ID

HORT-286NP

Authors as Published

Jayesh B. Samtani, Extension Specialist for Small Fruit, Hampton Roads AREC, Department of Horticulture; and Jeffrey F. Derr, Extension Specialist for Weed Science, Hampton Roads AREC, Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science, Virginia Tech

This publication is available in a PDF file format only.

For small fruit growers, weed management is one of the greatest challenges they will face to successfully grow these crops. Factors such as climate, new weed species, weed species shifts, and years of agricultural activity have come together to select for weed species that are aggressive and persistent. Without management, weeds compete with crops for light, nutrients, and water, resulting in reduced vegetative growth of the crop plant, poor fruit quality and lower yield. Stressed crops are also more susceptible to disease and insect infestations, while excessive weed growth itself creates higher humidity in the crop foliage, enhancing disease spread and inviting unwanted insects. Weed management principles for the perennial small fruit crops are similar, with the exception of strawberries in the annual system. Grapes, brambles, blueberries and matted row strawberries are considered permanent plantings in which weed management must be addressed throughout the life of the planting. When compared to annual crops, perennial culture is a greater challenge, as weeds need to be managed through all seasons and perennial weed species increase in numbers and diversity. Understanding seasonal weed thresholds, and integrating cultural and chemical management becomes even more important in the year-round culture.

 


Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

Publication Date

January 23, 2018

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