Extending the season can provide opportunities for vegetable producers. Bunching onion, or scallions (Allium fistulosum L.), is a crop that can be a candidate for protected production used to extend the growing season. The cvs. Evergreen Hardy White (white), Deep Purple (red), and Nabechan F1 (white) were sown at monthly intervals from Sept. 2010 to Aug. 2011 in containers under greenhouse and hoop house conditions at Lane, OK. Days to harvest and yield variables were determined. Crop failure occurred in a greenhouse for all plants sown in July, for ‘Deep Purple’ sown in August, and for those sown in a hoop house in February and March and May through August, days to harvest was generally less for plants sown in the greenhouse, and for ‘Deep Purple’, but all plants took longer to reach marketable size than is indicated for field production. Yields for plants grown in the greenhouse were higher than for those grown in the hoop house. Greenhouse production provides more flexibility and protection from environmental conditions so that bunching onions can be grown for extended season production. However, environmental controls under greenhouse conditions need to be refined to reduce length of growing season while maintaining, or improving, yields of optimally sized plants. Programs to improve nutrition in school systems and introduction of “Farm to School” and “extended season” initiatives present opportunities for production of some vegetables including bunching onion, or scallions. “Farm to School” programs allow the use of fresh, locally grown foods to be incorporated into school menus. Bunching onions can be used fresh or prepared items. Use of protected culture in greenhouses and hoop houses may allow for extended season production of these onions so that they can be used during non-typical growing periods especially, when locally produced field-grown crops are not available.
Vincent M. Russo and James Shrefler
Charles L. Webber III and James W. Shrefler
Although CGM has been identified as an organic herbicide for weed control in turf and established vegetable plants, direct contact with vegetable seeds can decrease crop seedling development and plant survival by inhibiting root and shoot development. The objective of this research was to determine the impact of banded corn gluten meal applications on squash plant survival and yields. This factorial field study was conducted during Summer 2005 on 81-cm-wide raised beds at Lane, Okla., with two application configurations (banded and solid), two CGM formulations (powdered and granulated), two incorporation treatments (incorporated and nonincorporated), and three application rates (250, 500, and 750 g·m–2). The two CGM formulations at three application rates were uniformly applied in both banded and solid patterns on 19 Aug. The banded application created a 7.6-cm wide CGM-free planting zone in the middle of the raised bed. The CGM applications were then either incorporated into the top 2.5 to 5.0 cm of the soil surface with a rolling cultivator or left undisturbed on the soil surface. `Lemondrop' summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) was then direct-seeded into the center of the raised beds. When averaged across the other factors, there was no significant difference between powdered and granulated CGM formulations or incorporating and nonincorporating the CGM for either squash plant survival or yields. As the CGM application rates increased the plant survival and yields decreased. Banded application resulted in significantly greater crop safety (90% plant survival) and yields (445 cartons/ha) than the broadcast (solid) applications (45% plant survival and 314 cartons/ha). The research demonstrated the potential usefulness of CGM in direct-seeded squash production, if used in banded application configuration.
Charles L. Webber and James W. Shrefler
Producers and researchers are interested in pelargonic acid (nonanoic acid) as a broad-spectrum postemergence or burn-down herbicide. Pelargonic acid is a fatty acid naturally occurring in many plants and animals, and present in many foods we consume. The objective of this research was to determine the effect of pelargonic acid concentration, adjuvants, and application timing on weed control efficacy as a burn-down herbicide. Field research was conducted at Lane, Okla. (southeast Oklahoma), during the 2005 growing season. One month prior to spraying the weed control treatments, the land was cultivated to kill the existing weeds and provide a uniform seed bed for new weed growth. The factorial weed control treatments included three application concentrations of Scythe (57.0% pelargonic acid) applied at 3%, 6.5%, and 10%; three adjuvants (none, orange oil, and non-ionic surfactant); and two application dates. All herbicide treatments were applied with an application volume of 935 L/ha to seedling weeds. The experiment had a high weed density with multiple species of grass and broadleaf weeds. Weed control across species increased as the herbicide concentrations increased from 0% to 10%. At all concentrations applied, pelargonic acid produced greater weed control for a longer time period for the broadleaf weeds than the grass weeds. Visual damage to the weeds was often apparent within a few hours after application. There was a significant increase in weed control when applied to the younger weeds. In this research, pelargonic acid was effective in controlling both broadleaf and grass weeds as a burn-down herbicide, although crabgrass was tougher to control.
