>>> Weeds are most efficiently controlled by using the natural competitive abilities of crop plants. For example, top seed forage radish (Raphaus sativus variety longipinnatus) over oats when they start to head out. The radish understory crop grows slowly until grain harvest. After oats are combined, radish growth explodes quickly covering the field and blotting out nearly all competing plants. Weeds never have a chance to get established. Top seeding into standing vegetation is a great way to grow small-seeded crops without using herbicides.
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>>> 8,000 to 10,000 pounds of straw mulch per acre are needed to achieve 90% weed control. A crop of rye grain (Secale cereale) 5 to 6 feet high normally yields 4 to 5 tons of biomass per acre. Most mulch-in-place systems use grass crops because cereal straw decomposes slowly. Broadleaf cover crops rot faster leaving holes in the mulch through which weeds grow.
This technique works best with small grains, turnips, and other crops that can be broadcast rather than drilled.
Weeds are competitive, fighting your garden plants or lawn grass for water, light, nutrients, and space. Most are quick growers and will take over many of the areas in which you find them. While most types of weeds thrive in favorable conditions, native types may be found growing nearly anywhere the ground has been disturbed. In fact, they may even offer clues to your current soil conditions.
Of course, which weed goes and which weed stays depends on the individual gardener, though a little bit of weed info and control methods makes this decision easier.
What are Weeds?
There are generally three types of common weed plants in regards to their growing characteristics. These include:
Types of Weeds
In addition to their growing type, common weed plants may belong to one of two families: broadleaf (Dicot) or narrow leaf (Monocot). Broadleaf types have larger leaves and grow from tap roots or fibrous root systems, whereas narrow leaf or grasses have long narrow leaves and fibrous roots systems.