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1 October 2010 Barriers Prevent Emergence of Yellow Nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) in Annual Plasticulture Strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa)
Oleg Daugovish, Maren J. Mochizuki
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Yellow nutsedge is a problematic weed in plasticulture strawberry because herbicides and fumigants currently used in California provide little to no control and because nutsedge shoots easily penetrate standard low-density polyethylene (LDPE) mulch to rapidly establish and compete with the crop. Field studies were conducted at two California locations near Oxnard and Camarillo from 2007 to 2009 to evaluate yellow nutsedge control with physical barriers. Nutsedge germinated in both autumn and spring through LDPE mulch alone, but paper placed between two layers of standard 0.15-mm black LDPE mulch, weed barrier fabric commonly used in landscapes placed under LDPE mulch, and Tyvek Home Wrap placed under LDPE mulch suppressed nutsedge emergence. In 1 yr, the size of strawberry plants grown with weed barrier fabric was reduced 23% compared with the other treatments and the number of marketable fruit in the third month of harvest was reduced 20% compared with LDPE mulch alone, likely because inadequately cut planting holes in this barrier restricted plant growth. Estimated costs for barrier treatments ranged from $5,000 to $12,000 ha−1 compared with estimated hand-weeding costs of up to $24,000 ha−1. In 2007 to 2008 barrier treatments reduced the number of wind-dispersed weeds that commonly land and germinate in strawberry planting holes 67% compared with LDPE mulch alone. Removing the barriers at the end of the two seasons revealed that nutsedge plants sprouted but failed to grow and produce new tubers under the barriers. This observation suggests that nutsedge-impermeable barriers may aid in depletion of the soil tuber bank and therefore can be an effective tool in managing nutsedge for the length of the growing season.

Nomenclature: Yellow nutsedge, Cyperus esculentus L.; strawberry, Fragaria × ananassa Duch.

Oleg Daugovish and Maren J. Mochizuki "Barriers Prevent Emergence of Yellow Nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) in Annual Plasticulture Strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa)," Weed Technology 24(4), 478-482, (1 October 2010).
Received: 22 January 2010; Accepted: 13 May 2010; Published: 1 October 2010

Alternative weed management
nonchemical weed control
physical weed control
weed barrier fabric
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