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  • Author or Editor: R.J. Henry x
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Two biosolid-containing waste media [sewage sludge compost and incinerated biosolids (flume sand)] were tested individually, together, and in combination with a commercial growing medium for growing wildflower sod in greenhouse trials over a 3-year period. A medium composed of flume sand and Metromix (7:3 weight/weight) in 7.5 {XtimesX} 10.5 {XtimesX} 2-inch deep (19 {XtimesX} 27 {XtimesX} 5-cm) plastic trays seeded at 20 oz/1000ft2 (6.1 g·m-2) with cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus), cornflower (Centaurea cyannis), plains coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria), white yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) produced a suitable wildflower sod in 10 to 12 weeks. A single application of slow release fertilizer (Osmocote 14-14-14, 14N-4.2P-11.6K) applied as a top dressing had no significant effect on sod development; however, a 4-mil [0.004-inch (0.10-mm)] polyethylene barrier placed in the base of each container resulted in increased dry weight accumulation and a higher root to shoot ratio relative to sod grown without plastic.

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Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is a perennial invasive weed species that has infiltrated row crops, turfgrass, ornamentals, and various noncrop areas. Currently, multiple mimics of indole-3-acetic acid can provide control of this species; however, these herbicides can damage certain sensitive ornamental plants. When applied at reduced rates, the p-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD)-inhibiting herbicides mesotrione and topramezone have demonstrated some selectivity among certain ornamental plants. Field and greenhouse studies were initiated to evaluate whether these herbicides could control mugwort when applied alone, or in mixtures with photosystem II (PSII)-inhibiting herbicides that often provide synergistic weed control. In the field, mesotrione controlled mugwort between 30% and 60% by 21 days after treatment when applied at 0.093 to 0.187 lb/acre. When the PSII-inhibiting herbicide atrazine was added, control increased to 78% and 79%. In the greenhouse, similar rates produced greater control in mugwort, and all mesotrione treatments limited mugwort regrowth by at least 95% when compared with untreated control. When HPPD inhibitor rates were reduced further, the addition of the PSII inhibitors atrazine or bentazon was not sufficient at providing acceptable control of mugwort.

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Field and greenhouse studies were conducted in 2001 and 2002 near Painter, VA, to determine the level of weed control and pepper (Capsicum annuum) tolerance to postemergence applications of the acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibitors trifloxysulfuron, halosulfuron, sulfosulfuron, cloransulam, and tribenuron. Based on measurements of visual injury, heights, dry weights, and chlorophyll content of pepper, the safest ALS inhibitor to pepper was trifloxysulfuron followed by halosulfuron, cloransulam, sulfosulfuron, and tribenuron. In addition, trifloxysulfuron was the only herbicide that provided greater than 86% control of pigweed species (Amaranthus spp.) and carpetweed (Mollugo verticillata) in both years of the field study. Trifloxysulfuron was also the only herbicide evaluated that did not reduce pepper yield compared with the control in both years of the field study.

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