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Publication #HS191

Weed Management in Eggplant1

Peter Dittmar and William Stall2

Eggplant is present in the field in some area of Florida every month of the year. Shipments of eggplant from Florida are recorded and summarized in every month except August.

The great majority of eggplant in Florida is grown on plastic mulch. As with pepper and tomato, eggplant production on mulch increases yield, reduces fertilizer inputs, and helps control weeds. Although the production methods for eggplant are very similar to production methods for tomato and pepper, the herbicides labeled for eggplant are much more limited than herbicides for other crops.

Before purchasing an herbicide for use in eggplant, check to see if the material is labeled for eggplant in that formulation and for the use and timing intended.

Because of the limited labeling situation, growers should plan a weed control program that integrates cultural, mechanical, and chemical methods to fit their weed problems and production practices.

Cultural control methods include the use of mulches and cover crops in the off season and the use of grasses in row middles as windbreaks and along the perimeter of the fields.

Mechanical control includes disking, plowing, and cultivating the fields either off season or during the cropping season to reduce weeds in between the rows or in spray alleys, around buildings and pumps, and in equipment parking areas.

Several herbicides are labeled for use in areas around buildings, along fence rows, and along ditches and berms. Before using these herbicides, make sure that they will not drift onto the crop, or if applied to the irrigation water, will not harm the eggplant.

In the crop, use only labeled herbicides and use those herbicides in the proper formulation.

Tables

Table 1. 

Pretransplant chemical weed control in eggplant

Active Ingredient

lb. a.i./A

(Trade name)

amount of product/A

Weeds controlled / remarks

Bensulide

5–6

(Prefar®) 4 E

5–6 qt.

Annual broadleaf and grass weeds. Incorporate 2–4 inches with mechanical cultivation or irrigation.

Carfentrazone

Up to 0.031

(Aim®) 2 EC or 1.9 EW

Up to 2 fl. oz.

Emerged broadleaf weeds. Apply as a preplant burndown for emerged broadleaf weeds. Use a crop oil concentrate (COC) or nonionic surfactant (NIS) at recommended rates. May be tank mixed with other herbicides.

Flumioxazin

Up to 0.128

(Chateau®) 51 WDG

Up to 4 oz.

Annual broadleaf and grass weeds. Apply to row middles of raised plastic-mulched beds that are at least 4 inches higher than the treated row middle with a 24-inch bed width. Label is a third-party registration (TPR, Inc.). Use without a signed authorization and waiver of liability is a misuse of the product. Tank mix with a burndown herbicide to control emerged weeds.

Glyphosate

(Various formulations)

Consult label

Emerged broadleaf and grass weeds. Apply as a preplant burndown. Consult label for individual product directions.

Halosulfuron

0.024–0.05

(Sandea®, ProfineTM) 75 DF

0.5–1 oz.

Broadleaf control and yellow/purple nutsedge suppression. Apply to row middles only. Do not exceed 2 oz./A per 12-month period.

Lactofen

0.25–0.5

(Cobra®) 2 EC

16–32 fl. oz.

Broadleaf weeds. Label is a third-party registration (TPR, Inc.). Use without a signed authorization and waiver of liability is a misuse of the product. Apply to row middles only with shielded or hooded sprayers. Cobra® contacting green foliage or fruit can cause excessive injury. Drift of Cobra®-treated soil particles onto plants can cause contact injury. A minimum of 24 fl. oz. is required for residual control. Add a COC or NIS to control emerged weeds. Limit of one PRE and one POST application per growing season. PHI 30 days.

S-metolachlor

0.64–0.95

(Dual Magnum®) 7.62 EC

0.67–1.0 pt.

Annual broadleaf and grass weeds. Label is a third-party registration (TPR, Inc.). Use without a signed authorization and waiver of liability is a misuse of the product. Apply to the finished bed immediately before laying the plastic. Do not exceed 1.68 pt. of Dual Magnum®/A per crop cycle.

Napropamide

1.0–2.0

(Devrinol® DF XT) 50 DF

2–4 lb.

Annual broadleaf and grass weeds. Transplanted eggplant only. Apply to a finished bed before laying plastic. Use the lower rate on light soil (coarse textured- sandy).

Paraquat

0.5–1.0

(Gramoxone®) 2 SL

2.0–4.0 pt.

(Firestorm®) 3 SL

1.3–2.7 pt.

