If you find
Your crop does not commandeer all the ground and weeds fill the spaces.
At certain times of the year you have patches of bare ground and weeds get a foot-hold.
Basically if a space is unoccupied, something steps in to make it their home. The space can be:
- a demand in the market for a particular product or
- a bit of bare ground and so on.
Because Nature fills any vacuum, if you leave an empty space undefended you leave it open for invasion.
If every possible void is filled by you, there is less chance that an invader (pest, weed etc) will take the space and interfere with your plans.
Killing weeds such as by spraying them out creates small areas of sterile land that are ripe for colonization by other organisms, most likely more weeds and particularly ones that are resistant to the chemical you just used.
Full ground cover is a key tactic in reducing weed problems because it is a simple way to reduce the chances of weed establishment.
Weeds (particularly annuals) often prefer to establish on bare ground. If your ground won’t have living plants on it, can you at least have leaf and stem Litter?
What allows weeds to establish?
A crop does not use all the space and water and that leaves room for a weed. Basically when there is a gap in the ground cover, Nature fills any vacuum. Nature will not fill it with a crop plant nor with a pasture plant. It will fill it with whatever is there or arrives there and can work there. Unfortunately that is most likely to be a weed.
A sterile field (in terms of this pattern) has only crop plants with bare ground between them and this leaves many spaces between the plants and where crop plants failed to establish successfully. These spaces are ideal for weeds.
For more about filling your niche in the market, see Filled niche because if any one thing causes low profitability, it is low returns from the market and one part of fixing that is to find and fill your niche in the market.