Mid-summer, foliar-applied paraquat is often used to control weeds and desiccate foliage of field-grown narcissus (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) prior to bed reshaping in the autumn. Paraquat-treated narcissus plants sometimes display chlorotic foliage the subsequent growing season. A trial was conducted to determine if paraquat causes that injury and if so, under what conditions paraquat may be safely applied to narcissus. Narcissus (‘Flower Carpet’ hybrid) was treated with two rates of paraquat at three summer application timings and was then evaluated for damage to new foliar growth the following spring. Flower number and flower stem length was also measured and bulb yield was determined. Narcissus foliage displayed 50% to 77% chlorosis in February after half-green foliage was treated with paraquat at 0.47 or 0.78 lb/acre, respectively, the previous summer. Foliage was still 13% to 63% chlorotic, respectively, at flowering. Paraquat at both rates applied to half-green foliage also reduced flower number and flower stem length in one of two iterations, as well as reducing average bulb weight 18% to 33%. If applied when leaves were 75% dry, foliar damage and reduction in average bulb weight was limited to the 0.78 lb/acre rate, while flower number and stem length were not affected at either rate. When desiccating late-season narcissus foliage and weeds with paraquat, therefore, growers are advised to delay application until narcissus foliage is about 75% dry and most of the flower stems have fallen, and to use a maximum of 0.47 lb/acre.
Consumer demand for organic and sustainably produced products has increased the interest in organic wine grape (Vitis vinifera) production. However, organic production can be challenging, and weed management is a critical issue during the establishment of an organic vineyard. In 2009, the effectiveness of five cover crop treatments and cultivation regimes was evaluated for two years for weed control in a newly established organic vineyard of ‘Pinot noir précoce’ and ‘Madeleine angevine’ grape cultivars in northwestern Washington State. Alleyway management treatments were cultivation in alleyways with hand weeding in the vine row (control), grass cover crop which included perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne ssp. perenne) and red fescue (Festuca rubra ssp. arenaria) seeded in the alleyway and in-row tillage with a specialty offset-type cultivator, winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) cover crop with in-row string-trimming, austrian winter pea (Pisum sativum ssp. sativum var. arvense) cover crop with in-row string-trimming, and winter wheat–austrian winter pea cover crop mix with in-row string-trimming. In 2009, weed dry biomass was lowest in the alleyway of the control (0.8 g·m−2) and offset cultivator treatments (6.3 g·m−2) on 3 Aug. and tended to be lowest in the alleyway of the control (4.8 g·m−2) and offset cultivator treatments (16.0 g·m−2) on 27 Sept. In the second year of establishment (2010), winter wheat and austrian winter pea were eliminated from the plots by mid-July, and white clover (Trifolium repens) and perennial ryegrass were the dominant weed species and accounted for a majority of the total weeds. On average over the two-year period, the control treatment required the most time for alleyway management (92 h·ha−1) followed by the offset cultivator treatment (64 h·ha−1), while the winter wheat, austrian winter pea, and winter wheat–austrian winter pea mixture required 32 to 42 h·ha−1. ‘Madeline angevine’ produced more shoot growth than ‘Pinot noir précoce’ in Sept. 2010 (42.3 and 25.9 cm respectively), and shoot growth of both cultivars in the control treatment was significantly longer (125.0 cm) than under any other treatment (55.4 to 93.0 cm), illustrating the importance of weed control during vineyard establishment. In this study, the most effective weed management regime, although also the most time consuming, included a vegetative-free zone around the vines (e.g., in-row) maintained by hand weeding and a cultivated alleyway.