Weed Management - 2010 Ohio Vegetable Production Guide
2010 Ohio Vegetable Production Guide
The previous chapter “Integrated Insect, Mite and Disease Management on Vegetable Crops” developed the idea that pests should be controlled through an “integrated crop health program,” in which as many methods as possible are used to minimize pest problems and promote a healthy crop. Weeds too are best controlled by using an integrated approach that attempts to optimize growing conditions for the crop, strives to reduce weed seeds in the soil, prevents introduction of new weeds, and utilizes a variety of control methods.
Weeds reduce yield and quality of vegetables by competing with the crop for light, nutrients and water. Vegetable crops are most sensitive to weed growth during the first several weeks after planting and this is the period during which it is essential to have good weed control. A pre-planned approach to weed control that is tailor-made for each field is required. This pre-planned approach is called a weed control program, and takes into consideration the identity and biology of weed species found in the field, the relative importance of each species, soil characteristics, susceptibility of the field to soil erosion, available weed control tools (i.e., herbicides, cultivators, labor, etc.) and future crops.