The Mishnah in Kelayim 2:3 records that if one wishes to plant barley in a field currently seeded with wheat, or vice versa, he must wait until the field is wormy, plow it, and then he may seed it. If the wheat has sprouted, he must uproot it before he can seed the barley.

In Mishnah 4, it addresses the same case, but with grapes instead of barley. In the various permutations thereof, the Mishnah rules that one must uproot/plow over what is there, and only then may he seed. However, if the grapes have sprouted already, he may chop them down to within a tefach of the ground, plant the wheat, and then uproot the grapes.

Why is this not true in the other cases? If my wheat has sprouted, why can't I chop it down to within a tefach, plant the barley or grapes, and then uproot the wheat?

  • Boaz on Shevi'it 1:3 says that a vine under a Tefach is not considered a tree (כל שאינו גבוה טפח לא מחשב אילן), but I can't quite follow his reasoning. – Josh May 18 '17 at 10:28
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    @Josh By the same logic, wheat under a tefach should also be okay. (I hasn't seen the Boaz, but I had assumed it's like everywhere else where under a tefach is considered as if it doesn't exist.) – DonielF May 18 '17 at 11:35

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