Today, potatoes are one of the basic crops that form the basis of human diets. It is found in almost any dish as a primary or additional ingredient. Therefore, it is essential to know more about the technique of its cultivation, especially about the weeding procedure, without which it is impossible to get a decent crop of potatoes.
How to weed the potatoes with a trimmer?
There are various methods of weeding potatoes. from traditional hand to weed using mechanisms. Each of them has its pros and cons, and experienced experts say that the best effect is obtained if you use these methods in combination. The main tools with which you can weed potatoes include trimmer (chopper).
Trimmer. It is a trimmer that is powered by electricity or burning fuel (gasoline, diesel). As a cutting tool is used fishing line, plastic or metal knives, cutters. The advantage of the trimmer is the speed of weeding potatoes, which is impossible to achieve with hand weeding. At the same time, with the help of the mowers alone, you cannot spud potatoes.
The trimmer is used primarily by fans of organic farming. They believe that it is impossible to pile up the soil or too often loosen the soil, and even more so. cut away the plants from the garden bed, as the nutrients that they managed to get from the soil are taken with them. On the contrary, supporters of organic farming believe that trimmed weeds should be left in the garden.
At the same time, they perform the following functions:
- act as a mulch, long do not allow to grow the following weeds and retain moisture;
- attract worms and microorganisms that process weeds into nutrients, thereby fertilizing the soil.
Weeding with a trimmer should be carried out when the weeds are still small and easily cut with a knife.
At the same time, it is important to follow these weeding rules:
- work should be done in a respirator and goggles since dust is formed during the work of the trimmer, and small pebbles fly around;
- you cannot work when there are other people in front of the trimmer;
- the trimmer knife can be dredged into the ground by no more than 1-1.5 cm;
- it is possible to work with a trimmer when the first shoots of potatoes are designated. Otherwise, there is a risk of cutting them;
- if the trimmer is thin, every 10-15 minutes you should take a break to cool the engine;
- At the end of the season, knives and trimmer surfaces must be treated with fungicides, as there is a risk that they will cause pathogens of potatoes.
How to weed hoe?
Hoe. This is a more traditional hand tool for weeding, which is a hybrid of hoes and shovels. The advantage of the hoe is that it can be used not only for weeding but also for hilling potatoes. The disadvantage is that chopper operation requires considerable physical effort and time for processing.
When weeding with a hoe, it is important to follow these rules:
- Before work, check the blade for proper serviceability, its attachment to the handle;
- work better with gloves, as the blisters are rubbed quickly;
- weeding should be combined with hilling bushes;
- the blowing technique is important. the sharp edge of the hoe immediately enters the ground, then this action continues with a cutting motion on itself;
- weed and spud should be so as not to turn out the wet layers of soil;
- weeds are better left in the crests of the beds;
- the beds should not be sharp; it is better to leave a groove in the middle in which rainwater will collect, thereby additionally feeding the bushes.
Terms of weeding potatoes
Potato sprouts, as a rule, appear after 2-2.5 weeks, at the same time, the appearance of weeds on the plot can be observed as early as 5-6 days after planting potatoes. Therefore, weeding should be carried out already from this time. For the first weeding on a plot with a smooth fit, it is better to use a chopper or flat-cutter, as the rows are still poorly visible and there is a risk that a trimmer or a harrow will cut the sprouts of potatoes that have not yet reached the surface. If the potatoes were planted using the mechanized method of cutting the bedrock ridges, you could use trimmers and tiller for weeding. After the first weeding, its further frequency is set independently, based on the growth rate of the weeds. On average, the frequency is once every two weeks. When the potato bushes get stronger and become such that it will be impossible to walk between them, weeding is not required.
How to weed the potatoes quickly?
In any case, weeding potatoes will require some effort and time. At the same time, some ways allow you to do it faster, while weeding with an ordinary hopper is the slowest way.
First of all, it is essential to remember that it is better to shed the ground 2-3 days before weeding, as it will be harder to weed into dry land. At the same time, it is not necessary to flood the area so much that dirt remains on it for several days. this will not only delay weeding but may also hurt plant health.
From hand tools, quicker weeding will provide flat-cutters of the type “Swift”, “Gardener”, which can additionally be equipped with star-shaped wheels to facilitate movement. Weeding is performed by forwarding movements from oneself, deepening the blade of the tool by 2-3 cm.
From mechanical tools, quick weeding will provide a trimmer or tiller. As mentioned above, the trimmer can only be weeded, but not spud the beds. At the same time, on the tiller, you can install a V-shaped attachment, which will ensure the cutting of high-quality ridges in the beds of potatoes.
Is it possible to weed potatoes during flowering?
Regarding this issue, experienced agronomists and amateur gardeners were divided into two camps: some believe that the potato should never overgrow with weeds even during the flowering of potatoes, others believe that at this stage the overgrowing of potatoes with weeds will not harm the crop, so weeds it is already possible not to weed, but to mow along with the leaves when harvesting.
At the same time, everyone agrees that weeding potatoes during flowering will not hurt him. First of all, it will allow keeping the beds clean up to the harvest. Also, when weeding, loosening of the earth and its saturation with oxygen coincide. Since potatoes like loose earth and oxygen, weeding potato bushes during flowering will only have a positive effect.
Machinery for weeding potatoes.
It cannot be argued that there is an ideal mechanism for weeding potatoes that would satisfy the needs of any farmer. Therefore, to choose the right mechanism for weeding potatoes, it is important to know about the existing mechanisms and the cases in which this or that mechanism or attachment is used for it. In the video below, you can learn how to weed potatoes with the help of tiller.
Tiller with rotating cutters.
A tiller is a multifunctional machine that, depending on the type of nozzle, allows you to perform operations such as cultivation, weeding, milling, transporting small carts, digging up root vegetables.
