being green has a cost. in my case last night, it was time.
i planted clover as a cover crop in my raised beds to help build up the soil. the plan was to rototill the plants in once i am ready to plant.
last night i started to do just that. rototill the clover into the beds. lets just say it was less than successful.
in order to ease the rototiller's work, i sheared the clover with hedge shears - but to no avail. the clover wrapped around the mantis tiller's axle and about every 3-5 minutes i was trying to cut away clover so the mantis could continue its tilling task.
plan 'A' was a bust.
plan 'B' - which wasnt really plan 'B' because i did not fathom i would have a wrapping issue with the mantis. hence no plan.
but plan 'B' was hastily thrown together and turned out that i would have to pull out the majority of the plants or said plants would wrap around the mantis tiller shaft and grind it to a screeching halt. it worked, as i only had to clear clover about two times while rototilling a bed.
the problem is i spend about 30 minutes per bed pulling out the clover plants. which means less clover being put into the beds. dont get me wrong - the clover isnt being wasted. my youngest son (in his endeavor to earn enough money to buy a leopard gecko) is cheerfully taking the pulled/sheared clover to the compost pile. so the clover will be destined for the beds - eventually. another surprise is how deep those roots of the clover go. most of these plants are just locked in to the dirt and arent easily pulled up.
last night, i got through 5 of the 12 beds - way slower than i anticipated. BUT i did get to listen to the rivercats get beat up by the SLC bees (come on cats whats up with you guys this year).
for 2010 - it seems this is a lesson learned. a quick google search shows a weed wrap preventer for the mantis - anyone have any experience on this contraption?