Emerged broadleaf and grass weeds. Apply as a preplant burndown treatment. Use an NIS.

Pelargonic acid

(Scythe®) 4.2 EC

3%–10% v/v

Emerged broadleaf and grass weeds. Apply as a preplant burndown treatment. Product is a contact, nonselective, foliar-applied herbicide with no residual control. May be tank mixed with soil residual compounds.

Trifluralin

0.5

(Treflan®, Trflurex® HFP) 4 EC

1 pt.

Annual broadleaf and grass weeds. Do not apply in Dade County. Incorporate 4 inches or less within 8 hrs. of application. Results in Florida are erratic on soils with low organic matter and clay contents. Do not apply after transplanting. Not all trifluralin formulations are labeled in eggplant, so consult label before application.

Table 2. 

Posttransplant chemical weed control in eggplant

Active Ingredient

lb. a.i./A

(Trade name)

amount of product/A

Weeds controlled / remarks

Carfentrazone

Up to 0.31

(Aim®) 2 EC or 1.9 EW

Up to 2 oz.

Emerged broadleaf weeds. Apply as a hooded application to row middles only. Use a crop oil concentrate (COC) or nonionic surfactant (NIS) at recommended rates. May be tank mixed with other herbicides. Do not exceed 6.1 fl. oz. per cropping season. PHI 0 days.

Clethodim

0.09–0.13

0.07–0.25

(Select®, Arrow®) 2 EC

6–8 fl. oz.

(Select Max®) 1 EC

9-16 fl. oz

Perennial and annual grass weeds. In fields with heavy grass pressure or larger grass weeds, use higher rates or repeat applications 14 days apart. Use a COC at 1% v/v in the finished spray volume. NIS with Select Max®. PHI 20 days.

DCPA

6.0–7.5

(Dacthal®) W-75

8–10 lb.

(Dacthal®) 6 F

8–10 pt.

Apply to weed-free soil 6–8 weeks after crop is established and growing rapidly or to moist soil in row middles after crop establishment. Note label precautions against replanting nonregistered crops within 8 months.

Halosulfuron

0.024–0.05

(Sandea®, ProfineTM) 75 DF

0.5–1.0 oz.

Small-seed broadleaf and nutsedge. Apply to row middles only. Include an NIS. Do not exceed 2 oz./A per 12-month period. PHI 30 days.

Lactofen

0.25–0.5

(Cobra®) 2 EC

16–32 fl. oz.

Broadleaf weeds. Apply to row middles only with shielded or hooded sprayers. Cobra® contacting green foliage or fruit can cause excessive injury. Drift of Cobra®-treated soil particles onto plants can cause contact injury. A minimum of 24 fl. oz. is required for residual control. Add a COC or NIS for control of emerged weeds. Limit of one PRE and one POST application per growing season. PHI 30 days.

S-metolachlor

0.95

(Dual Magnum®) 7.62 EC

1 pt.

Annual broadleaf and grass weeds and nutsedge. Label is a third-party registration (TPR, Inc.). Use without a signed authorization and waiver of liability is a misuse of the product. Direct spray solution to row middles only with minimal contact to plants and plastic. Do not exceed 1.68 pt. of Dual Magnum®/A per crop. PHI 60 days.

Paraquat

0.5

(Gramaxone®) 2 SL

2 pt.

(Firestorm®) 3 SL

1.3 pt.

Emerged broadleaf and grass weeds. Direct spray over emerged weeds 1–6 inches tall in row middles between mulched beds. Use an NIS. Use low pressure and shields to control drift. Do not apply more than three times per season.

Pelargonic acid

(Scythe®) 4.2 EC

3%–10% v/v

Emerged broadleaf and grass weeds. Direct spray to row middles. Product is a contact, nonselective, foliar-applied herbicide with no residual control. May be tank mixed with several soil residual compounds.

Sethoxydim

0.19–0.28

(Poast®) 1.5 EC

1.0–1.5 pt.

Growing grass weeds. A total of 4.5 pt./A applied in one season. Include a COC. Unsatisfactory results may occur if applied to grasses under stress. PHI 20 days.

Footnotes

1.

This document is HS191, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date March 1999. Revised April 2013. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Peter Dittmar, assistant professor, and William Stall, emeritus professor, Horticultural Sciences Department, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information. It is not a guarantee or warranty of the product named, and does not signify that they are approved to the exclusion of others of suitable composition.7.1.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.