Weed 'Em and Reap Part 1: Tools for Non-Chemical Weed Management in Vegetable Cropping Systems [DVD]. A. Stone. 2006. Oregon State University Dept. of Horticulture. Corvallis, Oregon. Available at: http://www.weedemandreap.org (verified 17 Dec 2008).
Mark Wheeler, Pacific Botanicals. Grants Pass, OR.
This is another weed control piece of equipment. It’s actually made to rake hay. It’s a hayrake. This does a similar job to the Lely tine weeder, however its much more aggressive. I got the idea for using this from a piece of equipment made in Yakima, Washington by Northwest Tiller Company. They make what they call a finger weeder and it looks almost exactly like this machine. The thing about the Northwest machine is these tines are much more delicate and thin and they bend easier, whereas on this hayrake, they’re very stiff. They don’t give very much at all.
These tines or fingers come around and they just rake the soil perpendicular to the direction of travel. You can see that the leading edge tine is shorter. What this does, if there are any grass clods or residue in the way, it removes those first and then these come in and scrape the soil. This is PTO powered, it's not ground powered. What you can do is run this at any rpm you want and you just adjust the gear that you’re in. If you need a lot more aggressive control and you need these tines to go over the plant many times, you go in a low gear. However if you just want do a light once-over, you go in a higher gear, say up to 3 or 4 mph. Usually, though, I run this machine fairly slow, at about 2 mph. It seems to do a good job on most weeds.
I use this mostly on second year perennials, in the early spring. You could also use it on annuals in the summer, or smaller plants if you set it very light. Sometimes when we’re going to harvest a root crop, we have to mow the tops of the crop off first and sometimes in cases where you have a large amount of residue sitting on top of the root crop that you want to dig, you need to move that residue off the field before you can move a digger through. So we’ll run this hayrake through and rake it off in front of the digger. Then the digger can see right where the roots are and dig them out.
If you look to the rear of the machine you’ll see a couple of adjustable wheels. These go up and down and you can adjust the depth and the tension that these tines hit. These tines will go almost 2 inches deep in the ground if you want. In general, we run them much lighter, just brushing the top of the ground.