It is very important to know how to control weed in vegetable gardens, if full production is expected. No weed in a vegetable garden should ever be allowed to grow more than one inch in height.
Weeds grow rapidly, and any weed which is allowed to grow six inches high has already robbed the vegetable plants of a great deal of energy and fertility from the soil.
A sharp hoe is not needed to control weed if the weeds are eliminated when they are very small. Some hand weeding, of course, is necessary around all vegetable plants because hoes and mechanical tools cannot reach close to the plants.
The weeding program in your vegetable garden should be started when the plants first begin coming up. A little experience on the gardener’s part will reveal to him which plants are weeds and which are vegetables.
There is no easy way to control weeds. Tilling equipment is good because it can eliminate a good many of the weeds between the rows and cut down on the handweeding. Yet, in the final analysis, every home gardener needs to do a little hand weeding on his hands and knees, because there is no other way to eliminate them.
Chemical weed control does not work well in a garden, mainly because no weed chemicals are selective enough to leave all the garden vegetables and kill all the weeds. Many of the garden vegetables are related to weed plants and have the same characteristics.
Commercial gardeners who are growing all one type of vegetable in a field can use a weed chemical profitably. For example, if you were a commercial grower of carrots you could eliminate all of the breadleaf plants in their carrot field with weed chemical. This cannot be done in a home garden, however, because the chemical would kill all broadleaf vegetables.Weed chemicals are not even recommended around the vegetable garden or along the ditchbanks, because fumes from the chemicals can damage the garden vegetables.
Black plastic kills the weeds because it will not allow the sunshine to get through to them. Because of its expense, it is not recommended for the entire garden, although it could be useful way to control weed in some areas.