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  • Author or Editor: Emilie E. Regnier x
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Mary C. Akemo, Mark A. Bennett and Emilie E. Regnier

Pure and biculture stands of rye `Wheeler' (Secale cereale L.) and field pea (Pisum sativum L.) were established and killed for mulch in Spring 1996, 1997, and 1998, in Columbus, Ohio. Treatments were five rye to pea proportions, each with a high, medium, and low seeding rate. Their effects on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) growth and yield were compared with those of a weedy check; a tilled, nonweeded check; and a tilled, hand-weeded check. Tomato tissue and soil were sampled for nutrient analysis. Number of leaves, branching, height, leaf area, dry weight, rate of flowering and fruit set, and fruit yield of tomato plants varied directly with the proportion of pea in the cover crop and decreased with reduced cover crop seeding rates. In 1997, yields of tomato were as high as 50 MT·ha-1 in the 1 rye: 3 pea cover crop; yield was poorest in the weedy check (0.02 MT·ha-1 in 1996). Most of the cover-cropped plots produced better yields than did the conventionally weeded check. No consistent relationship between levels of macronutrients in tomato leaf and soil samples and the cover crop treatments was established. Spring-sown rye + pea bicultures (with a higher ratio of pea) have a potential for use in tomato production.

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Mary C. Akemo, Mark A. Bennett and Emilie E. Regnier

Pure and biculture stands of rye `Wheeler' (Secale cereale L.) and field pea (Pisum sativum L.) were established and killed for mulch in Spring 1996, 1997, and 1998, in Columbus, Ohio. Treatments were five rye to pea proportions, each with a high, medium, and low seeding rate. Their effects on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) growth and yield were compared with those of a weedy check; a tilled, nonweeded check; and a tilled, hand-weeded check. Tomato tissue and soil were sampled for nutrient analysis. Number of leaves, branching, height, leaf area, dry weight, rate of flowering and fruit set, and fruit yield of tomato plants varied directly with the proportion of pea in the cover crop and decreased with reduced cover crop seeding rates. In 1997, yields of tomato were as high as 50 MT·ha–1 in the 1 rye: 3 pea cover crop; yield was poorest in the weedy check (0.02 MT·ha–1 in 1996). Most of the cover-cropped plots produced better yields than did the conventionally weeded check. No consistent relationship between levels of macro-nutrients in tomato leaf and soil samples and the cover crop treatments was established. Spring-sown rye + pea bicultures (with a higher ratio of pea) have a potential for use in tomato production.

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Caitlin E. Splawski, Emilie E. Regnier, S. Kent Harrison, Mark A. Bennett and James D. Metzger

Field studies were conducted in 2011 and 2012 to compare mulch treatments of shredded newspaper, a combination of shredded newspaper plus turfgrass clippings (NP + grass), hardwood bark chips, black polyethylene plastic, and bare soil on weeds, insects, soil moisture, and soil temperature in pumpkins. Newspaper mulch or black plastic reduced total weed biomass ≥90%, and woodchip or NP + grass mulch each reduced total weed biomass 78% compared with bare soil under high rainfall conditions in 2011. In 2012, under low rainfall, all mulches reduced weed biomass 97% or more compared with bare soil. In both years, all mulches resulted in higher squash bug infestations than bare soil. The woodchip, newspaper, and NP + grass mulches retained higher soil moistures than bare soil or black plastic over the course of each growing season, and the woodchip and NP + grass mulches caused greatest fluctuations in soil temperature. Pumpkin yields were abnormally low in 2011 and did not differ among treatments. In 2012, all mulches produced greater total marketable pumpkin fruit weights compared with bare soil, but only black plastic, newspaper, and NP + grass mulches resulted in greater total numbers of marketable pumpkins. Overall results indicate that shredded newspaper or NP + grass mulches may be useful for organic and/or small-scale urban crop producers as sustainable alternatives to black plastic mulch; however, their weed suppression efficacy may require higher application rates with increasing moisture conditions, and they may require greater squash bug control measures than under bare soil conditions.

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Nancy G. Creamer, Mark A. Bennett, Benjamin R. Stinner, John Cardina and Emilie E. Regnier

Field and laboratory studies were conducted to investigate the mechanisms of weed suppression by cover crops. High-performance liquid chromatograph analysis and a seed germination bioassay demonstrated that rye (Secale cereale L.) can be leached of its allelochemicals, redried, and used as an inert control for separating physical suppression from other types of interference. In a field study, rye, crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.), hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), and a mixture of the four species suppressed the emergence of eastern black nightshade (Solanum ptycanthum Dun.). Crimson clover inhibited the emergence of eastern black nightshade beyond what could be attributed to physical suppression alone. The emergence of yellow foxtail [Setaria glauca (L.) Beauv.] was inhibited by rye and barley but not by the other cover crops or the cover crop mixture.

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Caitlin E. Splawski, Emilie E. Regnier, S. Kent Harrison, Karen Goodell, Mark A. Bennett and James D. Metzger

Zucchini squash (Cucurbita pepo) has a high pollination demand, and the native, ground-nesting squash bee (Peponapis pruinosa) provides the majority of the crop’s pollination requirement in some environments. Squash bees nest directly in crop fields, and nests can be disturbed by tillage and other management operations. Mulches that use municipal waste materials may provide a weed control strategy for squash plantings that is more benign to squash bees than cultivation. Field and greenhouse studies were conducted in 2011 and 2012 to compare the effects of nontillage weed control methods including polyethylene black plastic, woodchips, shredded newspaper, a combination of shredded newspaper plus grass clippings (NP + grass), and bare soil (control) on soil characteristics, squash pollination and fruit production, and squash bee nesting. Woodchips, shredded newspaper, and NP + grass mulch decreased soil temperature, while soils beneath newspaper mulch retained more moisture. Unmarketable, misshapen fruit occurred more frequently in plastic than in the other mulch treatments. No measurable differences in floral resource production or crop pollination were found among treatments, suggesting that misshapen fruit resulted from high soil temperatures in black plastic plots rather than poor pollinator attraction. Squash bee nests were located within bare soil, newspaper, and NP + grass plots, indicating that these mulches did not prevent nesting. NP + grass mulch had a positive effect on plant growth and fruit production, possibly from an addition of plant-available nitrogen or the presence of preferable nesting ground. Shredded newspaper when combined with grass clippings performed as an effective mulch material that improved crop performance with no apparent negative impacts on squash bee nesting or on squash floral resources and pollination.