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Geese Are an Excellent Organic Weed Management Option for Large Gardens, Vineyards and Orchards

By June 25, 2009

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Optimal weed management should lessen competition between weeds and the desired crop without adversely impacting pest controls or soil fertility. Physical methods of weed management include mulches of organic material such as green waste, sawdust or newspaper or cultivation by hand or machine to slice, cut and turn the weed from the soil. However, some soil conditions, terrain or limitations imposed by the type or size of the crop prohibit efficient use of either mulch or cultivation.

Enter Geese who have been used for hundreds of years to weed an enormous variety of crops from strawberries and blueberries to potatoes, nut orchards and grape vineyards. Some have even been trained to clear water hyacinths from drainage ditches.

Geese are in fact, model workers who toil seven days a week, rain or shine, do not compact the soil as machinery does, spread nitrogen-rich manure throughout their wanderings and crane their supple necks to reach weeds nestled in the tightest of plantings. Although geese are vegetarians, companion ducks will eagerly devour wayward slugs and snails.

Last but not least, the goose can be fattened-up with corn at the end of the season to go to the meat market or the family's holiday table. Check your local farmer's markets to purchase goslings (adult geese older than about one year of age tend to be precoccupied with mating and fighting, instead of weeding), or there are several on-line sources.


Profile of Geese as Weeders

How to Use Weeder Geese

Weeder Geese - An Important Tool in the Weed Control Arsenal


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