Horticultural Crops
Basket Weeder

Match tillage timing, depth and location to crop root growth. Weed control varies with soil conditions and weed density.

Overview: Rolling baskets made of quarter-inch spring wire thoroughly weed the top inch of soil without moving soil into the crop row. Works only with small weeds in soil that is friable and not crusted, and cannot handle long-stemmed residue. One of better tools for emergency weeding in moist soils with minimal clay content. Units are custom-made as to basket width (2" to 14"), axle width and mounting positions. Flat (bed-top), slant (bed sides), angled (row hills) and offset (for extra-wide spacing overlap) basket shapes can be configured to meet many field conditions. Telescoping center baskets provide the ability to cover a varying width - e.g., as crops grow to make the between-row area narrower - by increasing or decreasing the degree of overlap. Baskets can be adjusted to overlap and used for broadcast cultivation with no crop present.

Design Features: Baskets 13.5" diameter and of various widths are mounted the width of the unit on a square axle. A chain connects a gear on the front axle with a smaller gear on the rear axle set back about 20", rotating the rear baskets at a faster rate for a more aggressive mulching and aerating effect.

diagram of a basket weeder

Model for comparison: three crop rows on a 40" bed
Rec. PTO HP: 30
4 to 8 mph
List price:
$1,380 to $1,500
Width range (all makers/all models): 1 to 18 rows

Sources: 15 (K series), 53
Farmers: Gemme, Harlow

TIP: For more aggressive action in a broadcast application in raised beds, find a section of a spiral bar rolling incorporator. These are often used as finishing or residue incorporating rollers behind a field cultivator or chisel plow. Belly mounted, a 4-foot section can be an excellent, low-cost, high-speed way to kill flushes of small weeds on a bed under stale seedbed management.