As the snow melts off the Haskap orchard, it reveals more than just my newly awakening plants! Looks like the weeds are waking up as well! We have tested a few methods of haskap weed control and found several that work well for us.
At this time, our orchard is organic. With few pests or diseases to be concerned about, the weeds and birds tend to be my sole focus.
Haskap weed control methods:
- Hula Hoe: My primary tool when weeding haskap. This hoe allows me to go through each row and quickly dislodge or cut off the weeds and grasses that tend to like the bare beds.
- Hand Pulling: A necessary evil to get the weeds that are particularly close to the base of the plant. You do not want to accidentally damage a root or branch.
- Herbicides: As mentioned above, I have no experience with herbicides at this time; however, I have spoken with extension offices who have done an early spring application of pre-emergent herbicides, and their hand weeding is minimal.
- Mulch: We use weed-free straw over our beds to help with weed control and moisture retention. The mulch is removed in the fall, as we have pocket gophers who may think we left that straw out for them. No sense attracting that pest and possibly introducing it to the haskap roots!
Note: Last spring we used the hula hoe on half of the orchard and hand pulled the other half. The hula hoe row actually had less regeneration/new growth of weeds than the hand pulled rows.