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Agricultural and gardening activities during the shemitah year

Agricultural and gardening activities during the shemitah year

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Home Garden

Heter Mechirah

Otzar Beit Din
Subject to the rabbinical court's guidelines

Preparing the ground for planting (marking holes in the ground, setting up trellises, stakes, etc.)

Sowing seeds

×

➡ Permitted by a non-Jew

×

Plowing/digging to
sow/plant

×

➡ Permitted by a non-Jew

×

Planting – vegetables

×

➡ Permitted by a non-Jew

×

Planting – trees

×

×

×

Grafting

×

➡ When necessary (for filler plants) – permitted by a non-Jew in a hothouse

×

Watering

Fertilizing

× Instead, apply slow-release fertilizer before shemitah

Covering trees with netting to prevent pests from entering

Removing rocks

× To prepare for planting/sowing

√ To prepare a path – pile the stones next to the dirt work

➡ To prepare for planting/sowing – permitted by a non-Jew

√ To prevent damage to agricultural vehicles, etc.

× To prepare for planting/sowing

√ To prevent damage to agricultural vehicles, etc.

Training onto a trellis

× To increase growth

 

√ To prevent damage to the tree

× To increase growth

√ To prevent damage to trees/ allow passage of agricultural vehicles

Thinning (uprooting) trees

√ To prevent maladies

× To prevent crowding

√ To prevent maladies

× To prevent crowding

√ To prevent maladies

× To prevent crowding

Spraying weeds

Mowing the lawn mechanically to protect trees

√ Above ground

√ Above ground

√ Above ground

Weeding manually for aesthetic purposes (only when impossible to do so mechanically or by
spraying)

Clipping rootsuckers to protect the tree

Spraying and using pesticides

Pruning grapevines

×

➡ Permitted by a non-Jew

➡ Permitted according to rabbinical court guidelines

Pruning

× To encourage growth

√ Not to encourage growth – with a shinuy (unusual manner)

➡​ Permitted by a non-Jew

If without pruning there will not be a yield or when there is a concern that the tree will collapse

Pruning/clipping not to encourage growth
(sanitary purposes, malady prevention, to allow the passage of vehicles)

Pinching back foliage in grapevines (pruning) to allow in sprays and air

×

Shaping young trees
(clipping ends, tying)

× Unless irreversible damage will occur to the tree if not done

 

Treatments to increase the quantity of the yield

×

Fruit thinning

×

Before chanatah
(beginning of the fruit's development) or after a third of the fruit's growth

Removing orlah fruit

× Instead, remove
buds

× Instead, remove
buds

 

Harvesting

√ In small quantities

Sanitation
Removing mummies (small, undeveloped fruit) left on trees and putting them on the ground to reduce pests

Fixing trellises, netting, stakes, etc.

Only when there is damage to the tree/vine and repair cannot wait until the eighth year

Only when there is damage to the tree and repair cannot wait until the eighth year

Only when there is damage to the tree and repair cannot wait until the eighth year