|The maples above are being grown in an enclosed hoophouse, therefore, preemergence herbicides are not labeled or legal. Sawdust provides an economical alternative for weed control.|
Preemergence herbicides are cheap, effective, and efficient. However, they are not labeled for use in enclosed structures (greenhouses, hoophouses, etc.), they are injurious on some crops (hydrangea, for example), and some growers simply prefer not to use them.
Mulches that are effective for controlling weeds in container crops include sawdust, hazelnut shells, crumb rubber, Biotop, and others. These mulches, however, are not without some problems. See Table 1 for a list of the pros and cons of each mulch, along with their product cost (this table will also be in the Digger article, I'm giving you a sneak-peek).
|A single person can swing the machine into place.|
Sawdust is dumped into the blue hopper with a front-end loader. The machine swivels on the post (left side). A wagon is pulled in front of the hopper, then the hopper is swung around over top of the wagon. The hopper dispenses the mulch as the wagon moves slowly beneath it. One person can easily swing the machine around.
A motor is mounted to the left side of the hopper which turns a drum on the inside. This aids in dispersing the mulch. A latch on the bottom of the hopper can be used to regulate the rate of dispersal, and thus the amount of mulch applied. The speed at which the wagon is pulled beneath the hopper also regulates the amount of mulch applied.
I'm not sure if the equipment is manufactured by a specific company, or if it was fabricated by the nursery (if any of you have seen this before, email me and let me know).
Please email me if you have any ideas for non-chemical weed control alternatives.
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