The main components are the frame, engine, transmission, working shaft, and guide handles. Besides, various nozzles perform a specific function. Tiller and work on the internal combustion engine, at the same time, they are two-and four-stroke.
For mechanized weeding (cultivation), a special nozzle is used. a milling cutter. It consists of a series of sharp star-shaped plates that are put on the working shaft. During operation, they rotate, grinding and pulling weeds from the ground. The same nozzle is suitable for mixing organic fertilizers with the soil.
Tiller with lancet paws.
Another nozzle for a tiller, suitable for weeding potatoes. lancet paws. The nozzle is a frame to which small V-shaped plows are attached. When weeding it with a nozzle, the blades of the plow should be dredged 2-3 cm into the soil.
Weeding method. cutting weeds. Allows you to perform high-quality weeding in a small amount of time. The advantage of paws in comparison with the cutter is that the paws are gentle to the soil, do not turn out its wet layers, and do not form dense clouds of dust when working.
Trimmer potato weeding.
Above we have already spoken about the effectiveness and rules of weeding potatoes with a trimmer. At the same time, trim and nozzle devices are so simple that you can do your nozzles with your own hands. At the same time, the trimmer will not lose its effectiveness, but on the contrary, it will be more careful to influence the beds.
DIY trimmer tips.
Craftsmen suggest many options for making nozzles for a trimmer with their own hands. Here are some examples.
For the manufacture of “three-layer” blade hedgehog need a piece of tin 5 mm thick. Using a marker, draw three circles with a diameter of 320, 220 and 110 mm. Next, you need to cut these circles with a cutter, and in the center of each circle, make a hole for the working shaft. With the help of welding and reinforcement, these “knives” are connected at a distance of 1-2 cm. Nails are welded to the disks. The result is an excellent nozzle hedgehog for the tiller.
There is another option. For this we need:
- a rectangular piece of perforated metal 100 mm wide, up to 5 mm thick;
- 4 nuts;
- 4 large and small washers;
- 2 hacksaw blades.
For the manufacture of nozzles from a piece of metal cut square 100×100 mm. A hole is drilled in the center for the working shaft. Next, the blades of the hacksaws are cut at the edges and grinded from the outside until they are rounded. The resulting blades are screwed to the corners of the square with the cutting side in the direction of movement of the trimmer. For this, the bolt is inserted into the holes of the plate and the blades of the knives below. From above, they first put a large washer on, then a small one, and from above, they tighten it with a nut, which they do not tighten too much so that the knives can move freely.
Nozzles for tillers.
In addition to the above tips for tillers, there are others to which attention should be paid.
Rotational hedgehogs are a nozzle, on the sides of which three metal disks of different diameters are placed — from a disk of a larger diameter from the inside of the nozzle to a disk of a smaller diameter from the outside. Metal pins are placed along the edges of the disk. This nozzle is suitable for almost any type of tiller, perfectly raises and weeds the beds from 50 to 70 cm wide.
According to the principle of their action, conical hedgehogs for tiller are similar to rotational ones. But, in contrast to the rotary ones, the three metal disks are replaced with a lattice metal cone, on the lattices of which metal pins are also welded. It should be noted that weeding beds using conical hedgehogs, the least time-consuming method of weeding.
This nozzle can be used not only for weeding but also for loosening the ground, digging the soil with fertilizers and other purposes. not for nothing this attachment has the popular name “soil cutter”. The shape of the nozzle can be different. from disks with smooth edges, to star-shaped, pin-like nozzles. The main principle of work, however, is one. the mill rotates, grinding the soil with weeds and fertilizers. The main advantage of the nozzle is its versatility.
Appliances for weeding potatoes with your own hands.
Recently, it is quite difficult to find a high-quality factory tool at a low price, which forces farmers and gardeners to produce their weeding tools. At the same time, metal tools, so that without the use of a welding machine and welding skills they will be hard to do.
So, homemade products of the type of flat cutter are top-rated for hand weeding. The working tool is a sharpened square frame, in front of which a hedgehog-type attachment is attached, which facilitates the movement of the device during weeding. The finished nozzle is mounted on a wooden nozzle. This product is easy to make yourself using a welding machine, as well as existing metal fragments and factory designs of tools that have become unusable.
To make a device that can simultaneously perform both weeding and hilling potatoes, you can take the frame of an old bicycle, leaving one wheel on it. On the other hand, a V-shaped plow attachment should be attached to the base of the frame.
Methods of growing potatoes without weeding.
Particularly radical adherents of green farming argue that potatoes are not worth weeding at all without harming the future harvest. At the same time, this method was invented in the nineteenth century and is actively used by some agronomists. Weed control is also present in this method, but it has a different form.
For the cultivation of potatoes without weeding the soil is prepared in the autumn. It should be cleaned of weeds in advance to do this, dig or plow, but without loosening so that the ground breathes better. After that, hummus is mixed into the soil with ashes, urea, nitrogen and potash fertilizers, which are detrimental to the Colorado beetles and other pests. Above the plot is covered with a thick layer of straw.
In autumn and winter, the straw will prepare, preventing pests and weeds from entering the soil, forming a layer of natural mulch. Germinated potatoes are planted without removing this mulch, fertilizing the wells with previously prepared hummus.
After germination, a layer of mulch prevents the appearance of weeds, maintains a favorable temperature regime of the soil, and retains moisture.
Thus, weeding potatoes is an integral part of the cultivation of potatoes, although there are growing methods that do not imply weeding. There are also many devices for weeding potatoes. from traditional hand-made to mechanized ones. Undoubtedly, the use of modern mechanized tools greatly facilitates and accelerates the process of weeding potatoes.