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Weeds of Garden

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                                 weeds in the garden

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               Remove weeds from your garden


Weeds are the most expensive type of agricultural pest. Globally, weeds cause higher yield losses and add more to farmers' production costs than pests, crop pathogens, root-eating nematodes, or warm-blooded insects (rodents, birds, deer, and other large pastures). Because organic farming policies and standards prevent the use of most herbicides, many organic farmers consider weeds to be their most serious barrier to successful organic production, and effective organic weed control is a primary research priority. In particular, weeds are a constant fact of life in vegetable crops. With a little diligence and timely weeding, the home gardener can turn most weeds into beneficial organic matter. However, weed control costs can actually add up to one acre of market garden, and crop failure can occur in a weedy vegetable field of 10-100 acres. An ecological understanding of weeds is the foundation of an effective organic weed management plan that can differentiate between success and failure.

Without weeds, the world would have lost more topsoil than it has today, and mankind would now be suffering from mass starvation. Why? This is because the plants we call weeds to play an important role in ecosystems: they quickly establish, protect, and restore soil exposed to natural and man-made disturbances. Look at any lock-over area in the Appalachian region of the eastern United States, where you can see precious topsoil washed away with every heavy rain — from thorns (Rubus spp.), To Greenbury (Smilax spp.), To pokeweed (Phytolacca americana). , Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radians), and other brush weeds cover the floor with their impenetrable complexion. Other areas have their own characteristic guilds of pioneer plants that begin the restoration process after tree clearing, natural disaster, or other disturbances have cleared the soil from the plants. These pioneering plants begin the process of continuity of the environment, which, if left unchecked, will eventually restore the climax vegetation community that belongs to the region: forest, savanna, grassland, sapwood, and so on.

In agriculture and horticulture, humans replace native climax plants with a collection of cultivated plant species selected for their value as food, fodder, fiber, and fuel. Most agricultural systems drastically reduce the diversity of the plant community and impose some sort of continuous barrier designed to maintain favorable conditions for the growth of selected crop species. This disruption inevitably receives a “weed response” from nature, especially in annual cropping systems such as vegetables, where the soil is frequently plowed or prepared for planting. Successful organic weed control - managing the land's natural weed response to cultivation - begins with an ecological understanding of weeds and their role in the farm or garden ecosystem (Altieri, 1995; Sullivan, 2003).

                         Organic weed control