Natural Weed Control, fight weeds the natural way
An increase in environmental awareness has made many gardeners consider
natural weed control alternatives. Herbicides, although the quick-fix for
weeds, often endanger the plants we mean to protect. More important, use of
chemicals presents a threat to the safety of both wild and domestic animals
and most important? their human companions as well.
Still as we look at our lawns and gardens, it?s easy to ask the question,
?How did these weeds get so out of control?? Actually, the answer is often
quite simple. Mother Nature endows every location on earth with a system of
natural weed control. However, many of the weeds that pose problems for
today?s gardeners are not indigenous (native) to their present locations. As
humans populated the planet, they often transported their favorite cultivars
to their new flower and fruit gardening guides homes. Unfortunately, they didn?t import the natural predators
that would keep these immigrants in check. A recent study by Cornell
University, estimates that 50% to 75% of problem weeds were introduced from
Mother Nature?s solution to weeds was organic and biological weed control.
Biological control is the use of live insects for natural weed control.
Biological weed control is slower to work than other methods, but in the
long term a very effective system. Since your first concern is to protect
your garden, it?s important to stress that insects used for biological weed
control are a specialized group of herbivorous insects that have evolved to
eat specific plants and feed only on those plants.
Insects control weeds by feeding on seeds, flowers, leaves, stems, and
roots, or by transmitting diseases, which will infect plants. Once a colony
of insects is established, it becomes self-sustaining, substantially cutting
weed control costs for the gardener.
Biological control of weeds is a complement to organic weed control. In
organic gardening, our role is to build and maintain a healthy environment
for our plants, beginning with the soil. Using biological weed control
enhances the entire eco-system that organic gardeners work to create and
maintain. As weeds are stressed by their natural predators, garden plants
can better compete and ?hold their own ground?.
Although one study cites that biological weed control is a way of
manipulating nature, actually, it is a natural weed control method that's
used to do things nature?s way.
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