Cultivating the edge of plastic mulch?

Does anyone have pictures and/or descriptions of good systems / tools for cultivating the edge of plastic mulch without damaging it (please include the thickness/gauge of the mulch you use and what kind of soil you’re working in)?

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Hi Sarah
Some vegetable farmers I visited in the thumb of Michigan a few weeks ago were using pairs of fingers (from Pioneer and Tilmor) set vertically to get edge of plastic beds. They were all horse-drawn but concept is same for tractor. At least one really liked it. Here’s a link to the toolbar they used. If you click on the images you can see their edge of plastic arrangement:

I didn’t get to see them use the edge of plastic, but did watch them use this toolbar in cauliflower with traditional fingers set to get in-row weeds. Here’s what that looked like in slow motion:

For edge of plastic they used same toolbar, removed the fingers shown in this video and added the vertical fingers to the linkage. Looked like a really nice system. Wish they made one of these toolbars with a three-point hitch!

Kult-Kress also has video of this kind of set up using their fingers on tractor mount:;ylt=AwrExlRZuwlhV4wAAog2nIlQ?p=kult+kress+edge+of+plastic+fingers&hsimp=yhs-adk_sbnt&hspart=adk&type=yhs-adk_sbnt_appfocus1_ff&param1=17000101&param2=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&param3=searchmanager%7EUS%7Eappfocus1%7E&param4=%7Efirefox%7E%7E&fr=yhs-adk-adk_sbnt&fr2=p%3As%2Cv%3Ai%2Cm%3Apivot#id=1&vid=697c198af95fd02a86cdfcb6f5669853&action=view

Curious if any growers out there have tried this!

Here is a link to a video from one of our customers who uses the edge of plastic finger weeders:

At Tilmor we typically combine the edge of plastic tool with a spyder wheel up front to break crust and move soil onto the edge of the plastic.

Plastic thickness can vary but we sell 1 mil diamond embossed plastic for use with our plastic layer.


Working in medium heavy soils and with 1mil plastic we had good success this year with a Buddingh weeder "plastic trim cone "

In the picture it’s set a little different than what we had the best success with. I found it worked the best when set at a nearly vertical angle and angled slightly toward the bed. This lets it roll like a wheel right along the edge of the plastic. Set this way it can brush along the edge of the plastic and as long as you don’t get too far off you won’t damage the plastic.

This really only gets a couple inches outside of the plastic so we followed it with a lilliston on the 3 point set to hill pretty aggressively.

If I had to choose between the two tools I’d go with the lilliston. It would be doing roughly 90% of the work and the trim cone would be getting the last little bit. It also has a really nice churning action that can uproot and kill some reasonably large weeds.

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