DEAR NEW FARM:
I have 1/4 acre of never farmed land which has been chisel
plowed and disked (by the farmer I'm renting the land from).
This will be my first year market gardening. The Precision
Seeder I was hoping to use for direct seeding is having trouble
with clumps of sod etc. Same thing with the Glaser wheel hoe.
I know that professional market gardeners use this combination
to successfully produce their crop. I want to use cover crops
for weed control management as Ann and Eric Nordell do. If
the seeder and wheel hoe are having trouble with sod clumps
how will I be able to "plow down" the cover crops?
I do not have a tractor or horses. Seeding 1/4 acre by hand
is very labor intensive as I have no help to cut the time
factor. Thank you in advance.
You bring up a very good question, one which I'm sure a lot
of farmers with small land areas need to deal with. A chisel
plow, which was used on your land, is designed to leave at
least 20% of the residue from previous crops on the surface.
While this practice makes sense for farms that can use chemicals
for weed management or large equipment to plant seeds it sure
isn't the best for hand tools or small seeded vegetable crops
as you are finding out. You'll need to work your ground harder
than say a corn or soybean grower would. For that you'll need
to either mold-board plow the land, then have it disked and
harrowed to create a finer seed bed or have the land chiseled
or coursely tilled then use a rototiller or small rotovator,
either a walk behind or something that will fit onto a garden
tractor to create the fine seed bed you are loooking for.
I hope this helps. There are many manufactures of small scale
tillage equipment, so happy shopping.
us with comments, suggestions and questions.