A Comparison of Alternative Weed Management Strategies for Field-grown Specialty Cut Flowers in Maine

in HortScience

A 2-year field study was initiated in May 1994 to show the effects of alternative weed control methods on weed suppression and cut flower yield. Cultural and economic analyses evaluate the feasibility of various management decisions. Gomphrena globosa cv. Woodcreek Pink seedlings were transplanted at 12-inch spacings with the following treatments: 10 mm chopped straw mulch, 10 mm shredded paper mulch, 1.25 mm black plastic mulch, bare soil with postemergent herbicide (Glyphosate) and bare soil with hand weed control. First-year results of the study show weed control was statistically equal between plastic, herbicide, and hand control. These methods provided significantly better barriers to weed growth than shredded paper and oat straw. Economic analyses show variation in the cost efficiency of these methods, however. It is expected that the results of the first year will be corroborated in 1995 for the herbicide, hand control, and plastic treatments, but will reflect change in the chopped straw and shredded paper treatments due to improved focus on experimental design and material selection.

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