Weeds are neighbors with cultivated plants, so you need to decide how to get rid of weeds in the country, vegetable garden or garden, as they reduce the yield and quality of fruits, berries and vegetables grown. Fighting this unwanted vegetation is an unpleasant but necessary task. Owners of suburban real estate and garden plots destroy weeds using various methods: both with the use of herbicides and without chemicals. How to get rid of weeds on the site, what methods of weed control do gardeners use?
How to get rid of weeds mechanically
Digging. This rather laborious, but extremely effective method helps to remove weeds that are difficult to get rid of in other ways: wheatgrass, dandelion, sleeping sickly, sour grass, etc. Digging is performed in an area free of plantings, usually in the fall, after harvesting. When digging a garden, it is better to use a pitchfork instead of a shovel. This way, you won’t damage the roots of the weeds, which will be completely on the soil surface. After completing the work, all plant debris should be removed from the site and destroyed.
You usually have to weed the beds several times per season. You should start in the spring, when the first crop shoots appear, and with them unwanted neighbors in the form of weeds. If weeds are left untouched, they will dominate the site in a short time. It is important to prevent the weeds from blooming, otherwise, controlling them will become more difficult. A variety of tools can be used for weeding – hoes, hoes, flat cutters, root removers, etc. You won’t be able to get rid of 100% of weeds this way, but by removing the top of the plant, you will slow down its growth and development, because the grass will need some time to recover. The crop will have time to get stronger during this time.
If you dig up the soil and remove the rhizomes from the site after harvesting, small fragments of grass, roots, and weed seeds usually remain on the surface of the ground. All of this dies when the first frost comes. This method of weed control is called freezing.
Exhaustion is defined as the regular cutting of the vegetative organs of weeds (stems, leaves, roots), which leads to an increase in the consumption of nutrients by new shoots. In other words, a summer resident or gardener cuts off the sprouting parts of the grass until the roots run out of vitality and the plant dies. The method allows you to effectively fight root weeds such as thistle, elm, and mustard.
To get rid of wheatgrass, the so-called strangulation helps – grinding the underground organs of the plant with various tools at the main depth of the root system, followed by deep plowing of segments (awlings) into the soil. To destroy the weed, in this case, surface cross-tillage is performed using a disk harrow or a peeler with a plowing depth of 10-12 cm. This allows you to grind the roots of the plant into fragments 10-20 cm long. In 10-12 days after disking, deep plowing is carried out, destroying the young shoots that have sprouted from the crushed root system.
When solving the problem of how to destroy weeds on a plot, some summer residents and gardeners adopt this method. It works well in beds with turgid crops such as dill, parsley, and carrots. Burning is usually used before the first shoots appear. The unwanted vegetation is destroyed with a blowtorch using a sliding fire on the surface of the ground. By damaging weeds, the “flamethrower” has virtually no effect on the physical, chemical, and microbiological properties of the surface soil layer.
How to get rid of weeds with no-till tillage
Weed control can begin when preparing the beds for planting. For this purpose, no-moldboard tillage, which is one of the methods of organic farming, is well suited. In this case, digging up the plot is done once a season during the primary tillage. Later, the soil is only loosened. What are the advantages of this? When using this method, weed seeds do not reach the soil surface and, as a result, do not germinate. Accidental seeds that are blown to the site by the wind do not cause much damage to the crops. Around the beds, you can install fences made of boards, bricks or tiles: this will keep the soil from sinking. If the paths are sprinkled with mulch, weeds will not be able to grow even here.
One of the most well-known ways to get rid of weeds in the country or control weeds in the garden is mulching. Mulch keeps the soil moist and cool, depriving weeds of sunlight. Various materials are suitable for use as mulch. These can be humus, compost, peat, pine bark, as well as grass clippings, straw, hay, fallen leaves, paper, or, for example, nut or egg shells. When choosing mulch, you should follow certain rules. For example, pine bark or peat can increase the acidity of the soil, which is not suitable for all cultivated plants. In addition, some types of mulch may contain weed seeds (for example, in humus, peat, or unripe compost). You can check the compost for weeds in the spring by pouring water over it and covering it with plastic.
