During the month of August, we prepare the Filbert orchard floor for harvesting the hazelnuts. All season we have been spraying out the weeds and suckers in the tree rows, so they are pretty much clean at this point. We take one last time through with sucker spray just before the nuts fall.
This year we made a tire drag (see photo) to pull between our trees to break up dirt clods and knock down mole hills in the tree row. This is pulled by the quad or gator. We are removing trees in the orchard (10X20 spacing) as they get seriously sick from EFB, so we have open spaces in our close planted orchards. These spaces are also smoothed with our tire drag. This allows the blower on the sweeper to move the nuts in the tree row more effectively.
We have also been scraping the alleyway between the tree rows. The idea is to get it as clean and flat as possible. This makes fewer dips for the hazelnuts to lay in and be missed by the harvester. We go through the orchards between 3 and 6 times with our scraper in the 6 weeks before the nuts fall.