Weeds are all plants that grow in places unwanted by man. They hinder the free development of crops, compete with them for light, and extract nutrients and moisture from the soil. They make harvesting, pruning, spraying, and fertilizing difficult and are often hosts to pests and diseases.
Weeds can be grouped into annuals and biannuals or perennials—the former complete their life cycle in one year and the latter in two or more years.
In previous years and until the ’80s, weeds’ control that grew near the trunk was done exclusively through agricultural implements such as disc harrows, rotary harrows, hoeing, and carpenters. To keep the soil clean, free of weeds, four, five, or more annual passes were necessary. The repeated use of the agricultural implement destroys fine roots, affecting the root development of the plant. In many cases, it also contributes to provoke or accelerate water erosion processes generated by heavy rains or wind erosion caused in sandy soils by strong winds.
In recent years, St Augustine weed control companies use herbicides to control weeds that have spread rapidly, with very satisfactory results. Using this practice, better yields are obtained, and, also, during periods of drought, there is more excellent water retention by the soil; this is of great importance, both for production and for the life of the plant.
The bromacil and diuron are residual action herbicides. Therefore their effect is prolonged up to seven or eight months keeping the soil clean from weeds during that period. To achieve tremendous success in using herbicides, in each case, a series of considerations should be made to determine the correct herbicide, ensure the product’s application, and the most appropriate dose at the most opportune moment.
The best time for applying herbicides is in late winter and early spring, with good moisture content in the soil. The herbicide application can be used from standard backpack sprayers to high volume, and pressure machines conveniently adapted for that purpose.
The following is a description of the spraying equipment. It is essential to apply the right and uniform dose because an excess of herbicide, in addition to contaminating the soil, increases costs, and can be harmful to plants. It is necessary to calibrate the equipment to be sure that the herbicide dose used is the recommended one. To properly calibrate the equipment, it is essential to know how many liters are being applied per surface to load the product according to this and the dose to be used. The procedure to follow is the following:
- A correctly adjusted polyethylene bag is placed on each nozzle of the application equipment.
- The equipment is made to work over a known distance.
- Each bag’s content is measured and added up to know the water used. The operation is repeated 2 or 3 times, and the results are averaged.
- The width covered by the equipment is measured; that value multiplied by the distance covered will give the test surface.
- The amount applied per square meter is determined. This allows the total amount of liquid used per area to be estimated.
As you can see, removing weeds effectively requires a professional’s expertise, so don’t hesitate to approach your St Augustine weed control expert and enjoy your garden.