- Author: Chris M. Webb
Ventura County UCCE Staff Research Associate Maren Mochizuki shares with us more information about yellow nutsedge, and what is being done to help minimize the problems it causes to local growers.
Managing yellow nutsedge costs local growers many thousands of dollars per year (see previous blog posting on yellow nutsedge for more information). Nutsedge is sharp enough to poke through plastic mulch installed on strawberry and vegetable beds. Once a shoot germinates through plastic, it can produce underground storage structures for reproduction (tubers) so that even if the shoot is removed, many tubers remain to sprout into new plants.
Nutsedge through plastic
To block shoot germination and prevent the production of more tubers, we (Oleg Daugovish, Ventura County UCCE Farm Advisor and Maren Mochizuki, Ventura County UCCE Staff Research Associate, in collaboration with Reiter Affiliated Companies) installed mechanical barriers underneath the plastic mulch of strawberry beds, including Tyvek homewrap, landscape weed barrier mat, and a layer of recycled paper roll between two layers of plastic.
All of these barriers prevented germination of yellow nutsedge in commercial strawberry fields compared to control beds with no barriers, but the plastic/paper/plastic treatment has the lowest cost per acre. Minimizing production of yellow nutsedge tubers reduces weed-crop competition and costly hand-weeding, improving the grower’s bottom line.