Garden weeds dealt with differently than field weeds Weeds in the vegetable or flower garden pose the same problems as they do in field crops.
"It's just that dealing with them is different," said Leon Wrage, Extension weed specialist at South Dakota State University.
Good season-long weed control by tilling, hoeing, hand-weeding and mulching are options Wrage recommends for most gardens.
"Getting as close to 100-percent weed control during the season really pays off in the garden," said Wrage. "Weeds like crabgrass can produce 150,000 seeds�one unnoticed plant is all it takes. Then be sure not to introduce more seed in mulching or manure."
Some gardeners are interested in herbicides. Garden herbicides are available to fit some situations, but Wrage generally does not suggest these for small home gardens. "It's difficult to accurately apply small amounts correctly for each vegetable," he said.
Herbicides may be more useful for larger gardens or if a larger amount of one crop is planted, said the specialist. Some field crop herbicides can be used on vegetable crops, so sometimes that part of the garden is planted in the field.
"It's important to remember there is no single treatment that can be used on all garden crops," Wrage said. "Some have carryover effects for sensitive crops the next year."
Pre-emergence herbicides keep the weed seedling from emerging through the soil. Wrage said two common ingredients in these products are DCPA or trifluralin, found under several different trade names.
Sethoxydim (Poast) is available at some garden supply centers. It controls certain grasses after they emerge and can be used in some garden situations.
Check the ingredient section of the label on products sold at garden supply centers.
Be sure to read the label completely. "Use these products only on crops listed and follow handling and harvest intervals that are given for each crop treated," cautioned Wrage.