Creative Weed Control Options for the Home Garden

Summary

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.

Situation

The pandemic virus has created challenges on multiple levels. Most of the things we took for granted including purchasing fresh produce, have been a challenge. Given the fact that many people are now working from home, they have taken on the challenge on trying to produce their own vegetables. 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. In addition, irrigation information is also needed to help vegetables thrive when competing with the multitude of weeds.

Response

The University of Georgia has addressed the problem of home weed management by looking at certain creative ideas to assist the home gardener. A cooperative Youtube video ( https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=253796839271887) was developed between the University of Georgia and the USDA Soil and Water Conservation Service. This project was funded by a USDA Conservation Grant submitted and awarded to a facultiy to the University of Georgia. This video covers several techniques that home owners, as well as small producers, can utilize in their battle against weed control. The video also addresses the most practical way to irrigate for optimal production. This project involves the planting of a trial garden, utilizing 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. Vegetable yield, overall plant health, as well as, weed population and control were studied and data recorded. Techniques are also incorporated into several University of Georgia Extension publications.

Impact

The weed control Youtube video was made available to all County Extension offices, as well as, the general public. Hundreds of viewers have watched the video and have learned new techniques for weed management. Three publications that are available at the University of Georgia Extension Publication site have been developed that discusses the content of the video. A state wide zoom training was also done for county agents by the state vegetable specialist, introducing 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.

State Issue

Plant Production

Details

  • Year: 2020
  • Geographic Scope: State
  • County: Spalding
  • Location: Georgia Station, Griffin
  • Program Areas:
    • Agriculture & Natural Resources

Author

    Westerfield, Robert

Collaborator(s)

Non-CAES Collaborator(s)

  • USDA NRCS
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