Weeds are unsightly any time of the year when they’re growing as part of a homeowner’s landscape, but for farmers, weed control is essential to encourage their crops to reach their yield potentials. Tony Provin is a Texas A&M Agrilife Extension professor and soil chemist.
“Weeds are just another plant, and often they’re quite unique in that they may have a lower nutrient requirement than some of our intended crops, and they’ll grow and they’ll shade out some sunlight of some of our desired crops, but more importantly than even the shade aspect is that they are transpiring water.”
And water is a precious commodity.
Provin advises to take note of weeds when you’re taking soil samples.
“We always want to make sure that we control weeds. We can’t fertilize ourself out of a weed problem, but a lot of times with good fertility and good management, we can prevent some of those weed problems from ever occurring, by having a very dense forage system that’s present, weeds are often plants of opportunity. If there’s an open space, whether it’s because of compaction, whether it’s because of nutrient limitations, a little rain comes, that seed germinates and that weed which will often grow much faster than our normal crop, it’ll take advantage of that.”
The short message for farmers and homeowners alike is to kill weeds before you fertilize your desired plants.