Yellow nutsedge interference effects on fruit weight of polyethylene-mulched bell pepper

T. N. Motis, S. J. Locascio, J. P. Gilreath


A study was conducted at Gainesville, Fla. during the spring and fall of 1999 and 2000 to determine the effect of yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus L.) interference on bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L). Yellow nutsedge tubers were planted 5 or 10 cm apart in a circle, with a radius of 0 (no nutsedge), 7.6,15.2, 22.9, or 30.5 cm, around a pepper plant. Bell pepper transplants and nutsedge tubers were planted at the same time in drip-irrigated, polyethylene-mulched beds with 61 cm bed tops. Nutsedge interference reduced pepper fruit yield to a greater extent with tubers spaced 5 than 10 cm within circles. Initial nutsedge tuber circle radius, year, and season interacted in their effects on large, marketable, and total pepper fruit weight loss. In spring seasons, total yield losses increased quadratically from as low as 46% to over 68% with an increase in tuber circle radius from 7.6 to 30.5 cm. In fall 1999, total yield was reduced 89% with tuber circle radii of 7.6 to 22.9cm and 65% with a tuber circle radius of 30.5 cm. In fall 2000, yield reductions were at least 74% and similar with all circle radii. All circle radii used, with tubers spaced 5 and 10 cm within circles, resulted in substantial pepper yield loss in all seasons. Pepper plants were intolerant of nutsedge planted 30.5 cm from the plant for which total yield loss was 65% or greater.

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283