Horticulture Station

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Weed accumulation in raspberry plantings is a primary concern of all producers in Iowa, especially in organic production. Tillage may be used to reduce weed growth as an alternative to herbicides in raspberry plantings. However, tillage leaves soil vulnerable to erosion and potentially depletes the nutrients and organic matter from the topsoil. Growing a living mulch on the soil surface reduces weed seed germination and growth, and reduces the need for tilling after planting between the rows of raspberry plants. Legume living mulches also can provide nitrogen compared to tilled areas and fit within the organic certification requirements. The overall objective of this research was to determine the best organically certified soil management techniques to be used in between rows in a perennial raspberry planting. Specific objectives are to determine soil management treatments’ contribution to the soil’s physical and chemical properties, weed growth, and raspberry growth and development.

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Iowa State University



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