By Spy Uganda
When it comes to weeding onions (or any crop, really), early and often is best. If you’ve used weed-free soil and well-rotted organic matter and laid down mulch, you shouldn’t have a big weed problem.
If you prepare your soil properly, you’ll be one step ahead of the weed battle. As you prepare your soil, make sure it’s free of weeds and debris; this will give you the double advantage of also removing potential pests lurking in the soil.
The first few weeks after planting are likely to be the weediest. After you’ve planted your onions, keep an eye out for weeds. Pull what you can by hand. Lay down some mulch (grass clippings, straw—not hay) and you’ll have a good weed deterrent layer to protect your growing crop.
If weeds come up between your more mature onion plants during the season, work the soil around the base of the plants gently with a hoe or a hand tool—only deep enough to kill weeds and not damage the plant’s roots. Kill the weeds just below the soil level. Be sure not to hoe, chop, or dig too deeply; remember that your onion plants have shallow roots, and you want them to stay snug in the soil.
With a wide choice of herbicides and timings, you can maintain onion fields relatively weed-free. Wet weather may interfere with application plans, so always anticipate problems and work ahead a few days when possible.