Every farmer knows that one of the most important steps in agriculture is removing weeds, defined as weeding. Weeding is necessary for farming because weeds can take nutrients for your plant’s development. Let us look at some methods of weeding in this blog.
How to weed effectively
There are many methods you can use to weed your farm effectively. Here is a list of such practices.
Preventing weed growth is a simple solution you can go for if you want to eliminate the weed problem before it even starts. Some common causes of weed infestations include weedy stock, weeds growing around the farm, and plants growing on manure, among others.
Here are some methods you can use to nip weeds in their bud.
One of the methods that you can use to eliminate weeds on your farm is Mulching. Mulching is the process of adding to your farm some inorganic material to your farmland to curb weed growth. You can do it if you are cultivating important crops in the farmland to ensure proper growth. Materials such as dry grass, sugarcane molasses, sacks, and peanut shells can create an organic mulch.
You can resort to tilling the soil to remove weeds from your land. The tilling process makes the weed stems wither and weaken, making them unable to compete with your crop plants. But it could also affect the condition of your soil, so it is advisable to do it sparingly. You can use a tiller or get the help of gardening tools such as a plough, harrow, and such instruments.
Sickling is the process of using a sickle to remove weed growth. This process has been around for a long time and helps prevent seeds’ production and starves the root part as photosynthesis happens with leaves.
The modern alternative to sickling is mowing. The lawnmower uses fast-moving blades to cut off weed blades to weaken the underground parts. Farmers use these two processes to remove perennial weeds.
A popular weed control method is flooding the field. For example, you can soak your farmland if you are planting rice on your farm. Rice can grow even under flood-like conditions. Flooding kills weeds by cutting off oxygen availability to them. If the weeds are fully underwater, you can succeed in flooding.
You can resort to remedial methods of weeding to eliminate weeds. These include hand-pulling weeds, using a Power Weeder, burning, etc. They are useful when you have a smaller farm. Still, larger farms require more effective ways, such as crop rotation, which involves changing the crops every season to make them grow faster.
Digging the perennial weeds is another method of curative weeding. First, it helps remove these weeds because digging brings the weed roots out. Following that, hand pulling becomes more effective as you can remove persistent weeds on the root level.
Herbicides are a fast option to eliminate weeds but tend to be evasive. However, these chemicals are easily available and cheap. Examples of these chemicals would be Atrazine, Glyphosate, and others. Here are some types of herbicides that have different effects on weeds.
These herbicides kill just the weeds without affecting the crops. You can use this if weeds are minimal, and herbicides resolve this easily.
Do not use these herbicides unless the infestation is unmanageable because these herbicides kill off both weeds and crop plants.
Benefits and Shortcomings of Weeding
Preventing and curative types of weeding are cost-effective compared to herbicides and environmentally safe. You can effectively remove weeds from your farmland without affecting the crop through digging, sickling, etc.
But these methods consume time and a lot of labour to be effective. They also require your farm to be in optimal condition not to damage crops.
Benefits and Shortcomings of herbicides
Herbicides can be an easier method to remove weeds. Just spraying down your farms will make them weed-resistant. In addition, herbicides also eliminate losses to the farmer as farmers tend to lose a part of their produce to weeds every season.
Herbicides could be harmful in the long run as they result in ailments for everyone involved, from the farmer on the field spraying it to the consumer who eats it. Repeated and frequent use of these herbicides results in weeds gaining immunity to the herbicide. Furthermore, they also pollute the fields’ water, air, and soil.
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