Weed Control

With good soil preparation (ploughing, harrowing, and rotovating) ensuring a fine tilth and adequate (5 cm) depth of mulch material and correct row spacing, sprouting of ginger progresses uniformly, with the first seedling emergence takes place in about 14 days. About 50 percent seedling emergence occurs within a month of planting. The first weeding is due about this stage. When the mulch material is made of Guinea grass (Panicum maximum) in improperly wilted state and grass studs, the need for extra care is emphasized because the ginger seedlings at early stages tend to resemble the P. maximum seedlings.

Weeding is done manually using the West African hand hoe; currently, 100 workdays are adequate to weed 1 ha and two to three weedings being adequate per cropping. Weed challenge and density are reduced to a bare minimum by adopting the correct row and column planting of 20 cm X 20 cm and by timely planting after field preparation. Chemical weed control by application of Diuron 80 at 3.4 kg a.i/ha (active ingredient /ha) followed by spot spraying paraquat (Whiley, 1981) or Diuron with surfactant may be used as a preemergence herbicide applied with boom sprayers at 4.5 kg/ha commercial product in 1,700 l of water per hectare. Other studies include those of Melifonwu and Orkwor (1990, 1994) (Table 7.2).

The common natural vegetation of each location constitutes the weed species there. In southeastern Nigeria, for example, the broad-leaf weed species include Oldenlandia corymbosa L.; Dissotis rotundifolia Sm., Schwenkia americana L., and Cassia rotundifolia Benth. Others are Amaranthus spinosus L., Ageratum conyzoides L., Cleome ciliata Schum. and Thonn, Euphorbia hirta (L.), and Richardia braziliensis Gomez. More frequently, the prevalent grasses include Panicum maximum Jacq., Digitaria horizotlis Willd., Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn. and Brachioria deflex (Schumach) C.E. Habbard ex Robyns. Mariscus alternifolius Vahl., Kyllinga nemoralis (Forst.) Dandy ex Hutoch, Kyllinga pumilla Michx and Cyperus

Table 7.2 Effect of weedicides on weed control; weed dry weight, phytotoxicity, and fresh ginger yield at Umudike, 1990

Weed Control Treatments Weed control rating

Phytoxicity rating at Time of application (DAP) Fresh ginger stem

8 WAPa Vigor rating at 8 WAP yield (t/ha)

Weed Control Treatments Weed control rating

Phytoxicity rating at Time of application (DAP) Fresh ginger stem

8 WAPa Vigor rating at 8 WAP yield (t/ha)

Herbicides

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