Charles L. Webber III and James W. Shrefler
Corn gluten meal (CGM) has been identified as a potential organic preemergence and preplant-incorporated herbicide. It is an environmentally friendly material that has demonstrated ability to decrease seedling development and plant survival by inhibiting root and shoot development. Unfortunately, CGM can also decrease the development and plant survival of direct-seeded vegetable crops. As a result, the use of CGM is not recommended in conjunction with direct-seeded vegetables. The development of equipment to apply CGM in banded configurations has created an opportunity to investigate whether banded CGM applications will provide significant crop safety for direct-seeded vegetables. The objective of this research was to determine the impact of banded CGM applications on squash plant survival and yields. A factorial field study was conducted during the summer of 2004 on 81-cm-wide raised beds at Lane, Okla., with two application configurations (banded and solid), two CGM formulations (powdered and granulated), two incorporation treatments (incorporated and non-incorporated), and three application rates (250, 500, and 750 g·m–2). The two CGM formulations at three application rates were uniformly applied in both banded and solid patterns on 18 Aug. The banded application created a 7.6-cm-wide CGM-free planting zone in the middle of the raised bed. The CGM applications were then either incorporated into the top 2.5 to 5.0 cm of the soil surface with a rolling cultivator or left undisturbed on the soil surface. `Lemondrop' summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) was then direct-seeded into the center of the raised beds. When averaged across the other factors, there was not a significant difference between powdered and granulated CGM formulations or incorporating and non-incorporating the CGM for either squash plant survival or yields. CGM application rates made a significant difference for both squash survival and yields, when averaged across all other factors. As the CGM application rate increased, the plant survival and yields decreased. When averaged across all other factors, the banded application resulted in significantly greater crop safety (59% plant survival) and yields (228 cartons/ha) than the solid applications (25% plant survival and 118 cartons/ha). The research demonstrated the potential usefulness of CGM in direct-seeded squash production, if used in a banded application configuration. Additional research should further investigate the interaction of CGM application rates and the width of the CGM-free zone on crop safety for various vegetables.
James A. Duthie, James Shrefler, Warren Roberts, and Jonathan V. Edelson
In each of seven field experiments, density of watermelon (cultivar Sugar Baby) plants was varied over the range 1000-9000 plants/ha by varying the distance between plants in single-row, replicate plots. Per unit area, reproductive biomass and marketable yield each increased linearly with density. An upper limit on these response variables at high density was not detected in any experiment. The rate of increase per 1000 plants/ha ranged from 1.1 to 3.2 Mg·ha-1, for reproductive biomass, and from 0.5 to 1.1 Mg·ha-1, for marketable yield. The linear effect of density explained >90% of the increase in reproductive biomass in most experiments. The effect on marketable yield was more variable because the marketable fraction of reproductive biomass often was highly variable. In most experiments, the marketable fraction did not vary systematically with density. The linear rate of change in the marketable fraction with density did not exceed 3% per 1000 plants/ha on average in any experiment. Intraspecific competition intensified rapidly as density was increased in some experiments. Intensity of competition appeared to vary among environments.
James W. Shrefler, William M. Stall, and Joan A. Dusky
Three field studies on high-organic-matter soils were conducted to determine the zone of influence of spiny amaranth on lettuce head quality. Spiny amaranth reduced lettuce head firmness at all distances from the weed, ≤105 cm. Lettuce ribbiness increased at 15 and 45 cm compared with the weed-free control. Untrimmed lettuce head weight was not affected by spiny amaranth presence beyond 45 cm. Trimmed lettuce head weight was reduced at all distances compared with the control. Stem diameter and core length were not affected by spiny amaranth competition. The presence of a single spiny amaranth plant significantly influenced some lettuce quality traits at ≤105 cm.
