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Video: Mechanical And Chemical Methods Of Weed Control, Prevention
2023 Author: Sebastian Paterson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 11:24
How to beat weeds in your garden
Honestly, although I have been working on the land all my life, I have never seen a truly weed-free garden-vegetable garden - not at my place or at someone else's. Is that in the pictures in various encyclopedias.
In reality, probably beauty! True, you think about what kind of effort it can cost, and the desire to see your garden without weeds somehow disappears by itself. Of course, do not think that in my garden there are no cultivated plants due to weeds. Naturally, it is visible, and even not bad, but I do not set myself the goal of removing all weeds from the site by all means. And I try to approach the solution of this issue in such a way as to make a minimum of effort and get the maximum benefit for cultivated plants, for which, in fact, I am trying. And for this you should not chase every single weed. It is enough to keep the general background in relative order.
And in general, weeds in our gardens cannot be eradicated in principle (probably, in respectable Holland it is possible). But we, unfortunately, Russia, and there is no getting away from this. For example, no matter what efforts I make to destroy weeds, I know very well that there are three other areas around me (fortunately, there is a forest on the fourth side), and at least two of them have weeds as a solid wall. Therefore, in one thing I can be 100% calm: my weeds will never run out.
But you still have to fight!
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I think that theoretically everyone agrees that you want it or not, and it is necessary to carry out systematic work on the destruction of weeds. And the reasons for this are very good. Of course, everyone knows that if you leave the garden for three weeks and go on vacation, then when you return, you will be able to find only a solid wall of weeds, and the crops you planted will not be seen.
By their very nature, weeds are adapted to withstand the worst conditions, they have a truly fantastic resistance. Weed seeds remain viable for decades. At the same time, they reproduce not only by seeds, but also by their roots (sow-thistle, wheatgrass, clover, coltsfoot, etc.), a number of weeds have a very unpleasant feature for us: the more and smaller we chop them, the we "produce" more, because from each branch of the rhizome a healthy new weed plant will grow. Of course, the cultures we grow cannot withstand this. Therefore, without our help, they simply cannot survive.
And it has been scientifically proven that the main factor in reducing the efficiency of grain production is the high weediness of grain crops. Direct weed losses can account for 10 to 70% of the possible yield. For example, practice has proven that the reduction in beet yield without weed control is on average 21%, and in some years it reaches 50-60%. And remember yourself from your practice: if young shoots of carrots or parsley are not weeded in time, you can no longer hope for a harvest. Weeds interfere with the growth of vegetable crops: they shade the plants, rob them of nutrients, water, and can also be a breeding ground for insects and diseases.
As for the control methods, they strongly depend on the specific cultivated plants, the locations of the weeds and their species. In each individual case, you have to resort to a specific method, which, alas, is not universal.
In principle, all measures aimed at combating weeds can be divided into three groups: preventive, mechanical and chemical.
Weed control measures
1. Use clean seed, but this is not a problem for those who purchase varietal seeds in specialized stores;
2. Place the weeds out in compost heaps. In this case, be sure not to forget to sprinkle them with earth or sawdust. In the absence of both, the grass that grows homeless on the paths is quite suitable: for this, it is enough to scrape off all weed vegetation from paths with a thin layer of earth. As a result, the compost heap is in order, and there are fewer weeds on the paths, otherwise they can stand there as a continuous forest. And the soil in the compost heap is simply necessary, because it will absorb all plant juices and rain moisture, will not allow the grass that has burnt out in the process of decomposition to dry, will get rid of a bad smell, and, most importantly, will provide the necessary microorganisms that are required for the production of compost. And with all this, there are no flies, no unsanitary conditions.
3. For compost heaps, I create mini-compost heaps, cover them with earth and plant some greenery on them every week. It turns out very conveniently: the area is not empty, there is no mention of a compost heap on the site, and fresh greens grow by leaps and bounds.
4. Do not put in the compost the rhizomes of those weeds that can easily germinate through a large thickness of organic matter.
5. Do not allow the weeds to have time to form seeds, mowing or at least cutting off flowers and inflorescences before they ripen.
6. Carry out regular mowing of weeds on the paths and around your plot at the very beginning of their flowering.
7. Under trees (apple, cherry, plum), where it is no longer possible to plant any useful crops, it is better to make mini-lawns. Lawns form quickly and provide reliable weed control. And the trees themselves are quite useful.
8. Mulch everything you can to make your life easier in terms of weeding at least to some extent. It is good to mulch raspberries, currants, gooseberries with a thick layer (up to 10 cm) of stale sawdust or bark from peeled trees. Moreover, when used in this way, even the longest strips, naturally formed during sanding, are suitable. It's okay: during the season, almost everything here will rot, and there will be less weeds. Mulching material will greatly impede the germination of weeds, and if they do appear, they can easily be pulled out along with the root. Or you can put a layer of 2-3 newspapers around the same berry fields and only then the mown grass. Weeds will not last long under such a blanket without sunlight.
nine. Strawberry plantings should also be well mulched. In this case, ordinary pine needles should be recognized as an ideal option. I used this option for several years, while not far from the garden, there were huge amounts of pine branches left after the felling of the forestry enterprise. She sprinkled the ridges with needles in a layer of 7-8 cm. Strawberries developed well, the number of weevils decreased, and the berries were less affected by gray rot. I'm not even talking about weeds. They simply weren't there. Now, to my deep chagrin, this source has dried up, and I have to use all kinds of available material: usually newspapers or black covering material, cut into strips. On top of the laid material or newspapers, I lay out pine branches, which perform two functions: they hold the material in place and, to some extent, scare away the weevil. You can also use fresh pine sawdust as a mulching material on strawberries. True, in this case, immediately after picking the berries, you need to sprinkle the sawdust with urea, given the fact that fresh sawdust takes nitrogen from the soil.
