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‘BENEFICIAL FLOWER BED’ PLANTING PROCESSION ON WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM. To encourage Beneficial Insects that help cont


‘BENEFICIAL FLOWER BED’ PLANTING PROCESSION ON WOOD PRAIRIE FAMILY FARM. To encourage Beneficial Insects that help control insect pests in our crops of Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes we plant Flower Beds in and around our Potato fields.

The Organic Flowers we choose for planting are ones with an earned reputation for nourishing and attracting Beneficials. Flowers like Organic Buckwheat, Organic Cosmos, Organic Phacelia, Organic Blue Flax, Organic California Orange Poppy, Organic Crimson Clover and Organic Tapmaster Daikon Radish.

Since we broadcast a full acre of Organic Flowers it’s impractical to contemplate anything like hand weeding. So, instead we borrow a technique called “Stale Bedding” we relied upon when we used to commercially grow Organic Chantenay Carrots.

We prepare our Flower beds at least a week ahead of planting, and over that week leave the beds untouched, but do water if dry. Then, immediately ahead of planting the Flowers, the germinating weeds on the “Stale Beds” are flame-killed. All the various functions are accomplished in a single pass. Inside the field we seed down alleys where our 26-row sprayer passes.

Here, our Propane Flamer is front-mounted onto the tractor and in operation. The tractor pulls the green ‘Seed Easy’ Drop Seeder, which in turn is followed by the red, rolling ‘Brillion’ Cultipacker which deftly firms up the Flower Seed contact with the soil. With weeds vaporized, the Flowers will germinate and thrive over the Summer in the clean prepared “Stale Bed.”

As a home gardener you can easily replicate our process by acquiring a 500,000-BTU $50 Propane ‘Stump Burner’ torch and attach it to a 20-pound Bar-B-Que-size Propane tank. For ease in our garden, we have strapped that 20-pound tank to an old backpack frame. Works good.

Caleb, Megan & Jim




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