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Evaluating Soil Solarization for Weed Control and Strawberry (Fragaria xananassa) Yield in Annual Plasticulture Production

  • Jayesh B. Samtani (a1), Jeffrey Derr (a1), Mikel A. Conway (a1) and Roy D. Flanagan (a2)

Abstract

Field studies were initiated in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 growing seasons to evaluate the potential of soil solarization (SS) treatments for their efficacy on weed control and crop yields and to compare SS to 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D)+chloropicrin (Pic) fumigation. Each replicate was a bed with dimension 10.6 m long by 0.8 m wide on top. The center 4.6 m length of each bed, referred to as plots, was used for strawberry plug transplanting and data collection. Treatments included: i) 1,3-D+Pic (39% 1,3-dichloropropene+59.6% chloropicrin) that was shank-fumigated in beds at 157 kg ha−1 and covered with VIF on August 30 in both seasons; ii) SS for a 6 wk duration initiated on August 15, 2013 and August 21, 2014 by covering the bed with 1 mil clear polyethylene tarp; iii) SS for a 4wk duration initiated on September 6, 2013 and September 3, 2014; iv) SS 4 wk treatment initiated September 6, 2013 and September 3, 2014 and replaced with black VIF on October 4, 2013 and October 1, 2014 and v) a nontreated control covered with black VIF on October 4, 2013 and October 1, 2014. In both seasons, following completion of the preplant treatments, ‘Chandler’ strawberry was planted in two rows at a 36 cm in-row spacing in plots during the first wk of October. Over both seasons, the 6 wk SS treatment consistently lowered the weed density compared to the nontreated control. Weed density in the 6wk SS treatment was not statistically different from the 4wk SS treatments in the 2013-14 growing season. In both seasons, crop yield in the 4 wk SS was significantly lower than other treatments.

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*Corresponding author’s E-mail: jsamtani@vt.edu

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Associate Editor for this paper: Bradley Hanson, University of California, Davis

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Evaluating Soil Solarization for Weed Control and Strawberry (Fragaria xananassa) Yield in Annual Plasticulture Production

  • Jayesh B. Samtani (a1), Jeffrey Derr (a1), Mikel A. Conway (a1) and Roy D. Flanagan (a2)

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