Growing food requires more than knowing seeds and soil. A farmer has to be a jack of all trades. Fixing equipment, putting up fences, laying pipe, designing custom tools, and creating efficient systems is all part of the job.
This Week’s Tools: Drip Tape and Plastic Mulch
Vegetable growers Kyle and Michele Reynolds run flexible plastic drip tape under a layer of plastic mulch to deliver water directly to the plants while also suppressing weeds by blocking out the sun’s light. If the weeds can’t get sunlight, they can’t germinate. The plastic mulch holds in the water and creates a nice moist environment for the plants. Finding ways to maximize resources is another challenge. For instance, the solution to the problem of dripping drip tape connections is to planting something that can use the water.
Look for the taller bright green color in the photo below. Any guesses? Where the water leaked from the drip tape connection, onions were planted.
The Plastic Mulcher In Action
Tools like the plastic mulcher can save a lot of time and get a weeks worth of work done in just a day. But the mulcher’s set spacing doesn’t always work for every planting and sometimes the plastic has to be laid by hand, like it was for this planting of strawberries. When laid by hand, dirt is shoveled over the edge of the plastic.
The drip tape and plastic mulch is pulled up and recycled after each season’s use.