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.
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