A weed in a general sense is a plant that is considered to be a nuisance, and normally appliedto unwanted plants in human-made settings such as gardens, lawns or agricultural areas, but also inparks, woods and other natural areas. More specifically, the term is often used to describe native ornon-native plants that grow and reproduce aggressively. Generally, a weed is a plant in an undesiredplace. Weeds are plants that under certain conditions cause economic and social harm to thefarmers.Weeds continue to exist, because the environment is continually being disturbed to createopen conditions for new generations, such as forest fires and human activity.Weeds may be unwanted for a number of reasons: they might be unsightly, or crowd out orrestrict light to more desirable plants or use limited nutrients from the soil. They can harbour andspread plant pathogens that infect and degrade the quality of crop or horticultural plants. Someweeds are a nuisance because they have thorns or prickles, some have chemicals that cause skinirritation or are hazardous if eaten, or have parts that come off and attach to fur or clothes.The term weed in its general sense is a subjective one, without any classification value, sincea "weed" is not a weed when growing where it belongs or is wanted. Indeed, a number of "weeds"have been used in gardens or other cultivated-plant settings.
Characteristics of weeds:
Weeds generally produce large numbers of seeds.2.
Weed seeds can often germinate under a variety of conditions, but some portion of the seedpopulation remains dormant. Dormant weed seeds are insurance against conditions that mightdestroy growing plants.3.
Many weeds develop rapidly, are able to self-pollinate, disperse widely and tolerate a wide rangeof environmental conditions.4.
Most of the dominant weed species in tropical and subtropical areas are the C4 photosynthesisplants, which are better adapted to a hot and dry environment, having enhanced water absorptionand a more efficient use of soil moisture and sunlight.
Why bother about weeds:
Weeds can compete with productive crops or convert productive land into unusable scrub.2.
Weeds are also often poisonous, distasteful or otherwise interfere with the use andmanagement of desirable plants by contaminating harvests.3.
Weeds tend to thrive at the expense of the more refined edible or ornamental crops. Theycompete for space, nutrients, water and light.4.
Tall growing vigorous weeds can have the most pronounced effects on adjacent crops.5.
Perennial weeds with bulbils or with persistent underground stems are able to store reservesof food, and are thus able to grow faster and with more vigour than crop species.6.
There is also evidence that the roots of some perennials exude allelopathic chemicals whichinhibit the growth of other nearby plants.7.
Weeds can also host pests and diseases that can spread to cultivated crops.