Wild Mustard Weeds (Mustards) are plants that have developed a thick tap root system which allows them to grow in areas where other plants cannot survive. They are not native to North America but they have been introduced from Europe and Asia. These weeds may be found growing naturally or they may develop through human activity such as plowing, overgrazing, and even intentional planting.
The first wild mustard species was discovered in Russia in 1874. Since then there have been many new species discovered and described. There are currently over 100 different types of wild mustard, some of which are very difficult to eradicate because their seedlings persist for years after being killed by herbicides. Some varieties of wild mustard produce seeds that germinate readily and spread rapidly, so they can quickly become a problem if not controlled before they take hold.
In addition to its use as a food crop, wild mustard is used as a medicine for treating various ailments including rheumatism, arthritis, asthma, coughs and colds. It is also used in cosmetics and perfumes. However it’s most common use is as an ornamental weed that grows wild all over the world.
How To Control Wild Mustard Weeds?
Controlling wild mustard weeds is not an easy task, every new plant that grows is capable of producing thousands of seeds that are spread in the wind, moving on the clothing of animals or on farm equipment.
If you value your time and effort it is best to enlist the help of a professional weed control company. Their herbicides are specially designed to eliminate unwanted plants and target them specifically, leaving other things like your prize roses safe from harm.
If you prefer to do the job yourself some simple guidelines can be followed to give a fast and effective herbicidal treatment.
Begin by mowing the area thoroughly, this will expose the plants roots and stems to the sun and drying effects. Next apply a pre-emergent fertilizer to the area, wild mustard has a shallow root system and will not survive in soil that is rich in nutrients. Spread the fertilizer at the recommended rate, in late spring or early summer.
The final treatment involves applying a selective herbicide to the area. There are some brands that combine both herbicides and fertilizers in one can, making the process quicker and easier. Other treatments involve drilling holes into tree stumps where wild mustard often grows, filling them with herbicide and properly sealing them.
Sources & references used in this article:
A survey of the occurrence of seedling weeds in spring annual crops in Manitoba by AG Thomas, DI Donaghy – Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 1991 – NRC Research Press
Wild mustard, Sinapis arvensis, control in common buckwheat, Fagopyrum esculentum, with desmediphan and fluorochloridone by GH Friesen – Weed Technology, 1988 – JSTOR
Seed and microsite limitations to emergence of four annual weed species by N Boyd, R Van Acker – Weed science, 2004 – JSTOR
Fall and spring applications of trifluralin and metribuzin in Fababeans (Vicia faba) by MF Betts, IN Morrison – Weed Science, 1979 – JSTOR
Economic losses caused by weed competition in Manitoba grain fields. I. Weed species, their relative abundance and their effect on crop yields by G Friesen, LH Shebeski – Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 1960 – NRC Research Press
Inheritance of erucic acid content in European and North American populations of wild mustard Sinapis arvensis by R Scarth, J Daun, V Barthet, J Nugent-Rigby – Proceedings of the 11th … – gcirc.org
Allelopathic effects of Inula viscosa leaf extracts on weeds by E Dor, J Hershenhorn – Allelopathy Journal, 2012 – researchgate.net
Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds by E Weber – 2017 – books.google.com