length of rotation and sensitivity of some species (especially young transplants) to weed competition, adequate weed control continues to be an important issue facing the industry. Chemical weed control provides numerous benefits over no weed control for
efficacious, reliable, and economical ( Capps and Lanini, 2008 ). In recent years, some organic herbicides have been registered; however, their efficiency and cost-effectiveness in comparison with other weed control methods has not been directly compared
A set of studies was established in Summer 1998 to determine the tolerance of field-grown cut flower species to specific preemergence herbicides, the effectiveness of weed control by those materials, and to determine if productivity of cut flowers is affected either by the herbicides or by colored mulches. Pendimethalin provided excellent early season weed control, but poor late-season control. It consistently caused injury at 4 lb a.i./A and sometimes at the 2 lb a.i./A rate. Oryzalin provided good to excellent weed control, but slightly injured celosia and zinnia when applied at 4 lb a.i./A. Napropamide provided excellent early season weed control, but marginally acceptable weed control later in the season. Though napropamide caused some injury to celosia early in the season when applied at the high rate, no injury to any of the plants was observed later in the season. Prodiamine and trifluralin were the overall safest of the herbicides, but they provided the weakest weed control. OH-2 was very effective when placed on the soil surface, but was less effective when placed on an organic mulch. The organic mulch was designed to keep the OH-2 particles from splashing on to the crop plant and injuring the plants. OH-2 tended to be safer placed on a mulch than on the soil surface, but statice was slightly injured even when a mulch was used.
During the 2004 season, preemergence herbicide was applied to 12 container-grown herbaceous perennials and woody plants and evaluated for weed control, phytotoxicity, and effect on plant growth. The herbicide and rates were: pendimethalin (Pendulum 2G) 908 g (label rate), 1816 g, and 3632 g/acre a.i. Herbicides were applied to lady's mantle (Alchemilla mollis), purple rock cress (Aubretia species), blue wild indigo (Baptisia australis), pink pussytoes (Antennaria dioica var. rosea), common sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale), redhot poker (Kniphofia uvaria), showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa), heartleaf foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia), lavender (Lavendula angustifolia), blue flax (Linum perenne), catmint (Nepeta ×faassenii), and hen and chicks (Sempervivum tectorum). At 32 and 117 days after application, plants were evaluated for phytotoxicity. No phytotoxicity symptoms were apparent on any of the plants tested. Weed control was good in most cases with this herbicide but it did not control all weeds. Increasing the rates from 1× (label rate) did not significantly improve weed control.
Pejibaye (Bactris gasipaes Kunth, Palmae) is being evaluated for production of fresh heart of palm in Hawaii. Precocity, yields, and weed control were evaluated in response to woven black polypropylene mat (control), oryzalin, oxyfluorfen, and paraquat. Control plots attained 100% of plants harvested by 26 months, followed by oxyfluorfen (97.5%), oryzalin (77.5%), and paraquat (60%). Estimated heart of palm yields (3731 plants/ha) were similar with oxyfluorfen 1.2 kg a.i./ha (707 kg·ha–1), polypropylene mat (612 kg·ha–1), oxyfluorfen 0.6 kg a.i./ha (600 kg·ha–1), and oryzalin 4.5 kg a.i./ha (478 kg·ha–1). Based on precocity, yields, and weed control efficiency, the performance rating of these weed control treatments was mat ≈ oxyfluorfen > oryzalin > paraquat. Chemical names used: 4-(dipropylamino)-3,5-dinitrobenzenesulfonamide (oryzalin); 2-chloro-1-(3-ethoxy-4-nitrophenoxy)-4-(trifluoromethyl)benzene (oxyfluorfen); 1,1′-dimethyl-4-4′-bibyridinium ion (paraquat).
A field study was conducted in 2002, 2003, and 2004 to evaluate various pre-emergence herbicides (ethafluralin & clomazone, ethafluralin & clomazone + halosulfuron, and ethafluralin & clomazone + imazamox) with or without a winter rye (Secale cereale L.) cover crop in tillage and no-tillage `Appalachian' pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) production. All herbicides were applied within two days of seeding, and no injury was observed with any of the herbicides evaluated at any time during the three growing seasons. Early- and late-season control of all weed species [giant foxtail (Setaria faberi Herrm.), common cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium L.), redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus L.), and common waterhemp (Amaranthus rudis Sauer)] were highly correlated (0.47 ≤ r ≥ 0.86, P ≤ 0.01) with pumpkin yield and fruit size. The winter rye + no-tillage system provided greater weed control compared to the tillage systems and the no cover crop + no-tillage production system. Although winter rye alone had little influence on pumpkin yield, the no-tillage system improved pumpkin yield and fruit size compared to the tillage system. The two herbicide combinations (ethafluralin & clomazone + halosulfuron and ethafluralin & clomazone + imazamox) improved weed control and pumpkin yields compared to only ethafluralin & clomazone. Although this study indicated that the use of a high-residue winter rye cover crop in no-tillage pumpkin production will provide some weed control, the choice of pre-emergence herbicides is critical to maximize pumpkin productivity. No-tillage pumpkin production is feasible with proper herbicide use and timing, although current herbicide options will not provide optimal weed control.
