Maybe you have never given it much thought. I hadn't, but when I began to study the plants in my garden and yard I found that some plants were thriving while others weren't doing so well. I began a study to find out if plants can really harm each other. I had an interesting surprise.
It seems this idea has been discussed since the beginning of ground cultivating. Early records indicate people knew some plants just did not go well together. This idea or science has been named "allelopathy."
It does appear that plants can't just be planted beside each other just because they look good. It needs to be studied out. Find out which plants complement each other and which plants need to be spaced away from each other.
As herbicides become increasingly expensive, and with the threat of chemical toxins, farmers may be turning to plants for weed control.
One idea is to plant rye or wheat in the fall and then cutting it down in the spring when it gets about a foot high. Since rye and wheat each have weed-killing potential, this would be a way to control the weeds in an area. These plants work directly against most small seeded broadleaf weeds.
Sorghum is another type of crop which can be planted one season and then mowed down the next. In the case of sorghum, plant it in the summer and then mow it down.
What factors may complicate this? Weed hating crops are not specific. Anything in its way is considered a weed. Crops can't knock out every weed. They work on a few at a time, so it is a slow going process.
Other plants that could be used to control weeds are sunflowers, corn, and lupine. Hybrids appear to be just as potent as the native plant.
The above mentioned plants do not seem to inhibit the growth of grasses as much as the weeds themselves. Use of plants over herbicides has many advantages for the human and animal population. Putting fewer chemicals into our bodies can only be a good thing.
Just as crops can be planted to hurt weeds they can also be planted to create better tasting foods and more disease resistant. Look for the article on companion planting to find out what plants are best suited to be planted next to each other to offer the most potential.