How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Handweeding and cultivation

Handweeding and cultivation (hoeing) are the most important weed management options in the home garden and landscape plantings and should be included in all weed management programs to keep weeds from seeding. Cultivation and handweeding selectively remove weeds from plantings. These methods can be time consuming and must be repeated frequently until the plantings become established. Careless cultivation can damage plants with shallow roots, bring weed seeds to the soil surface, and propagate perennial weeds. When cultivating, avoid deep tilling, as this brings buried weed seeds to the soil surface, where they are more likely to germinate. Frequent hand removal of weeds when they are small and have not yet set seed will rapidly reduce annual weeds. Certain perennial weeds with vegetative propagules can be spread by cultivation. Use shovels to effectively remove all roots, nutlets, and stems of these weeds. Garden and push-pull hoes can be used to cut small annual weeds and seedlings at slightly below ground level. Weeding hoes are used to cut weeds below the soil line and pull them out of the soil. Hand tines are good for loosening soil around larger weeds and cultivating weed seedlings in small areas. Once weeds are large, hoes and other tools are not very effective and weeds must be removed by hand.

Handweeding and cultivation

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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