How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Weed managementWeed management in vegetable crops

Weeds compete with crop plants for sunlight, water, and nutrients, and their growth must be limited to obtain a reasonable yield of any food crop. Many weedy species can provide benefits in the garden or farm such as providing food and shelter for insect predators and parasites. However, in vegetable plantings, weeds can quickly shade out young crop plants as well as rob the soil of nutrients and water, so weed control is essential, especially when the crops are young.

Before you plant, prepare the soil. Maintaining a healthy, vigorously growing crop is one of the most important factors in reducing losses due to weed competition. The primary methods for weed control in vegetables include exclusion and prevention, cultivation and handweeding, mulching, solarization, and sometimes herbicides. Biological control and the use of grazing animals may also be effective.

More information


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