Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Chemically-conscious gardeners use bugs to beat back the weeds


Organic gardeners can control pesky weeds with the help of some common soil microbes, according to an article in the May 2005 issue of Microbiology Today, the quarterly magazine of the Society for General Microbiology.

As Robert J. Kremer of the University of Missouri explains, soil that suppresses the growth of weeds isn’t science fiction and doesn’t involve chemical fertilisers and herbicides. “Weeds have been a nuisance for gardeners since ancient times,” says Professor Kremer. “And we often rely on the convenience of herbicides to help remove them.”

Use of chemical herbicides and fertilisers can lead to contamination of the environment, as well as resistant pests. So reducing or eliminating the use of these petroleum-based products is very important.

Professor Kremer’s research shows how well-managed microbes can provide an effective, alternative means of weed control. “The community of soil microbes is vast and using fairly simple techniques we can select the segments of this community that aggressively attack weed seeds or infect weed seedlings,” explains Professor Kremer.

Simple measures such as adding organic composts and growing winter-hardy soil covers, such as vetch, increases the number of weed-stopping microbes and have been found not only to reduce the effort of weeding and the use of chemical weed killers, but to also condition many soils that are in poor shape, restoring the quality and productivity of the land.

Britain is a nation of gardeners, apparently, but I wonder if even the gardening guru Alan Titchmarsh knows all that is going on invisibly in his back yard. This issue of Microbiology Today focuses on microbes in the garden. Pick up a free copy of the magazine at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2005 from the Society’s stand in the Floral Marquee.

Other features in the May 2005 issue of Microbiology Today include:

· The threads that bind: symbiotic fungi in the garden (page 56)
· Bacterial and fungal diseases of garden plants (page 60)
· ‘Broken’ tulips and tulip breaking virus (page 68)
· Barbecue roulette (page 72)
· Bugs within bugs: symbiotic bacteria in garden insects (page 76)
· Home composting and its role in waste management (page 80)
· Comment: Plant pathogens on the move (page 100)

These are just some of the articles that appear, together with all the regular features and reports of Society activities.

Faye Jones | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Enormous dome in central Andes driven by huge magma body beneath it

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Deep down fracking wells, microbial communities thrive

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>