with the help of a tractor! I like how the ?discs? push some dirt over the edges... to hold it down maybe? Thanks 4 sharing.

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  3. Does the plastic stay there for a few years or do you have to replace it every spring? Does the plastic keep the rain out?

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  4. Not only is this a very useful implement, but I value that it is "on loan" from another farmer doing what you are doing. That's a thoughtful bond and a good use of resources. Thanks, Farmer George!

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  5. Lorraine in WisconsinJuly 3, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    I agree with Rockford Dad. It's good karma to co-op with others on equipment like this. Some inconvenience is expected when you share, but it promotes harmony and community. Now if the plastic is biodegradable or able to be re-used or recycled somehow, that would be a real plus! I do appreciate how it will save time and effort and is surely a much better solution than Round-Up for weed control.

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