007 Yellow Nutsedge is Poor Competitor with Summer Squash

in HortScience

Yellow nutsedge (YNS) can be a serious problem where vegetables are grown on polyethylene mulch. YNS will rapidly cover the row and become a nuisance. This study was conducted to determine the effect of various population densities of YNS on the yield response of yellow squash grown on black polyethylene. Presprouted YNS tubers were planted at densities of 0, 10, 20, 40, and 50/m2 the day after `Superpik' yellow squash was planted. In 1996 the YNS did not produce tubers. Top growth increased up to 40/m2, but root growth increased to 50/m2. In 1997 top and root growth increased up to 20/m2. Tuber production increased up to 40/m2. In 1998 top, root, and tubers dry weight increased as the YNS density increased to 50 tubers/m2. There were no differences in weight of the squash plants or fruit yields any year. In experiments over three growing seasons, YNS at the densities tested did not interfere with the yield of yellow summer squash grown on black polyethylene mulch. The rapid growth of the squash and its dense canopy provide too much shade for the YNS to grow competitively. The yield of the YNS was greater in wet years than in dry years. The increased supply of YNS tubers could cause squash yield reductions in future plantings because of potential densities greater than those use in this study. YNS competition could also be a problem in rotational crops that are less competitive.

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