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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Alternatives to methyl bromide soil fumigation for vegetable and floriculture production

Location: Subtropical Plant Pathology Research

Title: Purple Nutsedge Tuber Productivity as Affected by Organic Mulches in a Watermelon Production System

item Morales-payan, J. Pablo
item Marquez-mendez, Pedro
item Rosskopf, Erin
item Shabana, Yasser
item Charudattan, Raghavan
item Klassen, Waldemar

Submitted to: Caribbean Food Crops Society Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/11/2011
Publication Date: 7/26/2008
Citation: Morales-Payan, J., Marquez-Mendez, P., Rosskopf, E.N., Shabana, Y., Charudattan, R., Klassen, W. 2008. Purple Nutsedge Tuber Productivity as Affected by Organic Mulches in a Watermelon Production System. Caribbean Food Crops Society Proceedings.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Research was conducted in Isabela, Puerto Rico, to determine the tuber productivity of the weed purple nutsedge (PN) and the yield of ‘Crimson Sweet' watermelon when grown with or without organic soil bed mulches [hays of millet (Pennisetum glaucum), nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus), sunnhemp (Crotalaria juncea), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica), Bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum), and rye (Secale cereale)]. The mulches were set covering the top of the soil beds the same day the crop was established. Natural populations of PN were approximately 100 viable tubers per meter square. PN plants able to grow through the mulches were left unchecked until the end of the crop. Non-mulched weed-free checks were kept by weekly removal of emerging weeds. Plots infested season-long with PN were used as weedy checks. PN tuber production was significantly reduced when watermelon was mulched with Bahiagrass (68% lower), nutsedge (45% lower), gogongrass (36% lower), millet (36% lower), and sorghum (34% lower), as compared to PN-infested checks. When mulching with cogongrass and nutsedge, watermelon yield was significantly higher than with other mulches.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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