Field studies were conducted in 1973 and 1974 to determine the effects of various reflective film mulches, vegetal barriers of millet (Pennisetum americanum (L.) K. Schum), and soil- and foliar-applied pesticides on yields and control of the watermelon virus complex (WMV), insects, nematodes, and soil-borne pathogens affecting yellow summer squash (Cucurbita pepo var melopepo L. Alefi, ‘Dixie’). All film mulches used (aluminum; white and blue plastic; brown paper) significantly reduced WMV in both fruits and plants. The millet barrier caused a significant reduction in WMV infected plants. In 1974, the systemic insecticide, carbofuran (Furadan) and/or sprays of mineral oil, significantly reduced WMV in non-mulched plots. Brown paper mulch significantly increased infestation of pickleworms, Diaphania nitidalis (Stoll) and all mulches significantly reduced infestations of serpentine leafminers, Liriomyza munda Frick. Leafminers were also controlled with carbofuran. Film mulches had no significant effect on populations of plant-parasitic nematodes and plant-pathogenic fungi. Both groups of pests were controlled with DD-MENCS (a mixture of 1,3-dichloropropene, 1,3-dichloropropane, methylisothiocyanate), but not with carbofuran or sodium azide. Film mulch increased squash yield 70 to 610% over the unmulched control. Plants in non-fumigated plots covered with aluminum and white plastic mulches produced significantly greater yields than plants in plots covered with blue plastic and brown paper mulches. Soil pesticides significantly increased yields over the non-fumigated control, and, averaged across main plots, DD-MENCS = DD-MENCS + carbofuran > carbofuran + sodium azide > sodium azide = nontreated check. The effects of film mulch were greatest in the non-fumigated check. Conversely, the effects of soil fumigation were negligible under film mulch and one could be substituted for the other.
Received for publication February 24, 1976. Cooperative Investigations of the University of Georgia College of Agriculture Experiment Stations and Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Southern Region. Coastal Plain Station, Tifton.
Associate Professor, Department of Entomology and Fisheries; Soil Scientist, ARS USDA; Nematologist ARS USDA; and Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Georgia, respectively. Mention of trade name or a proprietary product does not constitute a guarantee or warranty of the product by the USDA and does not imply its approval to the exclusion of other products that may be suitable.