Integrated Control of Weeds and Verticillium in Strawberry Nurseries

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2006: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: Western
State: Colorado
Principal Investigator:
Brian Coleman
Ruby Mountain Nursery


  • Agronomic: barley, rye, wheat
  • Fruits: berries (strawberries)


  • Crop Production: biological inoculants, cover crops
  • Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Pest Management: allelopathy, biological control, botanical pesticides, field monitoring/scouting, mulches - killed, soil solarization
  • Soil Management: green manures, soil analysis

    Proposal summary:

    Ruby Mountain Nursery, on the high desert of Colorado, has produced strawberry plants for without the use of pesticides for four years. However, fumigants have been needed to reduce weeds and Verticillium inoculum. Alternatives to fumigation, including solarization (heating the soil by covering it with plastic), have been used with success in warm areas like California. Solarization alone may not work in Colorado’s high desert, however, because the air temperatures are lower than in California. In addition to solarization, green manures, especially natural fumigant-producing brassicas, have been effective at reducing Verticillium. This grant will conduct three tests to see if a combination of these alternatives will work. The first will test four green manure species (mustard, rape, broccoli and barley) with and without solarization. The second will test the effects of the green manures and a biocontrol organism, peroxide and ammonia. The third will test two biocontrol organisms with solarization.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.