Drip irrigation is installed under polyethylene mulch to supply irrigation and nutrients to vegetables grown in plasticulture. This irrigation system also provides an alternative method for application of herbicides into the plant bed for control of yellow and purple nutsedge. Greenhouse and field studies were conducted to determine bell pepper tolerance to halosulfuron, imazosulfuron, and trifloxysulfuron applied POST (over the top of pepper in greenhouse study, POST-directed in the field study) or soil applied (applied by hand with water in greenhouse study or through drip irrigation in the field study). In greenhouse studies, pepper injury from halosulfuron, imazosulfuron, and trifloxysulfuron applied POST was similar at 14 and 21 d after treatment (DAT; 21 to 35% and 54 to 60%, respectively). Halosulfuron, imazosulfuron, and trifloxysulfuron soil applied in greenhouse studies caused 6 to 8% and 13 to 20% injury to pepper at 14 and 21 DAT, respectively. Pepper injury in greenhouse studies increased as rate of halosulfuron, imazosulfuron, and trifloxysulfuron increased regardless of application method (soil or POST applied). Dry pepper weight at 28 DAT followed an inverse linear response to increasing rates of halosulfuron, imazosulfuron, and trifloxysulfuron. In field studies, bell pepper height among herbicide treatments ranged from 32 to 37 cm at 14 DAT and was not different from the nontreated check (36 cm). Number one grade (7.8 to 14.7 MT ha−1) and fancy grade (2.1 to 2.8 MT ha−1) pepper fruit yield was not different in herbicide-treated pepper compared with yield of pepper in the nontreated check (10.0 to 26.6 MT ha−1, respectively). Based on these studies, pepper has excellent crop tolerance to halosulfuron, imazosulfuron, and trifloxysulfuron applied through drip irrigation or POST-directed but is not tolerant to POST applications.
Nomenclature: Halosulfuron; imazosulfuron; trifloxysulfuron; purple nutsedge, Cyperus rotundus L.; yellow nutsedge, Cyperus esculentus L.; bell pepper, Capsicum annuum L.