Agriculture: Spinach Pest Management Guidelines

Special Weed Problems

Burning Nettle

Burning nettle is an annual weed that is marginally controlled by preemergent herbicide treatments in spinach. It makes hand-harvesting difficult because it has stinging hairs on the plant surfaces. In addition, it is a serious contaminant of machine-harvested spinach. Select fields that are not heavily infested with this weed. Cultural controls that are effective in controlling this weed include crop rotation, preirrigation and cultivation, and cultivating during the growing season.

Little Mallow

Little mallow, also known as cheeseweed, is a very competitive weed in spinach. It is common in the coastal areas, as well as in the inland and desert winter-production regions. It is marginally controlled by herbicides used before the crop emerges. Cultural controls that are useful in controlling this weed include crop rotation, preirrigation and cultivation, and cultivating during the growing season.

Chickweed

Chickweed is a winter annual weed that is marginally controlled by preemergent herbicides. It is very competitive with seedling spinach and is a contaminant of machine harvests. Cultural controls that may control this weed include crop rotation, preirrigation and cultivation, and cultivating during the growing season.

London Rocket

London rocket is in the mustard family and is a key winter weed in the inland production districts during winter. It is very competitive with seedling spinach and is marginally controlled by the preemergent spinach herbicide. The postemergent herbicide, phenmedipham, is effective against this weed. Cultural controls that can be used to control this weed include crop rotation, preirrigation and cultivation, and cultivating during the growing season.

Shepherd's-purse

Shepherd's-purse is an annual weed in the mustard family. It grows rapidly in winter and is expensive to control with hand-hoeing; in addition, it can form dense populations because of high seed production. Select fields that are not heavily infested with this weed. It is marginally controlled by the preemergent herbicide available for use in spinach. The postemergent herbicide, phenmedipham, is effective against this weed. Cultural controls to control this weed include crop rotation, preirrigation and cultivation, and cultivating during the growing season.

Text Updated: 12/09