How to Spend Less Time and Money on Weeding

If you have ever tried farming on a plot of land (120x60ft) or more, you’ll agree with me that weeding with hoes is no easy task. It is back- and waist-breaking! If you decide to employ laborers to help you out, they’ll charge you about N7000 per plot (depending on your location). This shows how important it is for you to find ways of cutting weeding cost. And that’s exactly what you’re about to learn.

So how do we go about this? The method we’re going to look at is called the stale seedbed method. Here is how it works. Make your seedbed, ridges or hills (I like working with ridges because it makes operations like fertilizer application or spraying insecticides and fungicides easier). After making your ridges, don’t sow your seeds or transplant yet. Allow about 2 weeks to pass to allow the first flush of weeds to grow.
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How to Control Weeds and Conserve Water at the Same Time

Setting up plastic mulch with drip irrigation. Drip tapes not shown

Weeding is costly. Irrigation is also costly. If you have a large farm you’ll appreciate what I mean. Because of the labor intensive nature of weeding, laborers charge high prices for weeding. Money spent on fuel for irrigation is also costly. But thank God for mulching. It helps you to control weeds and conserve water at the same time.

Weeds compete with crops for nutrients and thus hampers growth. They also attract pests and diseases to the farm. One secret to having a bumper harvest is proper weed control – especially when the crops are young.

Fig 1: Cucumbers growing in plastic mulch. Image source: phollar Nairaland

A mulch is a layer of material covering the soil surface. It blocks sunlight from reaching weed seeds and thus prevent them from germinating. Because of the covering, most of the soil moisture will remain trapped in the soil. Mulches
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