Spring Weed Management in Grapes and Berries – Facts for Fancy Fruit

Spring Weed Management in Grapes and Berries

Early spring is a good time to make the first herbicide application of the year. There are several options for grapes, brambles and blueberries including both pre and post-emergent herbicides. In most situations, there will be some emerged weeds present in the planting at this time of the year. That means a post-emergent herbicide will need to be used to kill those established weeds. A pre-emergent material can be tank mixed at this time to provide residual weed control. Most pre-emergent herbicides will provide only 6 to 8 weeks of control. So, if applied in the early spring, they may not provide sufficient control of summer grasses (foxtail, barnyard grass, goosegrass, crabgrass, etc.). If those are the main weeds of concern, growers may want to delay application of pre-emergent herbicides until a bit later in the season. A good option is to apply a broad spectrum post-emergent herbicide such as glyphosate (Roundup, Touchdown, etc.) now then come back in about 4 weeks with a second application of glyphosate tank mixed with a pre-emergent herbicide. That should provide reasonably good season-long weed control. One word of caution for bramble growers: we have seen significant damage from applications of glyphosate in recent years, likely due to improved surfactants in the formulations. Be especially careful if using glyphosate products, especially in blackberries.

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