Soil solarization has been proposed as an alternative to methyl bromide for controlling nutsedges. Little is known, however, about the relationship between soil solarization and nutsedge tuber viability. Combinations of elevated temperatures and durations of exposure were evaluated for their effect on purple nutsedge and yellow nutsedge tuber viability and new tuber production in growth chamber studies. Estimates of the duration of exposure at each temperature that reduced nutsedge growth parameters 50% (TT50) were supplied by log-logistic regression analysis. Nutsedge tuber viability was reduced when temperatures were ≥ 45 C. Relative to purple nutsedge, yellow nutsedge tuber viability had smaller TT50 values for 45, 50, and 55 C. Tuber viability TT50 at 60 C was similar for both nutsedges. The TT50 for production of new purple nutsedge tubers at 50 C was larger than that for yellow nutsedge. However, there were no differences between species in TT50 values for new tuber production at higher temperatures. With sufficient durations of exposure, both purple and yellow nutsedge tubers were killed at temperatures ≥ 50 C. However, application of these data to field situations in Georgia may be limited using present technology because the soil temperature cannot be raised to high enough levels for acceptable solarization effects.
Nomenclature: Purple nutsedge, Cyperus rotundus L. CYPRO; yellow nutsedge, Cyperus esculentus L. CYPES.