December 1, 1997
- chemical mowing,
Selection of grove middles management systems may be based upon several considerations including power and machinery and chemical requirements, erosion control, water usage, grove accessibility and freeze hazard. The effect of five middles management practices on soil moisture retention and composition of vegetation were evaluated in a bedded grove in St. Lucie County, Florida. The treatments included mechanical mowing, chopping and combinations of chemical and mechanical mowing at several frequencies. Soil moisture tension sensors were placed at 6 and 12 inches below the soil surface in row middles. Soil moisture depletion was greater for the mechanical mowing and chopping treatments. The chemical mowing treatments retained higher levels of soil moisture than all other treatments. A shift from a mix of grass species to annual weed by chemical mowing was observed.