Garlic is an incredibly worst competitor that requires weeding throughout the growing season. The greatest threat to good bulb size and good garlic yield is weed pressure therefore it should be planted in a weed free environment. The most common weeds are the thistles and the quack grass.

Depending on the weed pressure, weeding differs in particular garden or field. Some may require weeding between 3 to 4 times a season while others require after every ten days for the first six weeks and then after two weeks rest of the season.

The lighter or sandy soil the less weeding required while the wetter the growing conditions more weeds are seen to sprout. Garlic requires water during growing season, with the use of drip irrigation, once the garlic is watered weed flushes and needs weeding as this helps to keep under control without much difficulty.

When weeding garlic, it is very important to be careful not to damage the garlic plant roots as they are shallow growing and fragile. Once the garlic plant root has been cut they do not grow back thus the need to use caution while weeding.

As weeds become larger, they require deeper cultivation in order to kill them and this can cause difficulty if you are trying to protect the garlic roots. One should just cut below the soil surface than pulling it out just in case its roots have intertwined with that of the plant.

Weed management methods before and after planting

For most weed control methods, timing is important because small weed seedlings are easier to kill than larger weeds. Before planting garlic, organic weed control methods are suited for this stage.

  1. Crop rotation with cover crops

Cover crops are rarely used in garlic production, however they can provide a variety of benefits to the crops when used in crop rotations. Timing is key to whether the cover crops promote or inhibit weed growth. If they become established quickly they suppress weeds.

Cover crops residue must have adequate time to breakdown in the soil before planting garlic, which require shallow, precise seeding depth with good seed-soil contact.

Cover crops also have the potential to increase weed pressure because annual weeds establishing themselves at the time of cover crop and also decomposition of weeds before the cover crop making detection difficult.

It is important to monitor cover crops following seeding to make sure that they are not creating weed problem.

  1. Cultivation

To prevent the increase of weed seed in the soil, cultivate weeds before they set seed in cover or rotation crops. In a case cover crops are uses, clean cultivate the field before planting garlic.

  1. Stale seedbed

This method can provide substantial weed control. It involves controlling the final flush of weeds before planting, followed by minimal soil disturbance to reduce subsequent weed flushes. To do this, prepare a seedbed, reirrigate it to germinate weed seeds then cultivate as shallow as possible to kill emerged seedlings. The crop can then be planted afterwards. The efficacy of thus methods depends on the time of year and the irrigation system used. One should irrigate and cultivate as close as possible to planting time to ensure the soil temperature and climatic conditions are similar to crop germination period.


Weed Management after Planting

  1. Cultivation

This is one of the most effective weed control practices because of the high-density plantings of garlic, as most of the bed top is occupied with the seedlings. Cultivation is often limited to a narrow band on the bed and the shoulders of the bed.

The goal of cultivation is to remove weed seedlings close to the seed row as possible without disturbing the crop.

  1. Hand weeding

Although this method is effective, it is costly.  It is particularly difficult in garlic farming due to close plant spacing. One needs to hand weed carefully to avoid damaging or killing the plant.

  1. Herbicides

Foliar-applied herbicides may be used as crop emergence to control established weeds. Herbicide application in garlic farming controls and slows the growth of weeds germinating shortly after planting.

Based on your farming practices one chooses the variety of foliar herbicide to use either organic or chemical herbicide.


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