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Organic Gardening - Weed Control

Jul 1, 2008
Weeds compete with other crops and convert many productive land into unusable scrub. Weed is also often poisonous, distasteful and interfere with the use and management of desirable plants by contaminating your harvests.

Many weed control strategies have hence been developed in order to contain the growth and spread of weeds. One of the basic methods is ploughing which works by cutting the roots of annual weeds. Another commonly used technique is by using chemical weed killers known as herbicides. However, these cannot be used in an organic garden. So what can you do?

First and foremost, you will need to identify the kind of weeds that is found in your garden. You can then use the appropriate method to get rid of them. We will now look at a few of the most commonly found weeds and how to get rid of them.

You should always pull them up with a hoe before they flower. And you can spread corn gluten over the areas you wish to remain free from dandelions in the early spring. This will help keep a lot of the seedlings from growing.

Crabgrass is a major pest in many yards and gardens. It is very tough to pull up, and especially difficult to get rid of. You must pull up the entire plant, including all of its roots. To suppress further growth, you can spread corn gluten in the early spring. You can also mulch to prevent the seeds from germinating.

Poison ivy is one horrible plant that causes severe rashes even with a very mild exposure. You should always wear gloves when handling poison ivy and do not ever let in come in contact with any part of your skin.

To get rid of poison ivy, you must cut the plant at the base and then let it dry out completely. Bury the vines or throw them away in the trash. You must never ever burn them because even the smoke can be fatal! Do not compost poison ivy either.

Lamba Quarters is an edible wild green. There are some who grow these for food but most people think of them as common weeds. Removing them can be quite a task. You can hoe or pull up the plants when you seen them and then mulch heavily to suppress the seedlings.

Ragweed is one weed which many would want to extricate. It is a very common allergen, and its pollen is a major cause of hay fever. There are several ways to get rid of them. You can try to hoe up the seedlings, and use a mower to mow down the full-sized plants. You can also mulch to cover the areas where it grows. Thirdly, you can also compost ragweed if it has not yet gone to seed.

Purslane is an edible plant which can be removed by hoeing them individually. If you pull the plants, do not leave them lying on top of the soil because they can re-root themselves. Do not compost them either as the seeds of this plant can mature after the plant has been pulled. You can mulch to prevent them from growing.

Prickly lettuce is an annoying little plant which causes itching and burning if it comes in contact with skin. Always put on your gloves when you handle it. You can pull or hoe plants, or cut the taproot below the soil. You also might wish to leave it alone, as it can attract beneficial insects. However, be sure to keep it away from your lettuce patches as it can carry lettuce diseases.

Cocklebur is poisonous to livestock, so you should be sure to keep it away from your animals. You can hoe or pull plants beneath the soil line. You can compost it if it has not yet gone to seed.

Another method of weed control includes covering the ground area with several layers of wet recycled paper for several weeks. In the case of using the wet recycled paper, the multiple layers prevent light from reaching all plants beneath, which kills them. Saturating the recycled paper with water daily speeds the decomposition of the dead plants. Any weed seeds that start to sprout because of the water will also be deprived of sunlight. It will be killed and decomposed.

After several weeks, all the germinating weed seeds present in the ground will be dead. Then the recycled paper can be removed and the ground can be planted. The decomposed plants will help fertilise the plants or seeds planted later.
About the Author
Paul Hata is active in various social and community programs aimed at providing equal access to education,health and jobs to all.Paul has over 10 years experience in managing a multi-million dollar advertising company.Paul can be reached at EarlyPlanet.com
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