Monday, June 21, 2010

Weeding Raised Bed Perennials

Every year we say the same thing... This year we're going to get at the weeds before they get too big. Every year we curse ourselves for not being able to do that.

This year we worked on getting attachments to the tractor to help with between row weeding. I got a bar and frame to which I attached two vertical bars to which I attached scrapers.

One scraper is flat to scrape off the heads of the weeds between the rows of lavender.

The other is bent up on one side, to scrape the bottom and side of the raised beds.

They work pretty well, as long as the tractor can fit over the plants and it's not blooming season.

The tractor we have is a 30 horse power New Holland with a clearance of about 14". That is too low for all but some of the angustifolia lavenders. We have one variety, which we really don't know the name (shameful, but no one I've contacted can tell me what it is) that is about 24" tall when it's not blooming, so the low-clearance tractor does some damage to the tops. Luckily, this lavender regrows pretty well. The Provence we have is also too tall, while the Grosso is only slightly too high.

Don Meehan built the scrapers for me. Lucky for me one of his talents is welding. In this picture you can see the raised beds. After the scraper goes through they are more defined.


Nick said...

What a great invention! So do you also use the scrapers form the raised beds, or just adjust them to fit between existing beds? My growing is much smaller scale, but I did recently move up to usig this manually pushed wheel cultivator to loosen the soil in spring and weed all summer.

Not as easy as driving a tractor, but it beats swinging a hoe!

DKSchmidt said...

The large variety, Could it be Grappenhall it grows fast and big.