Nursery experiments were conducted in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to determine the effect of increasing population densities of purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus) on the growth of papaya (Carica papaya) transplants. Seeds of `Sunrise Solo', `Red Lady', and `Cartagena Ombligua' were separately sown in plastic 12 × 15-cm containers filled with a 1:1 mixture of sand and loamy soil. Viable purple nutsedge tubers were planted 5 cm apart from the papaya seeds. The purple nutsedge initial population densities were 0, 1, 2, 4, and 6 tubers per container. The crop and the weed were sown the same day and allowed to interfere during 6 weeks. Purple nutsedge density had a significant effect on the height, leaf area, and shoot dry weight of the three papaya cultivars. There was no significant difference in the response of the three papaya cultivars to purple nutsedge densities. In general, as purple nutsedge density increased, papaya growth decreased. Nutsedge interference caused papaya shoot dry weight losses of 15% at the density of one plant per container and 73% at six plants per container.
Field experiments were conducted in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to determine the effect of increasing population densities of purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus) on the yield of eggplant (Solanum melongena). Purple nutsedge populations were established by transplanting viable tubers on 1-m-wide soil beds previously fumigated to suppress volunteer weeds. Nutsedge densities were 0, 50, 100, 150, and 200 plants (tubers) per m2. `Jira' eggplants and purple nutsedge were transplanted the same day and were allowed to interfere season-long. Purple nutsedge initial population densities of up to 100 plants per m2 did not significantly affect the fruit yield of `Jira' eggplants. However, nutsedge densities between 100 and 200 plants per m2 had a significant impact on eggplant yield, causing a linear decline in fruit yield as purple nutsedge density increased. Eggplant fruit yield loss was 22.3% at the density of 200 nutsedge plants per m2.
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.
As triploid watermelons (Citrullus lanatus) increase in popularity, production has shifted away from seeded watermelons. To achieve successful fruit set in triploid watermelons, a diploid watermelon cultivar must be planted as a pollen source. Three diploid cultivars in 2005 and seven diploid cultivars in 2006 were evaluated at one and three locations, respectively, to determine their effectiveness as pollenizers. Each cultivar was planted within plots of the triploid watermelons ‘Tri-X 313’ (2005) and ‘Supercrisp’ (2006) with buffers on all sides of the plots to contain pollen flow within individual plots. Performance of pollenizers was based on triploid watermelon yield, soluble solids concentration, and incidence of hollowheart. In 2005, there were no significant differences in total weight, fruit per acre, average weight, or soluble solids concentration among pollenizers. In 2006, significant differences in yield were observed, and plots with ‘Sidekick’ as a pollenizer yielded the highest but were not significantly different from ‘Patron’, ‘SP-1’, ‘Jenny’, or ‘Mickylee’. In 2006, there were no significant differences in fruit per acre, soluble solids concentration, or incidence of hollowheart between pollenizers. The experimental design was successful in isolating pollenizers and there was minimal pollen flow outside of experimental plots as indicated by minimal fruit set in control plots.
Field trials were conducted in Gainesville, Fla., to determine the influence of nitrogen fertilization on the interference effect of purple or yellow nutsedge on the yield of fresh tomato. Nitrogen (N) rates of 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, and 350 kg·ha–1 were applied broadcast to the soil. Before transplanting, 1-m-wide soil beds were covered with plastic and fumigated with methyl bromide to suppress the growth on undesired weeds. Nutsedge-free and purple or yellow nutsedge-infested tomato plots were separately established. `Solar Set' tomatoes were transplanted in the middle of the soil beds, 50 cm apart in a single row. In nutsedge-infested plots, weed densities known to cause significant yield reduction in tomato (100 purple nutsedge plants/m2 and 50 yellow nutsedge plants/m2) were uniformly established perforating the plastic and transplanting viable tubers in the perforations. Purple and yellow nutsedge tubers were transplanted the same day as tomatoes and were allowed to interfere during the whole crop season. Results indicate that N rates had a significant effect on tomato fruit yield in both nutsedge-free and nutsedge-infested treatments. The presence of either purple or yellow nutsedge significantly reduced the fruit yield of tomato at all N rates. As N rates increased, tomato fruit yield reduction caused by the interference of either nutsedge species also increased. When yellow nutsedge was allowed to interfere with tomato, fruit yield loss was as low as 18% at 50 kg N/ha and as high as 42% at 350 kg N/ha. In purple nutsedge-infested tomato, fruit yield reductions ranged from 10% at 50 kg N/ha to 27% at 350 kg N/ha. N effects on nutsedge-free and nutsedge-infested tomato yields were described by quadratic equations, with maximum tomato fruit yield values being reached between 200 and 250 kg N/ha in both nutsedge-free and nutsedge-infested treatments.
An evaluation of the effect of bed width (24, 28, 32, and 36 inches) on the control of a mixed population of nutsedge [yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) and purple nutsedge (C. rotundus)] was conducted with an emulsifiable concentrate formulation of a 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) and chloropicrin (CP) mixture (1,3-DCP) for application through drip irrigation systems. Beds were mulched with either 1.4-mil-thick virtually impermeable film (VIF) or 0.75-mil-thick high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and 1,3-DCP was applied at 35 gal/acre by surface chemigation or via subsurface chemigation 6 inches deep within the bed. HDPE was more permeable to gaseous 1,3-D than VIF so that 1 day after treatment (DAT), 1,3-D gas concentration at the bed centers under VIF was significantly higher than under HDPE. Dissipation of 1,3-D gas with HDPE occurred within 7 DAT, but dissipation with VIF took ∼10 days. In bed centers, 1,3-D concentrations 1 DAT were in the range of 2.3 to 2.9 mg·L–1 whereas in bed shoulders concentrations ranged from 0.1 to 0.55 mg·L–1. In 2002 and 2003, 1,3-D concentration in shoulders of narrower beds was significantly higher than in the wider beds, but dissipated more rapidly than in wider beds. Lower initial 1,3-D concentrations were observed with HDPE film in shoulders than with VIF and the rate of dissipation was lower with VIF. At 14 DAT, nutsedge plants were densely distributed along bed shoulders (19 to 27 plants/m2) with little or no emergence in the centers of beds (fewer than 5 plants/m2), but with no response to bed width. Nutsedge density increased with time, but the nature of the increase differed with bed width. The most effective nutsedge suppression was achieved with 36-inch beds, which had densities of 11–13 plants/m2 on bed centers and 53 plants/m2 on bed shoulders by 90 DAT. Nutsedge suppression was initially more effective with VIF than with HDPE film, so that no nutsedge emerged in the centers of beds mulched with VIF compared with 2–7 plants/ m2 with HDPE by 14 DAT. On bed shoulders there were 2–7 plants/m2 with VIF and 32–57 plants/m2 with HDPE. Increase in nutsedge density with time was greater with VIF so that by 90 DAT nutsedge densities on bed centers and shoulders were greater than with HDPE in 2002 and the same as with HDPE in 2003. Subsurface chemigation did not consistently improve suppression of nutsedge when compared with surface chemigation. Concentrations of 1,3-D in bed shoulders irrespective of bed width were nonlethal. Initial superior nutsedge suppression with VIF did not persist. Nutsedge control in a sandy soil with 1,3-DCP chemigation is unsatisfactory with one drip-tape per bed.