Weeds cost Australian producers substantial time and money to manage, and it doesn’t stop there. Various organisations invest resources in weed management on a local, regional and even international level – as much as $4 billion annually.
Therefore, weed management measures are crucial to avoid increasing costs. The following steps can help control unwanted growth:
Early detection and eradication is the first and most important step toward weed management. In a household context, you will need to be more careful about picking the plants to grow in your private garden and dispose of garden waste carefully to prevent weeds from spreading.
In a natural environment, prevention measures can be as simple as revegetating disturbed paths and sites with desired plants and maintaining these populations. Frequent monitoring will also help in early eradication of unwanted vegetation and weeds.
New infestations need to be identified and reported to the local council or any other weed management agencies so that prompt actions can be taken.
When an outbreak has been identified, experts can assess the infestation so that the best actions can be taken to eliminate the weed species.
After the initial treatment, vigilance is necessary when watching for possible further infestations.
Biological control of weeds involves the use of species’ natural predators to control their growth and reduce any impact on surrounding vegetation.
However, not all weed species are suitable for biological treatment, and developing a suitable measure for this control can be costly, sometimes amounting to several millions of dollars over the years.
This control measure will also need to undergo an application process through the Invasive Plants and Animals Committee before the project is launched.
You can use herbicide as part of household weed management, or apply it on a bigger scale for commercial weed control, typically over a wider area. Some weed species may be more susceptible to a certain herbicide product, while others could be immune to the same herbicide.
When applying herbicides, factor the possibility of rain and distance from weed-infested areas to waterways to address health concerns and the effectiveness of a herbicide.
When weed infestation is in early stages, you can remove them by hand to kill off most of the plants. In an agricultural aspect, you can till the soil with agricultural machinery or burn the exposed soil surface before you set the seeds.
You can also mulch the ground with organic material to form a barrier between any existing weeds and the sunlight. This measure increases the soil moisture level and improves its condition for any plants that you intend to grow, as well.
Cultural control involves using certain farming systems to suppress weed growth and promote the growth of desired plants at the same time. These techniques include crop rotation and rotating herbicides with different delivery methods to slow down herbicide resistance.