The definition of a weed is essentially a ‘plant growing where you don’t want it to be growing’, and most are unsightly nuisances that wreak havoc on all our hard work and preparation if left to their own devices. They can take valuable nutrients from the soil, strangle plants and clog up machinery.
Although you can’t completely eliminate weed intrusion, there are things you can do to alleviate the backbreaking chores needed to keep them under control. And here we have a two-pronged approach:
1) At the forefront in our armoury is ‘prevention’ – acting before the weeds appear.
2) Secondly, dealing with those that get past the preventative measures taken.
Your approach to weed control will depend on the type of weeds you are dealing with. Weeds can be classed as being either annual or perennial.
An annual plant is one that completes its entire lifecycle in one growing season, from seed to maturity. It spreads by producing seeds that lie dormant in the ground until the following season. Control comes in the form of killing the weed before it has the chance of seeding. This can be done through physically pulling them from the ground, hoeing, or using a translocated or contact herbicide.
Perennial weeds live indefinitely, surviving through at least three growing seasons. During the non-growing winter months, the plant survives in a state of ‘dormancy’ in the form of an underground root. The root contains everything the plant requires to begin growth the following season. Control is best achieved by physically digging up th