Weed control is the botanical component of pest control, which attempts to stop weeds, especially noxious or injurious weeds, from competing with desired flora and fauna, this includes domesticated plants and livestock, and in natural settings, it includes stopping non local species competing with native, local, species, especially so in reserves and heritage areas.
Weed control is important in agriculture. Many strategies have been developed in order to contain these plants. Methods include hand cultivation with hoes, powered cultivation with cultivators, smothering with mulch, lethal wilting with high heat, burning, and chemical attack with herbicides (weed killers).
A plant is often termed a “weed” when it has one or more of the following characteristics:
- Little or no recognized value (as in medicinal, material, nutritional or energy)
- Rapid growth and/or ease of germination
- Competitive with crops for space, light, water and nutrients
The definition of a weed is completely context-dependent. To one person, one plant may be a weed, and to another person it may be a desirable plant. In one place, a plant may be viewed as a weed, whereas in another place, the same plant may be desirable.