In between planting and harvesting crops, we spend a tremendous amount of time combatting weeds. The first step in the war on weeds is to plant our crops in white or black plastic. White plastic (reflective) is for crops liking cool weather. Black plastic (absorbing) is for heat loving crops.
Here are onions planted in white plastic. You can see on the end of the row, where the black drip irrigation tape is under the plastic, a flush of weeds has begun. This is what our entire row would look like if we didn't cultivate the weeds.
Thanks to this piece of equipment called a Hillside Cultivator, we can travel over the rows of plastic and cultivate the edges. In previous years, we have used many, many human hours string trimming weeds. Very time consuming and wears out string trimmers in a very short period of time.
Another method we have for controlling weeds is cover cropping. Cover crops also add organic matter to the soil and increase the amount of soil biology. This is a cover crop of crimson clover and small grain. Both were planted last fall and allowed to grow over the winter and spring. Before we plant a crop, we will plow them under and allow them to be decomposed by soil