San Diego County Vegetation Control
Competing Invasive Species is a major problem with established vegetation in San Diego County, California. Weeds compete for moisture and nutrients with the newly planted vegetation. This competition lasts for 2-3 growing seasons by which time the weeds have generally grown above the desired vegetation. While mounding (commonly used cultivation method) can help to reduce the effects of competition some form of Vegetation Control is usually necessary on most sites and this is carried out manually or by the use of chemical herbicides.
Manual Vegetation Control
This is traditional method of maintaining the plants free from weed competition. A small scythe or hook is used to cut the vegetation around the plant. Alternatively, with tall grassy vegetation it is often sufficient to trample the area around the trees as the weeds, when flattened, remain on the ground.
Manual weed control is labor intensive and therefore a costly operation. Depending on the site and weather conditions, it is sometimes necessary to clean a plantation twice in the same year. Manual control is generally not used much these days as permanent forest staffs dwindle and most operations are carried out by contractors. Chemical control also is more effective and less costly.
Chemical Vegetation Control
Herbicides have proven to be the most cost effective means of controlling weeds in plantations and consequently are the most commonly used method of weed control.
While the use of chemical pesticides is controversial in forestry, in the City of San Diego County only those approved by the Pesticide Control Service of the Department of Agriculture can legally be used for Vegetation Control. In forests certified to the FSC Standard, only those pesticides approved by the FSC can be used.
Controlling competing vegetation ensures good survival and early rapid growth.
In San Diego County Herbicides are used sparingly and only where they are necessary. There is no advantage in spraying vegetation that is not competing with the trees as this practice is both ineffective and costly. Spot spraying immediately around the plants or band spraying along a row of trees is normal practice.
All operators that are engaged Vegetation Control and spraying pesticides in San Diego County are required to be fully trained in the safe handling and use of chemical pesticides (herbicides, insecticides and fungicides). They are also required to use protective clothing when handling and spraying chemicals and must follow best practices guidelines.
Operators in San Diego County are required to take great care when spraying plantations near aquatic or other sensitive sites (biodiversity areas) as drift can cause non-target areas to be treated.
Where pesticides are used for Vegetation Control, they are required to be used in minimum effective quantities, and with strict observation of controls and regulations relating to their use.
Visually, weeds can ruin the look of an entire garden or yard. Most people who spend time on their garden have carefully planned where each of their crops will grow in order to maintain a specific look they had in mind. Lack of Vegetation Control produces Weeds and other unplanned growths can cause the space to lose what might have been an otherwise lovely display. This can be especially concerning for a space that needs to be marketed in a city like San Diego County, such as a house going up for sale or a resort that welcomes new guests every day.
Unwanted vegetation in a major city like San Diego County can actually be a safety hazard. For example, an overgrowth of weeds can covers up a road sign that drivers need to see before making the next turn. On a smaller scale, weeds might cover up the ground and make it hard for children to see rocks or tree roots that they can trip over.
Health of Desired Vegetation:
Undesired plants are also referred to as “competing vegetation”. Weeds that sprout up near desired plants can start to soak up resources such as water, sunlight and vitamins that the original plant needs to grow.
Methods of Vegetation Control
The amount of Vegetation Control needed depends on the space, as well as the types and severity of the unwanted plants. There are three methods of Vegetation Control: mowing, trimming (often with mechanical equipment) and chemical.
The upside of mowing or trimming unwanted vegetation as opposed to using a chemical is a reduced use of chemicals around desired vegetation, as well as children and pets. Another reason some vegetation requires this method over a chemical one is the severity. A huge overgrowth of weeds over a large span of land is much easier to mow than to go over with herbicides.
The chemical method of Vegetation Control uses herbicides to speed up, halt or alter the weed’s normal growth patterns by either drying out or causing the plant to drop it’s leaves. In San Diego County It’s very important to choose the right product to use in this method, since the wrong product can ruin plants that you actually do want in your space.