Field experiments were conducted in 2004 and 2005 at Clemson, SC, and in 2004 at Clinton, NC, to quantify Palmer amaranth and large crabgrass growth and interference with plasticulture-grown bell pepper over multiple environments and develop models which can be used on a regional basis to effectively time removal of these weeds. Experiments at both locations consisted of an early and a late spring planting, with the crop and weeds planted alone and in combination. Daily maximum and minimum air temperatures were used to calculate growing degree days (GDD, base 10 C) accumulated following bell pepper transplanting and weed emergence. Linear and nonlinear empirical models were used to describe ht, canopy width, and biomass production as a function of accumulated GDD. Palmer amaranth reduced bell pepper fruit set as early as 6 wk after transplanting (WATP) (648 GDD), whereas large crabgrass did not significantly reduce fruit set until 8 WATP (864 GDD). Using the developed models and assuming Palmer amaranth and large crabgrass emergence on the day of bell pepper transplanting, Palmer amaranth was predicted to be the same ht as bell pepper at 287 GDD (20 cm tall) and large crabgrass the same ht as bell pepper at 580 GDD (34 cm tall).
Nomenclature: Large crabgrass, Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop. DIGSA, Palmer amaranth, Amaranthus palmeri S. Wats. AMAPA, bell pepper, Capsicum annuum L. ‘Heritage’