Effects of Spring-sown Cover Crops on Establishment and Growth of Hairy Galinsoga (Galinsoga ciliata) and Four Vegetable Crops uri icon

abstract

  • Hairy galinsoga [Galinsoga ciliata (Raf.) Blake] has become a troublesome weed in vegetable crops. Field studies were conducted in 2006 and 2007 in central New York to determine the effects of: 1) spring-sown cover crops on hairy galinsoga growth and seed production during cover crop growth grown before subsequent short duration vegetable crops; and 2) cover crop residues on establishment of hairy galinsoga and four short-duration vegetable crops planted after cover crop incorporation. The cover crops [buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench), brown mustard (Brassica juncea L.), yellow mustard (Sinapis alba L.), and oats (Avena sativa L.)] were planted in May and incorporated in early July. Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) and Swiss chard [Beta vulgaris var. cicla (L.) K. Kochi were transplanted and pea (Pisum sativum L.) and snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) were sown directly into freshly incorporated residues. Above-ground dry biomass produced by the cover crops was 4.2, 6.4, 6.8, and 9.7 mg-ha(-1) for buckwheat, brown mustard, yellow mustard, and oats, respectively. Cover crops alone reduced the dry weight (90% to 99%) and seed production of hairy galinsoga (98%) during the cover crop-growing season compared with weedy controls. In 2006, only yellow mustard residue suppressed hairy galinsoga emergence (53%). However, in 2007, all cover crop residues reduced hairy galinsoga emergence (38% to 62%) and biomass production (25% to 60%) compared with bare soil, with yellow mustard providing the greatest suppression. Cover crop residues did not affect snap bean emergence, but reduced pea emergence 25% to 75%. All vegetable crops were suppressed by all cover crop residues with crops ranked as: pea > Swiss chard >= lettuce > snap bean in terms of sensitivity. The C:N ratios were 8.5, 18.3, 22.9, and 24.8 for buckwheat, brown mustard, yellow mustard, and oat residues, respectively. Decomposition rate and nitrogen release of brown mustard and buckwheat residues was rapid; it was slow for oats and yellow mustard residues. Spring-sown cover crops can contribute to weed management by reducing seed production, emergence, and growth of hairy galinsoga in subsequent crops, but crop emergence and growth may be compromised. Yellow mustard and buckwheat sown before late-planted snap beans deserve further testing as part of an integrated strategy for managing weeds while building soil health.

publication date

  • 2009
  • 2009