Description of practice

Mechanical weed control is the physical removal of weeds by mowing, cutting and pulling. Other alternatives include using hot water, a flame thrower or laser.

Examples of how to use mechanical weed control Further information
(see Note below)

AMP73 01

Duckfoot-bladed hoe

The duckfoot-bladed hoe is often used in tractor-pulled cultivators, but a single hoe can also be used manually to get rid of the weeds which are not too close to the crops.



AMP73 02

Finger weeder

When the crop is at a mature stage (with a well-developed root system) a finger weeder is used to remove weeds that grow within difficult to access crop rows.



AMP73 03

False seedbed technique

A regular seedbed is created but, before it is used, the weeds are allowed to germinate and are mechanically removed before the actual crop is planted or sown.


»Burscough Community Farm

AMP73 04

Interrow cultivator

Interrow cultivators are used to accurately hoe between rows of growing crops to cut off the weeds just below the surface. Interrow cultivators are fully adjustable and configured to suit any row width or combination of widths.



AMP73 05

Weed flame throwers

Weed flame throwers are used to burn weeds on a plot prior to seeding/planting as an effective method of removing them. When used in dry areas extra care should be given to the surrounding environment to avoid wildfires. There are also selective inter-row flame weeders.



AMP73 06

Wheel hoe

A wheel hoe is used in smaller plots to remove weeds between crop rows. It is a cheaper version of the duckfoot-bladed hoe.


»Valley Oak Tool Company

AMP73 07


Mowing is used as an effective weeding method if the weeds do not have to be removed completely and the crop is not at risk of being damaged by the operation. Swing-arm mowers are particularly well-suited to mowing perennial crops.



AMP73 08

Weed control using steam

Steam is used to set back weed development with heat but without additional fire risk. Due to the latent heat of condensation it provides rapid heat transfer and it can operate well in windy and wet conditions.



Note: Most of the Further information links are to a full description of the example in the WOCAT database. However sometimes the link may be to similar practices or a research paper. Occasionally the link is to a commercial product in which case it should be understood that this does not imply any endorsement of the product by iSQAPER.

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