The North Central Research Extension Center in Minot is home to different agricultural research projects such as grain evaluation, fertilizer tests and weed control.
Currently, the center is testing out ways to control and eliminate weeds through a study of two materials: straw and weed barrier fabric.
Kitty Torkelson, the Horticulture Assistant for the Ward County Extension, says the study will benefit both master gardeners and homeowners alike.
“So on the far side we have straw, which would be easier for the homeowner to get, and then on this side close up we have the weed barrier that we were able to get from the conservation office,” Torkelson said.
The volunteers at the research center will take two samples, one in the fall before planting, and one next spring to see if there are any changes in the soil.
The study will also help staff lessen the use of herbicides and chemicals on produce.
The produce grown in the HungerFree garden at the center will be donated to local food banks in the community.
“We did contact the food pantries in the area to see what they would actually like, so we didn’t plant anything that they would not take,” Torkelson said.
Overall, Torkelson says getting ahead of the pesky plants is the best way to have a less frustrating gardening experience.
“The most time that we spend in our garden is weeding and that’s really not super fun — so we’re trying to eliminate the weeds by smothering out the ones that are just germinating or the small ones that have just germinated,” Torkelson said.
To learn more about the NDSU North Central Research Extension Center, click here.