One of the most consistent challenges that farmers face is weed management. They provide a competition for space, nutrients, water and light, and really just look horrible in-between beautiful crops.
Understanding the habits of weeds will prevent the costly effects on productivity, and the cost of the equipment and chemicals needed to control them. The more humans disturb reproductive structures, the greater their ability will be to occupy sites through seed dormancy and their fast spreading capabilities.
Here are a few proactive approaches to controlling some weed growing conditions.
When preparing your land, it’s important to plan the layout of your crops so that you can move them around to avoid abundant seed production of weeds. Open ground between plants or crops is simply a welcoming area for weeds to invade. When planting your crops, be as diverse as you can, and choose easy-to-maintain native species and not invasive plants where possible.
Mulch is a specific type of material that you lay on top of the soil to reduce weeds, hold more water and improve the overall structure of the soil. When you apply this product, along with straw or compost, around the crops, it suppresses the weeds from growing and spreading. Covering your crops with plastic film mulches are effective too, but they are not sustainable. If this is the route you want to go, invest in biodegradable film and paper mulches as there is no need for further disposal.
The ideal solution for watering your crops is to either install a drip irrigation or a scheduled irrigation system. If you want to make use of an irrigation system, the biggest advantage is that farmers can carefully monitor the plant and soil moisture, and discourage weeds. This helps to avoid excessive water wastage (caused by runoff and evaporation) as it only targets the plant’s roots.
Should weeds get the better of your land, there is a variety of different solutions to getting rid of them:
Mechanical: For a smaller area, investing in a good hand weeder is a smart idea. Although time-consuming for both bigger and smaller land, having a sufficient cutter will make life a lot easier for you and your staff. Different farm machinery reviews on cutters will help you choose something that is well-suited for your production and the elimination of such infestations. Make sure that when you do weed, follow the correct weeding procedures, according to type, to prevent anything from returning.
Biological weed control: This technique is done by making use of other living organisms, such as insects, diseases or livestock, for the management of certain weeds. Although this technique is effective, the only concern with biological weed control is that it is a long-term undertaking. Effects are neither immediate nor always adequate but certainly worth a try. If you are looking for a more natural alternative to weed control, then try using herbivores like sheep and goats, as well as geese to control grassy weeds.
Herbicides or other sprays: Organic or not, chemical substances should be at the bottom of your list of ways to get rid of weeds. These crop-protecting chemicals are helpful in getting rid weeds but are unsafe to humans or any animals that are exposed to them. Always wear the proper safety equipment when working with herbicides or other pesticides, and if you do spray your crops or land with fertilisers, herbicides or insecticides, be careful with plants, livestock and other animals as it could affect their health.