Rotations with Coastal Bermudagrass and Fallow for Management of Meloidogyne incognita and Soilborne Fungi on Vegetable Crops
AbstractThe efficacy of fallow and coastal bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) as a rotation crop for control of root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita race 1) and soilborne fungi in okra (Hibiscus esculentus cv. Emerald), squash (Cucurbita pepo cv. Dixie Hybrid), and sweet corn (Zea mays cv. Merit) was evaluated in a 3-year field trial. Numbers of M. incognita in the soil and root-gall indices were greater on okra and squash than sweet corn and declined over the years on vegetable crops following fallow and coastal bermudagrass sod. Fusarium oxysporum and Pythium spp. were isolated most frequently from soil and dying okra plants. Numbers of colony-forming units of soilborne fungi generally declined as the number of years in sod increased, but were not affected by coastal bermudagrass sod. Yields of okra following 2-year and 3-year sod and squash following 2-year sod were greater than those following fallow. Yield of sweet corn was not different following fallow and coastal bermudagrass sod. Key words: coastal bermudagrass, Cucurbita pepo, Cynodon dactylon, fallow, Hibiscus esculentus, management, Meloidogyne incognita, nematode, okra, root-knot, rotation, squash, sweet corn, Zea mays.
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