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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Weed Management in Watermelon (Citrullus Lanatus) and Cantaloupe (Cucumis Melo) Transplanted on Polyethylene Covered Seedbeds.

Authors
item Johnson, Wiley
item Mullinix, Jr, Benjamin - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

Submitted to: Weed Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 27, 2001
Publication Date: October 1, 2002
Citation: Johnson, W.C., Mullinix, Jr., B.G. 2002. Weed management in watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) and cantaloupe (Cucumis melo) transplanted on polyethylene covered seedbeds. Weed Technology. 16:860-866.

Interpretive Summary: Weed control options in transplanted watermelon and cantaloupe are limited. Uncontrolled weeds reduce yield and quality of harvested fruit. Studies were conducted in Tifton, GA on weed management systems in transplanted cantaloupe and watermelon grown on polyethylene covered seedbeds. Soil fumigants were metham and a nonfumigated control. All Vapam HL applications were sprayed in a 24-in band and incorporated with a modified power tiller. Herbicide treatments were Sonalan PRE, Sonalan plus Sandea PRE, Sonalan PRE followed by Roundup POST-SHIELDED, Sonalan plus Sandea PRE followed by Roundup POST-SHIELDED, and a nontreated control. Preemergence herbicides were directed to row middles not covered in polyethylene, with none contacting crop seedlings. Roundup was applied to row middles using a hooded sprayer, just prior to vine running. Overall weed control was not improved with soil fumigation in either cantaloupe or watermelon, and there was no yield response to fumigation in either crop. These results suggest minimal benefit in either cantaloupe or watermelon production from preplant soil-fumigation for weed control, in the absence of other pests such as nematodes and pathogenic fungi. Herbicide systems that included Sandea PRE or Roundup applied POST-SHIELDED improved control of yellow nutsedge and several annual weeds. Polyethylene covered seedbeds provide a mechanical barrier to weed infestation for many species. Integration of these weed control practices gives cantaloupe and watermelon growers effective options for weed management, reducing their losses from weeds.

Technical Abstract: Studies were conducted from 1998 to 2001 in Tifton, GA on weed management systems in transplanted cantaloupe and watermelon grown on polyethylene covered seedbeds. Soil fumigants were metham (748 l/ha) and a nonfumigated control. All metham applications were sprayed in a 61 cm band and incorporated with a modified power tiller. Herbicide treatments were ethalfluralin (0.8 kg ai/ha) PRE, ethalfluralin plus halosulfuron (36 g ai/ha) PRE, ethalfluralin PRE followed by glyphosate (1.1 kg ai/ha) POST- SHIELDED, ethalfluralin plus halosulfuron PRE followed by glyphosate POST- SHIELDED, and a nontreated control. Preemergence herbicides were directed to row middles not covered in polyethylene, with none contacting cucurbit seedlings. Glyphosate was applied to row middles using a hooded sprayer, just prior to vine running. Overall weed control was not improved with soil fumigation in either cantaloupe or watermelon, and there was no yield response in either crop. There may be minimal benefit in either cantaloup or watermelon production from preplant soil-fumigation for weed control, in the absence of other pests. Herbicide systems that included halosulfuron PRE or glyphosate applied with a hooded sprayer improved control of yellow nutsedge and several annual weeds. Polyethylene covered seedbeds provide a mechanical barrier to weed infestation for many species. Integration of these weed control practices gives cantaloupe and watermelon growers effective options for weed management.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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