Charles L. Webber, Vincent M. Russo, and James W. Shrefler
Non-pungent jalapeño peppers are used for making commercial picante sauces (salsas) and have a potential for outstanding yields in Oklahoma. There is incomplete information on the crop safety of certain herbicides that may not specifically address their use with non-pungent jalapeño peppers. The objective of this research was to determine the weed control efficacy and safety of a combination of preplant incorporated herbicides on transplanted non-pungent jalapeño pepper production. A field study was conducted during the Summer 2005 on 91-cm-wide raised beds at Lane, Okla. The herbicides in the study included napropramide (2.2 kg a.i./ha), clomazone (1.1 kg a.i./ha), bensulide (6.7 kg a.i./ha), and trifluralin (1.1 kg a.i./ha) used separately and in combination with one of the other herbicides. All herbicides were applied preplant-incorporated just prior to transplanting `Pace 105' non-pungent jalapeño peppers on 6 May 2005. Fruit were harvested on 21 July 2005, 76 days after transplanting. Plants treated with clomazone used by itself produced the greatest yields (16.4 t/ha) compared to plants treated with the other herbicides used individually, although it was not significantly greater than napropramide, 9.2 t/ha. Four of the five top-yielding herbicide treatments included the use of clomazone. The tank mixture of napropramide and bensulide produced the second greatest yield (16.2 t/ha). The weed-free treatment produced 17.5 t/ha compared to 86% yield reduction for the weedy check. These results demonstrated that clomazone, used individually or in combination with certain other herbicides, can maintain non-pungent jalapeño yields equivalent to weed-free levels.
Charles L. Webber III, James W. Shrefler, and Merritt J. Taylor
Corn gluten meal (CGM) is a non-selective preemergence or preplant-incorporated herbicide that inhibits root development, decreases shoot length, and reduces plant survival. The development of a mechanized application system for the banded placement of CGM between crop rows (seed row not treated) has increased its potential use in organic vegetable production, especially in direct-seeded vegetables. The objective of this research was to determine the impact of CGM applications (formulations, rates, incorporation, and banded applications) on direct-seeded squash (Cucurbita pepo) plant survival and yields. Neither CGM formulation (powdered or granulated) nor incorporation method (incorporated or non-incorporated) resulted in significant differences in plant survival or squash yields. When averaged across all other factors (formulations, incorporation method, and banding), CGM rates of 250 to 750 g·m−2 reduced squash survival from 70% to 44%, and squash yields from 6402 to 4472 kg·ha−1. However, the banded application (CGM placed between rows) resulted in significantly greater crop safety (75% survival) and yield (6402 kg·ha−1) than the broadcast (non-banded) applications (35% survival and 4119 kg·ha−1 yield). It was demonstrated that banded applications of CGM can be useful in direct-seeded squash production and other organic direct-seeded vegetables.
