Weed Control Options
With the pandemic of the COVID-19 virus, the majority of consumers have sheltered close to home and are less prone to going to stores to purchase vegetables. There has been a tremendous increase in home gardening due to travel restrictions and a shortage of vegetables in the market. While vegetables are not difficult to grow, there are many issues that can impede their success. One of the greatest challenges home gardeners face is controlling the multitude of weeds that compete in the garden. Very few chemical options are available, so home owners are looking for other creative ideas to help them keep weeds at bay. The University of Georgia horticulturists addressed the problem of home weed management by looking at certain creative ideas to assist the home gardener. A cooperative Youtube video was developed by the University of Georgia and the USDA Soil and Water Conservation Service. This video covers several techniques that home owners, as well as small producers, can use in their battle against weed control. The video also addresses the most practical way to irrigate for optimal production. This project involves planting a trial garden, using several techniques of weed control, including the use of barriers, cover crops, strip tilling and roller crimping. The video explains the benefits of each technique and how to implement them in the home garden. Hundreds of viewers have watched the video and have learned new techniques for weed management. Three publications, available at the University of Georgia Extension Publication site, discuss the content of the video. A state-wide Zoom training for county agents introduced them to the principles of garden weed control. Garden vegetable publications were in the top five downloaded Extension publications this spring during the peak of the pandemic virus.