During the intensive period of the summer growing season between December 2005 – March 2006 [4 months], Massey University researchers kept a log book as to the time taken to hand weed two organically grown crops, namely:
Capsicum or sweet pepper cv. Zola F1, and
Tomatoes cv. Scorsby Dwarf.
As a guide only, based on Massey’s written records, hand weeding the unmulched beds at monthly intervals [four hand weedings during this trial period] to ensure good organic practise and maximise the crop yield for both the capsicums and tomatoes amounted to approximately 30 minutes per square meter or 3 minutes per square foot.
This was averaged over 2 crops and for the tomatoes was slightly less due to the greater competitiveness of the plants.
Organic growers can now directly compare the cost of using EcoCover, an IFOAM approved highly effective organic weed control, against their true cost of hand weeding [time versus local labour cost] and the added difficulty many growers are having in finding suitable labour for this task.
The superior crop yield and quality benefits of using EcoCover compared to black plastic are reported in an earlier Lastest Newsitem dated 20 June, 2006.
EcoCover is a unique, cost effective solution that will provide growers with superior returns.