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Weed Management in Eggplant1

Nathan S. Boyd and Peter J. Dittmar 2

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.

Table 2. 

Posttransplant chemical weed control in eggplant.

Table 3. 

Eggplant crop destruction following final harvest.

Footnotes

1. This document is HS191, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date March 1999. Revised April 2013. Reviewed January 2020. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu for the currently supported version of this publication.
2. Nathan S. Boyd, professor; and Peter Dittmar, assistant professor, Horticultural Sciences Department; UF/IFAS Extension, 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.