Here are some basic points on this very large subject.
Organic weed management promotes weed suppression rather then weed elimination.
There are two methods of planting that can help naturally suppress weeds. These are:
- the rotation of crops with weed suppressive cover crops; and
- planting crops with dissimilar life cycles to discourage weeds associated with a particular crop.
The following are mechanical and physical weed control methods. Some are very traditional and others are more modern.
- Mowing and cutting
- Flame weeding and thermal weeding
- Mulching (with organic materials, plastics or landscape fabrics.)
There are also some naturally-sourced chemicals for herbicides that organic farmers can use.
- Corn gluten meal
- Essential oils
- Bioherbicides (fungal pathogens)
However, organic herbicides and bioherbicides play a minor role in organic weed control.