Self-felting Wool Pellets as a Means of Weed Control During Propagation and Liner Production
Bradley Rowe and Thomas Fernandez
Economic pressure to produce quality perennial plants in the least amount of time involves an intensive use of water, fertilizers, and pesticides. Unfortunately, these practices also provide optimal conditions for weeds and the necessity for frequent applications of herbicides. Furthermore, in order to reduce labor costs, many plants are propagated, grown-on as liners, and shipped in the same container. This opens a wide window for establishment of weeds. When these liners are potted up into larger containers the presence of weeds or weed seeds only exacerbates the problem.
Wulpak, self-felting wool pellets (Wilbro, Inc., Norway, South Carolina) show promise for potential use in weed management. They may control weeds alone or in combination with chemical herbicides. First, it is difficult to use many herbicides for propagation in an enclosed greenhouse due to potential volatilization or labeling restrictions. Second, many species, especially herbaceous perennials, are
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