About to harvest? The soil seedbank serves as the source of next season’s weed problems. Weed seeds in the soil were deposited by plants that escaped control in previous years. Due to seed dormancy, weed seeds can remain viable in the soil for many years and often emerge over several weeks during the growing season.
Seed dormancy, prolonged viability, and extended emergence periods make it easier for weeds to survive across a wide range of environments and management tactics. Current management recommendations target weed seed production to prevent additions to the soil seedbank.
Recommendations include controlling weeds while they are small and susceptible to weed control tactics, removing weeds that escape control, and managing weeds that produce viable seeds to minimize their impact on the soil seedbank. These late-season practices are not new, but due to wide-spread herbicide-resistance they are being revisited with new technology.
But what is the soil seedbank? Understanding it’s dynamic together with good management practices will help managing weeds.
In this video Dr. Mandy Bish explains the importance of understanding the weed seedbank and why preventing weeds from producing seeds is so important.