How to get rid of weeds with herbicides
Treating the site with special products containing herbicides is the most effective way to control weeds, but these products must be used carefully, following the manufacturer’s instructions. This method often allows you to get rid of weeds without weeding. The use of chemicals can be the best or only solution in a large and neglected area when other methods do not give the desired results. The moderate use of chemicals is quite acceptable if you follow the recommended dosages and safety rules. Herbicides are divided into two groups by their effect on plants: continuous and selective. In addition, chemicals can be contact and systemic. The former cause damage to the plant by getting on its surface, while the latter penetrate through the leaves and roots, spreading throughout the plant’s body, suppressing it or causing death. The main option for using hebicidal preparations is to prepare a solution for spraying. Plants are treated using sprayers of various types and volumes. For example, for large areas, backpack sprayers with a capacity of 12 liters are suitable.
A good alternative to chemical weed control agents can be EM preparations (the abbreviation for effective microorganisms). The composition can include various types of bacteria, yeast, fermenting fungi, etc. beneficial microorganisms suppress the pathogenic microflora of the soil, protect against diseases, and increase yields. To kill weeds, the EM preparation is diluted with water, usually in a ratio of 1:100 (100 ml per 10-liter bucket of water). The area overgrown with weeds is first watered with this solution, and then the weed roots are cut. The EM preparation penetrates the cut plants, which then quickly decompose and turn into fertile soil. This procedure is most effective in late fall, when there are no more garden crops in the beds. It can also be done in the spring.
The joint cultivation of different crops in the garden helps to significantly reduce the number of weeds on the site. Plants that are secondary and planted next to the main crops act as mulch and leave no room for weeds. Vegetables, berries, and flowers are often planted on the same bed. It is important to choose plants that get along well with each other. An example of a successful combination is cabbage with tomatoes, onions, and beans. Cucumber with tomatoes and cabbage are well suited for growing together. Chicory, onions, carrots, and beets are also good friends. Less successful combinations are cucumbers and potatoes, as well as onions and legumes. If the flower garden has not grown enough perennials, you can plant bulbs and annuals between them.
Using green manure and reseeding vegetables
Siderata are plants that are planted in a free area in the garden next to the main crop. They perform a number of important functions, including preventing the growth of weeds. The most commonly used green manure plants are:
- legumes – field and fodder peas, fodder beans, soybeans, lentils, chickpeas, beans, clover, spring vetch, annual lupine, alfalfa, seradella, sainfoin, sweet clover;
- cereals – spring oats and barley, winter wheat and rye, millet, sorghum. The mixtures include ryegrass, fescue, and timothy;
- cruciferous – mustard, rape, rape, oil radish;
- hydrophilic – phacelia;
- asteraceae – sunflower, marigolds;
- buckwheat – buckwheat;
- amaranthaceae – amaranth, shiritsa.
How to get rid of weeds in other ways
You can fight weeds in other lesser-known ways that can be quite effective. For example, with alcohol or vodka. To prepare the working solution, add 150 g of vodka to 1 liter of water. The treatment is carried out within a month before the sowing campaign. This procedure promotes the accelerated growth of weeds, which can be destroyed before the emergence of crops. It can be equally useful to treat the beds with boiling water before sowing or after harvesting. This treatment makes weed seeds lose their ability to germinate.
It will be much easier to solve problems, how to treat the area and how to remove weeds, if certain preventive measures are taken in time. For example, you should not fertilize the beds with fresh organic matter. For this purpose, only well-rotted manure is suitable, which should be left for 2-3 years. The same applies to compost, in which mature herbs (with seeds) are laid. It is also important that the seed is clean, free of weed seeds. It is better to buy varietal seeds in specialized stores. Cultivated plants should be watered at the root, because weeds also need moisture and, if it is deficient, they will be in less favorable conditions.
From the many ways to get rid of weeds, allowing both to fight weeds and prevent their appearance on the site, each summer resident or gardener can choose the most suitable for themselves. You can get rid of weeds using traditional methods – weeding, digging – or in a modern way, using herbicides.