Interest in organic vegetable gardening has increased in recent years. Organic growers are searching for alternatives to glyphosate for weed suppression. This study was conducted twice. Each data collection period lasted 132 days during the growing seasons of 2016 and 2017 in Richmond, KY. Treatments included application of glyphosate, vinegar [5% acetic acid (AA)], 20% horticulture grade vinegar (20% AA), 30% horticulture grade vinegar (30% AA), and a negative control. Treatments were applied in a factorial arrangement with two application periods (fall and spring or spring only). The percentage of weed cover within plots was evaluated visually with a 0–10 rating scale (0 = 0% weeds or 100% of the plot is dead; 5 = 50% weed growth; 10 = 100% of the plot is alive with weeds). All plots began the study with a rating of 10. After the initial treatment applications, visual ratings of the 5%, 20%, and 30% AA declined to a rating of 0 within 48 hours, whereas the glyphosate required 7 days (P = 0.05). Treatments were reapplied to part of the plots (subplots) in the spring when ≈50% of the plot had regrown with weeds. Glyphosate required 71 to 80.8 days to reach 50% regrowth and required only one retreatment. The 20% and 30% AA applications required three (2016) and four (2017) retreatments. Glyphosate has proven to be more effective at weed control in vegetable gardens when compared with vinegar, although 20% AA and 30% AA are viable alternatives.
Municipalities often restrict irrigation of urban landscapes, causing plants to experience drought stress. Few data are available regarding drought resistance of non-turfgrass landscape species. This study evaluated the performance of one turfgrass (Poa pratensis L. ‘Apollo’) and eight herbaceous landscape species (Achillea millifolium L., Ajuga reptans L. ‘Bronze Beauty’, Liriope muscari Decne., Pachysandra terminalis Siebold and Zucc., Sedum album L., Thymus serpyllum L., Vinca major L., and Vinca minor L.) during a severe drydown and subsequent recovery. This greenhouse study was conducted in the spring/summer and again in the fall of 2010. S. album performed the best, averaging 254 days to decline to a drought rating of 1 (1 to 9 scale, 1 = dead/dormant and 9 = best quality). L. muscari and P. terminalis also performed well, averaging 86 days to a drought rating of 1. V. minor and V. major declined faster than the previous species, averaging 63 days. A. millifolium, A. reptans, P. pratensis, and T. serpyllum declined the fastest to a drought rating of 1 (mean 52 days). Thereafter, the only species to recover after 60 days of resuming irrigation were P. pratensis [46% pot cover (PC)], S. album (38% PC), and V. major (35% PC) in the spring/summer study; no species recovered during the fall study. Results indicate S. album, L. muscari, and P. terminalis are the most drought-resistant among the species evaluated in landscapes where severe drought may occur. V. minor and V. major are good selections in less severe droughts as is P. pratensis if periods of dormancy are acceptable.