Weed control, the chemical aspect of pest control, essentially seeks to prevent weeds, particularly harmful non-native weeds, from taking over desirable natural vegetation and fauna in urban and suburban areas, and in more natural settings discouraging non-native species from competing with native plants and animals. The chemical approach often referred to as weed kill, seeks to either restrict weed growth or use chemicals to eradicate them completely. This form of control is favored because it is less likely to be detected and, if discovered, less likely to result in significant environmental harm. Yet, despite its appeal, weed control can be laborious, costly, and often not without some degree of danger. In this guide, we’ll examine some common weeds that can be successfully controlled by a wide range of weed kill methods.
Weeds are a major source of organic matter, nitrogen, and gas among other elements, and, consequently, their removal can significantly reduce crop production costs. It’s true that some weed killers are much more effective than others at controlling weeds. One thing that crop producers need to remember is that the weed killer itself will probably not do much to protect a newly planted field of grass from a few healthy white-flies or beetles. The invaders have to find ways to get into the crop field through soil or plant roots. The best means for eliminating these potential invaders is prevention through proper timing of application, and this requires some careful consideration on the part of the crop producer.
In respect of prevention, there are a number of approaches to protect an area from unwanted weed intrusion. While some experts recommend cover crops as a weed control method, this approach has a number of drawbacks. While crop cover can prevent weeds from establishing, it does so in an indirect manner. The weeds do establish initially, but after the crop is harvested, they have to move on. Cover crops take the seed, fertilizer, and other nutrients from the soil, while also preventing sunlight from reaching the seed, thus reducing its life cycle and preventing it from germinating.
There are a number of weed management strategies that involve rotations of crops, the planting of crop rotation programs, and the use of certain fertilizers. Rotating crops allow for control of a number of weeds without supplemental applications. These rotational crop management methods require that the seed is spread over a number of years, usually with the planting of new crops in the middle of the previous year. For example, if a field of corn is planted in the middle of soybeans, no new corn will grow in the field during the corn growing season. This type of rotational weed control is often used when the weeds are very resistant or extremely sensitive to some pesticides or fertilizers.
Weed control through tillage tools and equipment has become very popular, especially with organic gardeners who wish to control some of the most common weed problems. Tillage tools include rotary tools, electric tillage equipment, knives, spades, hand trowels, and other tools that break up the soil and loosen soil surface layers. Many organic farmers tilled their fields to break up areas of weeds. Tilling is often used with organic cottonseed oil and flaxseed oil, which have the dual purpose of softening hard soil and nourishing the root system for seed production. Organic weed control tiller systems can also be rented or purchased at many garden centers.
Many weed control techniques also rely on black plastic, which acts as an effective trap and decorate soil of various unwanted pest species. It is made of PVC, woven of polyethylene, and forms the perimeter of the planting bed or around the outside of the structure. Weed seeds and roots will not penetrate into black plastic, therefore killing them before they have a chance to sprout. However, it is important to make sure that the black plastic is kept clear of surface soils as weed seeds will eventually germinate in the dark, absorbable soils, causing undesirable seedbed problems.