Weeds and their management in an organic farming

We are facing lot of problem with managing the weeds in what ever we do, when contact any local people they suggest some chemical sprays. I have been using the brush cutter the cut the grass and other weeds and ask my helper to pull them out where ever possible. This is becoming a real pain and if I still want to continue with organic farming how can I control the weeds. This is becoming a very costly affair.


Have you tried mulching and/or ground cover crops? What is the current scenario and crop where you are facing these problems? Pics would be useful.

To suggest you in depth,more inouts needed. 
What crops do you have? if it is horticulture what spacing?
What is your irrigation method?

If you have drip, weeds should not bother you at this point of the year.

If you are using flood or sprinkler irrigation, yes you will face weed problem thruout the year. As rightly said by airfoil, have cover crops.

See below video for a good example of cover crops as Mucuna(velvet beans). He claims he doesnt use anyother fertiliser.

If you uproot the weeds, they will spring back with vengeance.
Just cut them and use the cut plants as mulch .
You can dramatically minimize the weed problem but you can not completely avoid this .
Don’t think the weeds are competitors to the plants .
Think of them as good samaritans trying to keep the soil and root zone cool.

Thank you friends for your advises.

I will post some pictures of the problem.

I have started using my brush cutter to cut the weeds.

What kind of cover crops are good for vegetables.? I planned mulch sheet but found it very expensive and also I normally avoid plastic. I tired paddy grass as mulch but did not work out.

From what I have read and understood…Velvet bean will work well in humid climates. But as somebody suggested the plant is irritant and very itchy. Also, it can take over and spread very fast. I put some recently so watching them to see how they grow. In rainy season they spread.

Better perhaps is even chikkudu…Lab Lab which spreads and also is edible. Weeds take couple of seasons to get a hold of. Not going to happen overnight.

Also green cover crops like Ulavalu, Daincha, Janamu should help as well and these are green manure crops as well.

We weeded a lot of parthenium and to help suppress the seed we buried it or you can compost it at the bottom level from what I was told. Don’t burn when flowered as the heat disperses the seed.

Dear Sir
it would have helped a lot if the language spoken would have been English in Video.

Thanks & Regards
g c jagwani

Translation of below vedio

" I am from Thirthalli Taluk, Shimoga Dist, Karnataka

What you see is called Mucuna (mucuna prurience, velvetbeans, Cowhage), it is grown as covercrop. It fixes nitrogen from atmospehere to soil. When it so dense(shown in background) it will fix 400Kg/acre of nitrogen (=urea).

You can witness the this arecanut farm how green and rich, we have not used any other fertiliser like traditional farming. Mucuna grows, sheds leaves, seeds, again plant grows. The reason for so good areca farm is mucuna cover crop.

We have another piece of rubber plantation nearby, we tried first in rubber and after seeing success, we applied the same principle in arecanut plantation. This is 8 year old farm, you can see the richness in green leaves, broad canopy etc. This is the evidence of effectiveness os mucuna.

If all the farmers in Malnad (it is highrainfall area in Karnataka) adopts this they can solve labour issue, farming can be managed in very less expnse."

IIHR has developed non-irritating variants of mucuna, aka black velvet bean and nasgunnikayi in kannada. iihr.ernet.in/content/mucuna-arka-dhanvantri

I sought the advice of Dr.Hima Bindu of the medicinal plants section at Hesaraghatta. She recommended Arka Dhanvantri for open fields and Arka Ashwini for plantations, the difference being Dhanvantri flowers and seeds in 3 months, while Dhanvantri takes 6. Each acre needs about 1.5-2 kgs. At Rs.40 kg per acre, it isn’t expensive.

BTW, mucuna seeds do have some commercial value in that they are used to treat Parkinson’s disease. But, if you are using mucuna only for mulch, she said we could cut back the vines every couple of months to keep away snakes. You can see how high and dense the vines are in that video posted above.

We have scattered Arka Dhanvantri seeds over our open fields in Pandavpura, Mandya. The seeds have only just germinated. I’ll update this thread with the progress as and when it happens.

Sir, mine is a Mango Farm and I also grow vegetables, the problem I have is off late a lot of subabul plants are growing, grass and wild creepers. I had these brush cut a several times instead of ploughing but the problem persists. I have a drip irrigation system.

Thanks again.


grow a diecot cover crop this is most economical way of controlling weeds. Select a native diecot. Check stylosanthes hamata/scabra/velvet beans etc.

dont treat weeds as enemies. use them to prepare organic manure using cow dung and urine you would reap the best harvest from your main crop. also grow as many crops to cover the entire area to prevent weed growth and add to your income. pl visit some of the organic farms in your neighbourhood to understand the concept of organic farming.