Can Yards

Ammonium nonanoate (Axxe)

Rate A 10 to 13% volume to volume (v/v) dilution (13 to 16 fl. oz per gal water) is recommended for most weed control situations and based on the results.

Time Apply to dry plant material, that will remain dry (no rain/no irrigation) for > 2 hr.

Remarks OMRI certified non-selective herbicide for commercial use. Do not allow spray to contact any green plant parts of desirable plants. Provides control and burndown suppression of annual and perennial broadleaf and grass weeds. Spore producing plants such as mosses and liverworts are also controlled.

Caution Causes serious eye irritation.

Site of action N/A

Chemical family N/A

dichlobenil (Casoron 4G)

Rate 4 to 6 lb ai/a (100 to 150 lb./a Casoron)

Time Apply to mineral soil and incorporate 4 to 6 inches deep before placing containers on treated area.

Remarks Consult label for listed crops. Inhibits cell wall production.

Caution Do not transplant into treated soil. Do not use in greenhouses; volatility of dichlobenil may injure nearby plants.

Site of action Group 20: inhibits cell wall synthesis Site A

Chemical family Nitrile

dimethenamid-P (Tower)

Rate 0.98 to 1.5 lb ai/a (21 to 32 fl oz/a) depending on weed control needed

Time Before container placement

Remarks Apply to bare ground pad such as soil, mulch, gravel, wood chips, or other permeable base. Requires 0.5 inch of water or more after application to activate the herbicide.

Caution Do not apply in greenhouses, polyhouses, or other fully enclosed greenhouse-type structures.

Site of action Group 15: inhibits very-long-chain fatty acid synthesis

Chemical family chloroacetamide

pendimethalin (Pendulum Aquacap or 2G)

Rate 2.1 to 4.2 quarts/a Aquacap; 100 to 200 lb/a 2G.

Time Before setting pots and when other vegetation has been removed.

Remarks Will not control emerged weeds but will slow emergence if applied after weed seeds have germinated.

Site of action Group 3: microtubule assembly inhibitor

Chemical family Dinitroaniline

prodiamine (Barricade FL)

Rate 0.65 to 1.5 lb ai/a (21 to 48 fl oz/a Barricade 4L)

Time Apply to the soil, gravel, or other permeable surface before placing containers.

Caution Minimize disturbance during hand-weeding to maintain herbicide layer. Apply in fall or spring before weeds germinate.

Site of action Group 3: microtubule assembly inhibitor

Chemical family Dinitroaniline

Weed Control in Container-Grown Nursery Stock

Lloyd Nackley

Revised March 2021

Sanitation The first step to effective weed management is sanitation. Start with potting mixes that are free from weed seeds. Control weeds that have wind-dispersed seeds around the perimeter of the site. If weeds emerge in containers, remove them before they produce seeds. The more weed seed allowed to contaminate containers, the higher the probability that the weeds will germinate in areas where the herbicide barrier has been weakened or disrupted.

Maintaining a chemical barrier Preemergence herbicides form a chemical barrier over the surface of containers. Though each herbicide controls weeds differently, preemergence herbicides provide control at the point where germinating seeds emerge through the chemical barrier.

If the chemical barrier is incomplete or disrupted, there will be a gap where weed seed can successfully germinate and grow. Several common practices can disrupt the chemical barrier, including but not limited to poking holes in the barrier with fingers or hands while moving containers, dropping containers, and allowing containers to blow over. Minimize all these activities to avoid disrupting the chemical barrier. Teach work crew members about this, because they are typically responsible for moving and working near the containers.

Pulling uncontrolled weeds also creates gaps in the chemical barrier. Pull weeds before they go to seed. Soon after removing weeds from an area, apply a herbicide to create a complete chemical barrier and prevent germination of more weeds.

Selecting preemergence herbicides Preemergence herbicides are applied before weeds emerge, to prevent weed growth. This is in contrast to postemergence herbicides, which kill weeds after they have emerged and are actively growing. Base your selection of herbicides primarily on three criteria: the crop to which the herbicide will be applied, weed species to be controlled, and herbicide solubility. Other considerations include the importance of rotating herbicide chemistry and the choice of granular versus spray-applied herbicides (for more information, see Oregon State University Extension publication EM 8823, Weed Control in Container Crops

Crop tolerance of herbicides Selecting an herbicide based on the crop being grown is critical. Every herbicide label describes how the product should be used, and which plants it can be applied to safely based on experimental tests. Chemical manufacturers make every effort to ensure that plants listed on labels can be treated safely. However, not every environmental or cultural situation can be predicted or accounted for when testing products. Therefore, before using a new herbicide, or using a familiar herbicide on a new crop, conduct a small trial to ensure the plant and herbicide are compatible under conditions specific to your production system (regardless of whether or not the plant is listed on the label).

Apply herbicides before weed seed germinates The most important rule for application timing is that preemergence herbicides work best if applied before weed seeds germinate. Most preemergence herbicides will not control weed plants that are present and visible at the time of application. Two notable exceptions are spray-applied Goal (oxyfluorfen) and SureGuard (flumioxazin). These herbicides will kill weeds less than 4 inches tall. However, they are limited to field use and some container-grown conifers.

Existing weeds in containers must be hand-weeded before application. Weeds present at the time of herbicide application will continue to grow and produce seed, thus perpetuating the problem. Applying preemergence herbicides to containers where weeds are growing is a costly mistake, wasting herbicide and the labor needed to apply it.

Herbicides at potting Herbicides should be applied soon after potting. When potting plants into larger containers, before applying an herbicide, irrigate two or three times to settle the substrate (media). For best results, apply herbicides after recently potted crops have received about 1 inch of irrigation or precipitation. When using certain herbicides, wait for 2 to 4 weeks before application when potting bare-root plants into containers (check labels for specific instructions).

If herbicides are applied immediately after potting, before settling, macropores in the substrate can allow herbicides to channel and make contact with plant roots, causing injury or stunting. If herbicides are withheld for too long after potting, weed seed may germinate.

Weed control is most effective when herbicides are applied at the proper rate and proper time, and in conjunction with good sanitation.