Clearing weeds the old way

‘Tis the season for many of our most troublesome weeds to flower, which is exactly the best time to control them by mowing, after they have expended their energy making flowers, but before they go to seed.  Our largest pasture was cleared by a contractor with heavy equipment, and the BCS is soon to get busy on the smaller pastures, but there are lots of little corners we can’t even get our BCS flail mower into that require really small scale equipment.

My scythe is in need of peening, so it is having trouble with the thicker weeds.  I decided to get out the string trimmer and give it a try.  I’d never before managed to start a pull-start engine, but farming has done a lot for my upper body strength, and I actually managed it, got a few feet into the mass, and realized I wasn’t cutting well because I was out of string.  So off to the store we went for more trimmer string.  When perusing products, we encountered the “Ugly Head Hybrid Trimmer Head” which claimed to reduce line breakage and convert to a light brush blade. We got the trimmer head home, and gave it a whirl. Hubby took point with the trimmer, and advanced on the burdock. He quickly realized strings were not sufficient and switched to the brush blades. I watched him for a little while carefully nibbling away at each stalk, and then I went and got my billhook. Before I could even propose a contest, he had turned off the trimmer and started to study the problem.

I cleared a good path with the billhook, then hubby asked for the billhook and I went and found the machete. In short order we cleared the patch together, and freed the tangled wreck of last year’s chicken tractor from the weeds. (Snow load did it in, the next model will be modular so we can fit it up in the loft out of season.)

The string trimmer may see some love again in some fence line maintenance, but for the time being she’s parked back in the garage. I guess I need to get around to setting up a peening log soon.  Sometimes the old fashioned way really does work best.