Field studies were conducted in 2002 and 2005 to evaluate autumn vegetable tolerance to residual herbicides applied the previous spring under low-density polyethylene (LDPE) mulch. Spring applications of 1.12 kg/ha S-metolachlor, 0.027 kg/ha halosulfuron, 0.28 kg/ha sulfentrazone, and 1.12 kg/ha S-metolachlor plus 0.027 kg/ha halosulfuron were made under LDPE mulch in March of each year and included a nontreated control. After removal of the spring crop, vegetables were planted the following August. Seeded and transplanted squash, seeded cucumber, transplanted eggplant, and transplanted cabbage were evaluated. Injury to eggplant, cucumber, and transplanted and seeded squash ranged from 8 to 16% for halosulfuron, sulfentrazone, and S-metolachlor plus halosulfuron in 2002, but no injury was observed in 2005. Cabbage injury was less than 5% for any herbicide treatment either year. There were no differences for cabbage biomass for three harvests for any herbicide treatment relative to the nontreated control. Vine length for cucumber and transplanted squash was significantly reduced by sulfentrazone relative to the nontreated control. Eggplant yield for the first harvest was significantly reduced by sulfentrazone as compared with the nontreated control in 2002 but not in 2005. To avoid injury to rotational crops, growers should read all herbicide labels when considering spring herbicide applications under LDPE mulch when autumn vegetable plantings are part of their production scheme to ensure successful crop production.
Nomenclature: Halosulfuron; S-metolachlor; sulfentrazone; cabbage, Brassica oleracea L; cucumber, Cucumis sativus L; eggplant, Solanum melongena L; squash, Cucurbita pepo L.