Can Your Hoe Kill Weeds Effectively?

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Home gardeners are always interested in the mere mention of chemical weed killers. 

Certainly, one would suspect that the millennium had arrived were it possible to spray some chemicals on the ground so that all weeds would be killed. 

Hoe Killing WeedsPin

Desirable plants such as potatoes, turnips, corn, or even grass were allowed to grow unharmed by this treatment.

Certain chemicals do indeed have a selective action for specific crops, but to date, we have not discovered one chemical that would perform the long-sought-for miracle.

2,4-D Treatment

2,4-D has received more publicity than all other chemical weed killers combined, but its only use in conjunction with vegetable growing is for weeding sweet corn. And even here, grasses are not harmed to any extent when treated with this material.

Weather conditions that prevail just before treatment with 2,4-D often determine how much it will kill weeds and crops—generally, the warmer and more sunny the weather, the more damage results from 2,4-D applications.

These chemicals are of value to commercial growers because they are engaged in a rather comprehensive enterprise compared to the home gardener.

These operations grow large blocks of one vegetable, and a chemical’s drift from one type of vegetable to another doesn’t present much of a hazard. 

If the wind blows, some of the spray material, crops, and plants could be seriously injured or killed for a home gardener.

Hazard In Using Chemicals

Another hazard in the home garden is the likelihood of volatile materials killing desirable plants. Some crops are particularly sensitive. 

My best advice to most home gardeners is to cultivate to control weeds. If cultivation is started early in the season and is systematically practiced throughout the summer, weeds present little or no problem. 

Practice cultivation after every rain, but not when the soil is wet. With patience, even witch grass can be eradicated within one year of this treatment.

Poison ivy sometimes appears along fence rows, etc.; chemical treatment is a blessing.

44659 by W Lachman