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


    This project was designed to investigate the effects of soil solarization and green manure on weed and Verticillium control in a strawberry nursery in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. The weather during the test was unfavorable, with constant afternoon monsoonal clouds and showers, and the tests were terminated 2 weeks prematurely by a catastrophic hailstorm on July 23. The use of green cover crops reduced weed germination and growth. Barley produced the most biomass, but had only intermediate weed control. Mustard had the least biomass, but had low weed growth. Rape produced intermediate biomass, but had good weed suppression. Broccoli produced a good stand but was too thickly sown for optimum biomass production, and had the highest number of weeds. The solarization raised the temperatures of the soil under the tarp appreciably, although the biological effect was unclear. No treatment effects were noted on late planted Chandler strawberry plants or peppermint test plants. Telaromycesflavus was successfully isolated and reapplied to the plots under solarization to test potential biocontrol activity.


    See Summary

    Project objectives:

    1. Determine if biofumigant-green manure species (barley, broccoli, Caliente mustard, Dwarf Essex rape and fallow) with and without solarization influence weed and pathogen (Verticillium) content in strawberry nursery soils.

    2.Determine the relative effectiveness of green manure vs. the biocontrol agent, Talaromyces, in controlling weed and Verticillium content of strawberry nursery soils.

    3. Determine if biocontrol agents of Talaromyces or Trichoderma, influence weed and pathogen (Verticillum) content in strawberry nursery soils.

    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.