10. Very useful (not only for cultivated plants), but for your back too, mulching the row spacing on the ridges. The best mulching material in this case will be stale sawdust or forest litter. Weeds, even with a small layer of mulching material, will not grow so intensively. An increase in the layer of mulch material will lead to an even greater suppression of weed growth. True, it is undesirable to use a large layer of sawdust (even stale ones), since the need for nitrogen will increase (I am not talking about fresh sawdust - they cannot be used at all without preliminary aging in a urea solution).
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Mechanical measures for weed control
1. Mass germination of weed seeds begins at a soil temperature of 9-13 ° C. The early shoots of weeds that have appeared even before sowing vegetable crops can be easily destroyed on the ridges by ordinary loosening with a rake.
2. As for the row spacing, there are different options: cutting (as I said above) a thin layer of soil with perennial weeds with a shovel and sending it to compost. As for the most "harmful" weeds such as dandelion, wheatgrass or sow thistle, it is more convenient to use a flat cutter or pitchfork and loosen the soil a little. Then there is the hope that it will be possible to pull out the root entirely, and the unwelcome guest will no longer appear in this place. As for the dandelion, in general, by itself (not in the garden, of course) it is a useful culture (medicinally), especially in May-June. Therefore, "combing" your site in this way, you can well stock up on dandelions for the long winter. Well, it is better to safely send the sow thistle and wheatgrass to the fire. Nice welcome, of courseit should be recognized and sprinkling the row spacing with a thick layer of sand or other similar materials. White paths look especially beautiful. This method saves you from weeds well, but, alas, not everyone can afford it.
3. Naturally, even without the usual weeding on the ridges, like it or not, you will not manage. And here no tricks will help, and the first weeding of small seedlings is as necessary today as it was 100 years ago.
4. There are also quite exotic, but, nevertheless, according to the literature (it was not possible to check it myself, there is a problem with living creatures), very effective methods of combating weeds. For example, since 1989 in the United States, geese have been widely used to destroy weeds on strawberry plantations. Only small-sized geese can be used, as large birds will crush cultivated plants. The area to be saved is fenced off with a portable mesh fence. Geese graze on this site for 2-3 days, after which they are transferred to the next one, until they thus clear the entire field. Geese are very picky in food and do not like strawberry plants, but when there is nothing to eat on the site, they will pounce on strawberries. Therefore, this process must be controlled. In addition, the geese must be driven out into the field,while the weeds are still small (up to 10 cm) - geese do not like large weeds, and if they are late, the weeds will have to be destroyed by hand. 3-4 days before the start of the first strawberry harvesting, the geese are removed from the field and re-started only at the end of the berry collection, where they graze until autumn, feeding the strawberries along the way.
Weed control chemical measures
The chemical method is understood to mean the use of herbicides. Naturally, this option is quite dangerous, and they resort to it only as a last resort.
We have the drug Roundup as a means of weed control. Very often it is used to destroy weeds in newly developed territories, on ridges (where crops are planted quite late and the weeds have already sprung up and got stronger, - 7-10 days before sowing plants in ridges), on trails (if no other options help) … It can be effectively used for the destruction of weeds and along fences, paths, around manor buildings.
But, to be honest, I prefer to use this drug only to combat malicious perennial weeds such as wheatgrass, sow thistle, coltsfoot, etc., because others can still be dealt with in another way.
At the same time, Roundup is indispensable in the development of a site, when, instead of digging and knocking out a solid sod, you can spray the developed area with a preparation, wait until the weeds finally die, and then begin to form high ridges, under which the sod will rot by itself. Of course, you will still have to dig the territory, but this can be postponed, for example, for a year. By this time, a kind of earth will have formed, the sod from perennial weeds will rot, and digging will become much easier. In addition, you will not waste even a year in vain: some greens and simple vegetables can be grown on high ridges, made in a hurry.
In Holland, Roundup is widely used to control weeds on potato (processing is carried out 3-4 days before the emergence of potatoes) and cabbage fields. Autumn spraying of overgrown weeds is also used: after harvesting crops, but before the first stable frosts.
True, you need to use the drug near other plants with extreme caution, otherwise instead of weeds, you will destroy useful crops. And vice versa, observing the utmost care, you can quickly get rid of those stubborn weeds that "plagued" you for a fairly long period. There are several rules for working with this drug, and it is better not to forget about them:
- it is impossible to process in the wind, since spray can fall on neighboring plants;
- processing can be carried out only in stable good weather, because rains will wash away the preparation, and naturally there will be no results.