Cultural control is usually associated with farming
systems, although some elements are relevant to landscape
and bushcare practices. It largely involves manipulating
farming practices to suppress weed growth and production,
while promoting the development of the desired plant.
The principles and techniques used to prevent weed spread
are relevant to cultural control methods to limit the
spread of weeds between different land areas.
Cultural control methods
- Encourage the competitiveness of desired species
that are more competitive and fast growing. This
suppresses weed growth by reducing access to available
sunlight, nutrients and moisture and can include:
- Choose plant and crop species or cultivars that
are naturally more competitive. This can include
using plant species that suppress other plant
species by the release of toxins.
- Use high quality (large and plump) seeds, as
they are more likely to produce vigorous and competitive
- Use increased seeding rates and narrow row spacing.
- Use shallow seeding techniques, where possible,
to allow the desired species to grow above the
soil surface more quickly.
- Ensure the desired plant is placed in the optimum
- Use fertilisers in the optimal growth period
to encourage rapid growth of the desired species.
- If possible use plant species that are native
to the local environment.
Make it hard for weeds to adapt to weed management
techniques. Using the same land management routines
year after year may result in weeds adapting to these
practices. Some practices that make it hard for weeds
to adapt and therefore reduce their spread and vigour
- Rotate crops: if a weed has adapted to grain
crops continuously being sown, then alternating
with a broadleaf crop will remove the environmental
condition to which the weed has adapted.
- Rotate species with different seasonal and growing
- Rotate herbicides with different modes of action
to help delay the development of herbicide resistance.