Weed management is often difficult and expensive in organic production systems. Clove oil is an essential oil that functions as a contact herbicide and may provide an additional weed management tool for use on organic farms. Burning nettle, purslane, and rye responses to 5, 10, 20, 40, and 80% v/v clove oil mixture applied in spray volumes of 281 and 468 L/ha were examined. Log-logistic curves were fitted to the nettle and purslane data to determine the herbicide dose required to reduce plant dry weight 50% (GR50) and 90% (GR90). A three-parameter Gaussian curve was fitted to the rye data. The GR50 and GR90 were largely unaffected by spray volume. Nettle dry weight was reduced by 90% with 12 to 61 L clove oil/ha, whereas 21 to 38 L clove oil/ha were required to reduce purslane biomass to the same level. Rye was not effectively controlled by clove oil. Clove oil controls broadleaf weeds at high concentrations, but its cost makes broadcast applications prohibitive, even in high-value vegetable production systems.
Nomenclature: Burning nettle, Urtica urens L. URTUR; purslane, Portulaca oleracea L. POROL; rye, Secale cereale L. ‘Merced’.
Additional index words: Log-logistic, spray volume, contact herbicide, organic.
Abbreviations: GDD, growing degree days; OMRI, organic materials review institute.