Agriculture: Artichoke Pest Management Guidelines

Special Weed Problems

Buttercup Oxalis

Buttercup oxalis, a perennial weed, is propagated from nutlets that germinate in fall. This weed is easily spread with planting stock and cultivation. Buttercup oxalis is a contributor to rodent problems in artichoke as the nutlets are a desirable rodent food. Oxyfluorfen (Goal) is helpful in the control of seedlings.

Bermudagrass

Bermudagrass is a vigorous spring- and summer-growing perennial that grows from seed but can also be spread during cultivation from its extensive system of rhizomes and stolons. It is very competitive with artichoke, competing for moisture, nutrients, and light. Sethoxydim (Poast) is useful in controlling bermudagrass, however, repeated applications are necessary.

Black mustard

Black mustard is an annual weed that is very competitive with artichoke in the winter months. Flowering mustard is also attractive to bees. Control blooming mustard before applying bee-toxic insecticides such as those applied to control artichoke plume moth. Oxyfluorfen (Goal, GoalTender) and diuron (Karmex, etc.) will control black mustard before germination or in the seedling stage.

Field Bindweed

Field bindweed is a vigorous perennial weed that grows either from seed, stolons, rhizomes, or extensive roots. Because seeds can survive up to thirty years in the soil, destroy plants before they can produce seed. The plants may be spread vegetatively through stem or root sections during cultivation. Prevention is the best control. Monitor fields and destroy spot infestations before they increase. Avoid bringing in propagules with planting material and cultivation equipment.

Nutsedge (Yellow or Purple)

Yellow and purple nutsedge are perennial weeds that reproduce from underground tubers. These tubers survive for several years in the soil and contain several buds that are capable of producing plants. Only one bud at a time germinates to form a new plant. However, if that bud is destroyed by cultivation or an herbicide, then a new bud is activated. Be sure to monitor the site for the nutsedge emergence every few weeks during the warm season. Control is best accomplished by continuous cultivation during a summer fallow period before planting and by spot treatment to prevent new infestations from becoming established in the field. The tubers are easily spread by cultivation equipment.

Wild Oat

Wild oat is a winter annual grass that is a prolific seed producer. Wild oat germinates and grows vigorously during the winter rainy period and competes directly with artichoke for nutrients and light. It also reduces harvesting efficiency. Wild oat can be controlled with preemergence treatments of pronamide (Kerb) and by postemergence treatment with sethoxydim (Poast).

Text Updated: 01/07