- Author: Chris McDonald
It is weed season! There is a principle in weed management that weeds are often better competitors for resources. Competition begins as soon as seeds break dormancy. The seeds that germinate first are often the ones that obtain the most resources.
Most plants have developed deep roots before they are a few inches tall (Figs. 1 and 2). Growing beans in a paper towel will highlight this point, the plant will be many times deeper than it is tall. What this means for plant competition is that if there is a plant that germinates quickly and one that germinates slowly, the slow plant will be at a competitive disadvantage.
- Author: Cheryl A. Wilen
Just a quick note about soil seed banks. If you are not familiar with the term, it is where seeds are stored in the soil until conditions are appropriate for germination or where they decompose. There are thousands of seeds in a seed bank and not all will germinate at any given time or any given set of conditions. That's one of the reasons annual weeds are a problem year after year, even if you kill the current year's weeds before they produce seeds.
If you need proof, I'm attaching a photo of a plot that was tall fescue turf for the past 5 years and there were few weeds in the plots. I then shut off off the water for a few months and the fescue died. I recently started irrigating a few plots and up came a bumper crop of...