Savage Farming

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Weed

Technically, that's a plant growing somewhere you don't want it to. Rather an egotistical definition but there you go.

Since these (extremely odd) rains have blown through weed control has become our paramount activity. My least favorite work and one which I must pursue diligently for the next several days. Fortunately I have more machinery these days to help facilitate the procedure.

The higher humidity is accelerating our corn too so we are suddenly faced with harvest starting around the 25th. Luckily we've still got last years signage and of course the metal building which I still think of as new even though it's 3 years old. So we can just open with very little prep work.

Oh yeah, and I pulled off the first big tomato yesterday. So we should have corn, tomatoes, black berries, cabbage, beets, onions and potatoes for our opening. Not a bad line up for an early starting season (we usually open August 1.)

May all your weeds be easy to pull.

5 Comments:

  • I must agree with you on the weed situation!! Same here in the South. Rain brings out the grass and weeds. And I too, absolutely HATE that part of this process. When you spray, how do you keep it off the vegetable plants? I've killed some of the wrong things before!! Love to see some pictures posted of your farm(s) and the veggies growing!

    By Blogger Don, at 6:23 AM  

  • So.... figured out I must be about 2 miles from your corn patch. Moved here a couple years ago from Alaska and finding all kinds of weeds we are unfamiliar with. What the heck is with that morning glory vine? How do you get rid of it? I have dug and dug and pulled root spaghetti, and still it comes back...!

    By Blogger hunt1803, at 12:44 PM  

  • Hi Don,
    I generally try to keep herbicides away from my plants all together by using mechanical or cultural means first. Lots of people will use a pre-emergence spray of round-up over a seeded field directly before sprout. This provides several weeks of early control but doesn't work so well in mixed fields like mine. When I have to get spray near plants I simply use some form of shielding. In the case of a hand tank I will sometimes cut the bottom off a gallon plastic milk jug and insert the spray wand through the mouth of the bottle. A few wraps of duct-tape and Voila! shielded sprayer. I also have a larger enclosed 4 nozzle sprayer for doing roadways and fallow fields with round-up. It also helps to be aware of the spray you are using. 2-4D for instance is extremely toxic to beans and should never be sprayed anywhere close to them. When spraying close to wanted plants, reduce your concentration a bit too that way if a little fine drift gets on your plants it wont hurt them so bad.

    Hi Hunt1803,
    Are you 2 miles towards Gold Hill or Grants Pass? If it's towards Grants Pass than you are right near my mom and dad's place, the old farm.

    We'll be open for business starting this Wednesday, maybe you can stop by for some corn, summer squash or other summer fruit or vegetable.

    Morning glory/bindweed is quite a pain but you can use a combination of 2-4D and round-up to good affect. Persistence is the key. Oh, and you can never mechanically remove it. Some varieties can have roots up to 20 feet long. You MUST kill it with spray.

    By Blogger The Guy, at 7:22 PM  

  • I'm towards GP, so must be close to your folk's place. We are having an absolute blast gardening in this flood plain silt. Everything grows like crazy, and impresses even us ex-Alaskans. Does Roundup break down into organics after a while? Maybe I shouldn't be so paranoid about spray, but we never used it in Alaska and are unfamiliar with it. We did try it on some of our garden this year to try to kill the morning glory, which we discovered last year was a most formidable foe. We must have spread an existing infestation through our whole chosen garden area when we rototilled a couple years ago. The part we sprayed this spring is lying fallow since I wasn't too keen on planting anything right after spraying; plus I wanted to make sure those darned weeds and their roots were good and dead before I re-rototilled the area. The unsprayed part I planted with veggies and am trying to control weeds mannually. But like you said, that is just not working out - the 'bindweed' is wrapping around my tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and squash faster than I can pull it. Especially since the rain last week. We dug up a new area far from the bindweed infested area to put in some beans and corn, since more than half the regular garden area was sprayed. Since that was rather late I imagine I'll be down to get some corn and stuff from you when you open. BTW, I've noticed a weedy looking plant that someone is cultivating about 4/10 of a mile from your corn patch, towards GP. What is that stuff? And why do our fruit trees seem to dump on the ground before they are ready to eat? I've got at least a million gardening and orcharding questions, maybe I'll catch you in person at the veggie stand...

    By Blogger hunt1803, at 9:30 PM  

  • The weedy looking plant you noticed is almost certainly a patch of sugar beet seed. There are several sugar beet seed operations in this part of the world, mostly dept. of agriculture contractors I understand. Actually pretty high-tech stuff.

    The primary active ingredient in round-up is glycine, an amino acid without which animals can not survive. Likewise, plants can not metabolize glycine so the phosphate form in round-up collects in and kills the plants roots. Round-up is also called Glyphosate which is short for glycine phosphate. So yes, it does break down into a very eco-friendly collection of organic compounds (organic in the chemistry sense) which bacteria just love.

    If I were you, before fall rolls around, I would plant that fallow field to a green manure cover crop like oats-and-peas or red clover. Peas and clover will both fix lots of nitrogen for your soil.

    By Blogger The Guy, at 9:57 PM  

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