Investigating the Use of Living Mulches in Edamame (Glycine max) Field Production for Weed Management

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  • 1 The Pennsylvania State Univ., Dept. of Horticulture, Univ. Park, PA 16802
  • | 2 The Pennsylvania State Univ., Dept. of Horticulture, Univ. Park, PA 16802
  • | 3 The Pennsylvania State Univ., Dept. of Horticulture, Univ. Park, PA 16802

A field trial investigating the use of living mulches for weed management in edamame (Glycine max), also known as vegetable soybean, was conducted in 2003 at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center, Rock Springs, Pa. Edamame was direct seeded on 24-25 June 2003. Seven weeks later, the living mulch treatments were broadcast seeded. The living mulch species were white clover (Trifolium repens), buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) and a control with no living mulch (bare ground). Each living mulch plot was divided into a weeded and non-weeded subplot. Weed pressure was evaluated every 2 weeks from the time living mulches were sown. Data collected included the total number of weeds present, number of different species present, number of broadleaf and grass species and number of annual and perennial species. The total number of weeds in weeded and non-weeded subplots was lowest in the buckwheat and highest in the clover. Species diversity in weeded subplots was lowest for the control and highest in clover while species diversity in non-weeded subplots was lowest in buckwheat and highest in the control. Overall, most weeds present were broadleaf annuals including pigweeds (Amaranthus spp.), shepard's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), common lambsquarters (Cheno-podium album) and common purslane (Portulaca oleracea). Based on this 1-year study, which will be repeated in 2004, the buckwheat treatment is likely the most effective in managing weeds in edamame field production for consideration by Pennsylvania growers.

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