During the 1999 season, preemergent herbicides were applied to container-grown herbaceous perennials and evaluated on the basis of weed control, phytotoxicity, and effect on plant growth. The herbicides and rates were: Oxyfluorfen + Pendimethalin (Scotts Ornamental Herbicide II) 3 and 6 lb ai/A, Napropamide (G) (Devrinol) 3 and 6 lb ai/A, Oryzalin (Surflan) 2 and 4 lb ai/A, Oxadiazon (Ronstar) 4 and 8 lb ai/A, Oxyfluorfen + Oryzalin (Rout) 3 and 6 lb ai/A, Prodiamine (Barricade) 0.65 and 1.3 lb ai/A, Pendimethalin (Scotts Ornamental Weedgrass Control) 2 and 4 lb ai/A, Trifluralin (Treflan) 4 and 8 lb ai/A. Herbicides were applied to Penstemon mexicali `Red Rocks'™, Osteospermum barberiae compactum `Purple Mountain'™, Gazania linearis `Colorado Gold'™, Agastache rupestris, Diascia integerrima `Coral Canyon'™, and Zauschneria arizonica. All plant and herbicide combinations did not result in any significant decline in plant growth. All herbicides provided good weed control.
A number of pre-emergence soil residual herbicides were tested at 2 locations on varieties of young peach, plum, cherry, pear and walnut rootstocks. The greatest variation in response resulted from differences in location. Important differences in varietal response were also obtained with the various herbicides in light soils. Simazine appeared sufficiently safe to trees in heavier soil but gave variable weed control. Diuron gave about the same degree of weed control but more safety than simazine on young trees. Of the uracil herbicides tested, DP-733 was the least toxic to the fruit tree species tested, while bromacil and isocil were generally the most toxic, except to peach trees. Of the commercial uracil herbicides, only DP-732 (terbacil) was of sufficient interest for further study.
The first weed disc (Weed Guard) was introduced to Ontario in the early 1980s. They were made of semirigid plastic similar to 45-rpm records. Small holes allow water to penetrate but weeds germinating on the substrate often grow through them. In the 1990s, we obtained 85% reduction of container weeds using discs made from geotextile fabric (Mori Guard) or foam (similar to polyfoam used for container winter protection). The foam disc tended to curl upward at the edges, become easily windblown, and tended to partially expose the surface of the container mix. During the past 15 years, we have annually reused the same fabric discs (now unavailable due to high unit cost), and have tested various other weed discs, including several new-generation types and also the Mori Weed Bag. The new-generation discs are fabricated from materials such as fabric (Tex-R Geodisc), pressed peat moss (Biodisc), corrugated cardboard (Corrudisc), and plastic (Enviro LID). Both Tex-R Geodisc and Enviro LID were as effective or better in controlling weeds than weekly hand-weeding, herbicides, or the Mori Guard fabric disc. The Mori Weed Bag, a patented black polyethylene sleeve with prepunched holes fitted around the container like a florist's plant prepared for market, is used effectively and almost exclusively by one Ontario nursery. We also tested two types of insulated blanket covers, which when placed around the ball of above-ground container-grown trees, prevented weed growth during the summer and also protected the root ball against cold during the winter. We introduced the garbage bag sleeve, the ultimate no-weed method for pot-in-pot tree culture, which also reduces water use and frequency of irrigation. Due to factors such as under-performance, insufficient demand, and/or high costs, only certain discs are currently manufactured: Weed Guard, Tex-R Geodisc, Biodisc, and Enviro LID. The Mori Weed Bag is available but not the insulated blankets.
Fourteen herbicides or herbicide combinations, a wood chip mulch, a chipped rubber tire mulch, and a newspaper mulch were evaluated for weed control efficacy and potential phytotoxicity using 12 species of herbaceous perennials under field-growing conditions. Nineteen herbicides or herbicide combinations were similarly evaluated under container-growing conditions using 11 species of herbaceous perennials. The effect of herbicide application time also was monitored through application of herbicides to dormant and actively growing plants. Herbicides and mulch treatments were compared to weeded and nonweeded controls. Herbicide phytotoxicity effects were dependent on the age and species of the herbaceous perennial and herbicide application timing. Herbicide injury was generally greater for newly established plants compared to established plants. Although injury was usually reduced when herbicides were applied to dormant plants, injury was sometimes greater when herbicides were applied in early spring compared to applications made in late spring after complete herbaceous perennial emergence. This effect resulted in injury to young shoots that had emerged before the earliest possible time that herbicides could be applied in early spring. A wood chip mulch provided the most effective weed control and highest quality plants under field growing conditions. Several of the herbicides evaluated demonstrated potential for weed control in both field and container herbaceous perennial production systems and landscape plantings.