Charles L. Webber III, Merritt J. Taylor, and James W. Shrefler
Pepper (Capsicum annuum) producers would benefit from additional herbicide options that are safe to the crop and provide effective weed control. Research was conducted in southeastern Oklahoma (Atoka County, Lane, OK) during 2010 and 2011 to determine the impact of pelargonic acid on weed control efficacy, crop injury, and pepper yields. The experiment included pelargonic acid applied unshielded postdirected at 5, 10, and 15 lb/acre, plus an untreated weedy control and an untreated weed-free control. ‘Jupiter’ sweet bell pepper, a tobacco mosaic virus-resistant sweet pepper with a 70-day maturity, was transplanted into single rows on 3-ft centered raised beds with 18 inches between plants (9680 plants/acre) on 28 May 2010 and 27 May 2011, respectively. Weeds included smooth crabgrass (Digitaria ischaemum), cutleaf groundcherry (Physalis angulata), spiny amaranth (Amaranthus spinosus), and yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus). Pelargonic acid was applied postdirected each year in mid-June and then reapplied 8 days later. The 15-lb/acre pelargonic acid treatment resulted in the maximum smooth crabgrass control (56%) and broadleaf weed control (66%) at 1 day after the initial spray treatment (DAIT), and 33% yellow nutsedge control at 3 DAIT. Pelargonic acid at 15 lb/acre provided equal or slightly greater smooth crabgrass and broadleaf (cutleaf groundcherry and spiny amaranth) control compared with the 10-lb/acre application, and consistently greater control than the 5-lb/acre rate and the weedy control. Pelargonic acid was less effective at controlling yellow nutsedge than smooth crabgrass and broadleaf weeds. As the rate of pelargonic acid increased from 5 to 15 lb/acre, yellow nutsedge control also increased significantly for all observation dates. Increasing the pelargonic acid application rate increased the crop injury rating. The maximum crop injury occurred for each application rate at 1 DAIT with 7%, 8.0%, and 13.8% injury for pelargonic acid rates 5, 10, and 15 lb/acre, respectively. There was little or no new crop injury after the second postdirected application of pelargonic acid and crop injury following 3 DAIT for application rates was 2% or less. Only the 15-lb/acre pelargonic acid application produced greater fruit per hectare (4784 fruit/ha) and yields (58.65 kg·ha−1) than the weedy control (1196 fruit/ha and 19.59 kg·ha−1). The weed-free yields (7176 fruit/ha, 178.11 kg·ha−1, and 24.82 g/fruit) were significantly greater than all pelargonic acid treatments and the weedy control. Pelargonic acid provided unsatisfactory weed control for all rates and did not significantly benefit from the sequential applications. The authors suggest the pelargonic acid be applied to smaller weeds to increase the weed control to acceptable levels (>80%).
Charles L. Webber III, Merritt J. Taylor, and James W. Shrefler
Squash (Cucurbita pepo) producers could benefit from additional herbicide options that are safe to the crop and provide effective weed control. Research was conducted in southeastern Oklahoma (Atoka County, Lane, OK) during 2010 and 2011 to determine the impact of pelargonic acid (PA) on weed control efficacy, crop injury, and squash yields. The experiment included PA applied unshielded postdirected at 5, 10, and 15 lb/acre, plus an untreated weedy control and an untreated weed-free control. ‘Enterprise’ yellow squash was direct-seeded in single rows into raised beds. Weeds included smooth crabgrass (Digitaria ischaemum), cutleaf groundcherry (Physalis angulata), spiny amaranth (Amaranthus spinosus), and yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus). Pelargonic acid was applied each year in mid-July and then reapplied 8 days later. The maximum smooth crabgrass control (98%), broadleaf weed control (94%), and yellow nutsedge control (41%) was observed with the 15-lb/acre PA treatment at 9 days after initial spray treatment (DAIT), 1 day after sequential treatment (1 DAST). Pelargonic acid at 15 lb/acre provided equal or slightly greater smooth crabgrass and broadleaf (cutleaf groundcherry and spiny amaranth) control compared with the 10-lb/acre application, and consistently greater control than the 5-lb/acre rate and the weedy control. Pelargonic acid was less effective at controlling yellow nutsedge than smooth crabgrass and broadleaf weeds. Yellow nutsedge control peaked at 9 DAIT (1 DAST) with 10-lb/acre PA (41%). As the rate of PA increased from 5 to 15 lb/acre, yellow nutsedge control also increased significantly for all observation dates, except for 28 DAIT. Increasing the PA application rate increased the crop injury rating at 1 and 3 days after each application (1 and 3 DAIT, 1 and 3 DAST). Maximum squash injury occurred for each application rate at 9 DAIT (1 DAST) with 4.4%, 8.0%, and 12.5% injury for PA rates 5, 10, and 15 lb/acre, respectively. The 10-lb/acre PA treatment produced the highest squash yields (kilograms per hectare) and fruit number (fruit per hectare) compared with either the 5- or 15-lb/acre rates, and equivalent yields and fruit number as the hand-weeded weed-free treatment. The 10-lb/acre PA rate applied in a timely sequential application has the potential of providing good weed control with minimal crop injury resulting in yields equivalent to weed-free hand-weeding conditions.