Weeds compete with vegetable plants for water, nutrients and sunlight. Weeds reduce yields and may cause crop failure unless they are controlled.
There are several methods of controlling weeds. Commercial vegetable growers use a combination of mechanical methods and chemical weed killers called herbicides. Most herbicides are not recommended for use in home gardens. They are difficult to use because no one chemical can be used on all vegetables and because it is difficult to apply small amounts of chemicals uniformly over the garden area. Herbicides and other methods of weed control are discussed in more detail in SP291-I, "Weed Control in Home Gardens."
Hoeing and cultivating are the most common methods of weed control for home gardeners. Hoe or cultivate shallowly to avoid the losing soil moisture or cutting the roots of desirable plants. Hand-pull weeds in or very near the vegetable row. There will be less damage to vegetable plants if weeds are removed while they are small.
Both plastic and organic mulches may also be used to control weeds. This is discussed in the mulching section (page 18 ).
Use of proper cultural practices will also help control weeds. Never allow weeds or vegetable crops to develop mature seed in or near the garden. Cultivate to prevent weeds from seeding, even if vegetable production is finished. If erosion is likely to be a problem, the vegetable garden area may be kept mowed when not in use.
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Start Saving Money By Discovering How To Grow Your Own Fruit and Vegetables At Home From Start To Finish. Container gardening does not have to be expensive. With a bit of imagination you can reuse containers and items that are around your home and start your own container garden on a minimal budget. Of course, if you prefer you can buy containers from the store and make your container garden a feature in your home.