Galinsoga is an annual weed that is a perennial problem for many vegetable growers. Here in Vermont the problem appears to be getting worse, perhaps as the weed is spread between farms via compost and manure, and around individual farms via cultivation. Sometimes called quick-weed or overnight-weed, galinsoga is highly competitive and quickly spreads, often becoming dominant in a field. Galinsoga can be recognized by its small white flowers with golden yellow centers and fuzzy, light green leaves. If you rub the more mature flowers between your fingers you may be surprised to see small black seeds have already formed - that's one reason the weed spreads so readily. Galinsoga is small, with plants generally no more than 10 inches tall. When cultivated, the small plants easily re-root given subsequent moisture. The following tips on managing Galinsoga come from the University of Connecticut IPM Program.
1. If you don't have it, don't get it. If you needed the description to know what galinsoga looks like, then you probably don't have it. Galinsoga is invading farms on which it has not been previously seen. It may be a good idea to scout fields, especially edges, starting in June. If you see galinsoga, consider using hand hoeing to eliminate it. Time spent hoeing early may save you much frustration and expense later.
2. Use crop rotation to your advantage. Galinsoga is a particular problem in cole crops, peppers and squashes. Try to rotate out of those crops in galinsoga?infested fields. Corn and tomatoes are crops in which herbicides are available to give good weed control.
3. Avoid spreading galinsoga. If you have galinsoga, chances are some fields are worse than others. If you can clean equipment after working in those fields, you will reduce spread. Even a partial cleaning job, banging off the biggest clods, is better than nothing. Consider getting a pressure washer to clean equipment.
4. Consider the eradication approach. Some growers have found that galinsoga has become so bad in some fields that the fields are close to unusable. Several have tried using a summer cover crop of sorghum x Sudan grass to suppress galinsoga. If a summer cover crop is thick enough to prevent galinsoga seed production, it should help to reduce galinsoga problems. Galinsoga seeds are relatively short?lived in the soil, so if galinsoga plants are prevented from going to seed
for several years, this nasty weed should be greatly reduced in numbers, if not eliminated. Another option besides summer covers is a "dirt fallow" ? repeated discing of the field so that it stays weed free all season. Extra expenses from cover cropping, taking land out of production and hand weed control may pay off in particularly bad fields.
Sustainable Vegetable Production from Start-Up to Market is a new book from NRAES (Natural Resource and Agricultural Engineering Service, Ithaca, NY), written by Vern Grubinger. It provides practical information on selecting a farm site; planning and record keeping; marketing options; and systems for starting, planting, protecting, and harvesting crops. Aimed primarily at beginning farmers, it will also be of use as a college text and hopefully to extension agents and established growers. The 280?page book is enhanced by 91 illustrations, 36 sidebars, and 20 tables. Chapters address: the practical implications of sustainability, planning and launching a business, vegetable farm business management, marketing, soil fertility, composting, crop rotation, cover crops, tillage equipment and field preparation, seeds and transplants, irrigation and spraying systems, harvest and postharvest handling, season extension, integrated pest management, and environmentally friendly strategies for managing insects, diseases, weeds, and wildlife. A final chapter profiles the experiences of 19 vegetable growers and provides their enterprise budgets for individual crops. Appendices include: sources of supplies, a work sheet for developing vegetable enterprise budgets, vegetable crop nutrient recommendations, and useful conversions and calculations. Single copies of the book are available to Vermonters through UVM Extension, 157 Old Guilford Rd., Brattleboro VT 05301 for $42 postpaid. Please make check payable to UVM.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Oct/Nov Essential Financial Management Part I. (3 days). Offered at Brattleboro, Rutland, St. Johnsbury or Boscawen NH. Call Dennis Kauppila (800)-545-8920.
Oct. 12-15 National Small Farm Conference, St. Louis, MO. Contact Denis Ebodaghe of USDA at (202) 401-4385 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Oct. 17 Festival of Roots and Fruits: Celebration of Vermont's Organic Farms and Food.
Farm and Wilderness, Plymouth,VT. Call NOFA at (802) 434-4122
Nov. 6 New England Vegetable and Berry Growers All Day Meeting, Portsmouth NH
Call: Dom Marini (508) 378-2546
Nov. 11-13 Northeast Community Supported Agriculture Conference. Tamiment, PA (in the Poconos). Just Food, (212) 677-1602 or email@example.com
Nov. 13 Bring Classrooms to Farms and Farmers to Classrooms. Putney School, Putney VT. Call NOFA at 434-4122.
Dec. 6 Deadline for mailing SARE Farmer/Grower grants! Call me for an application.
Dec. 14-16 New England Vegetable and Berry Conference, Sturbridge Host Hotel, Sturbridge MA. Call Vern Grubinger (802) 257-7967 for a program
Jan. 4,5,6 Biological Control and Biorationals: How to Make Them Work. Offered on Jan. 4 in Manchester, ME; Jan. 5 in Durham NH; Jan.6 in Burlington VT. Call Dr. Margaret Skinner at (802) 656-5440 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan. 18-20 New Jersey Vegetable Growers Conference, The Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, NJ. Phil Traino (856) 985-4382
Jan 20-22 Great Lakes Vegetable Growers Conference and Farm Market Show, Grand Rapids, MI Rick Breeden (888) 884-9270 or email@example.com
Jan. 26 VT Vegetable and Berry Growers Assn. Farm Show meeting, Barre VT.
Feb 1-4 New York State Berry Growers and Direct Marketing Conference, Buffalo NY. Call Bob or Judy Schultz (716)484-7300
Feb. 7-10 North American Strawberry Growers Assn., Orlando FL. Call Bob or Donna Cobbledick (905) 945-9057
Feb. 11-12 North American Bramble Growers Assn., Orlando FL. Call Richard Fagan
(301) 724-4085 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Feb. 8-10 New York State Vegetable Conference, Syracuse. Jean Warholic (607) 539-7648
Feb. 15 VT Vegetable and Berry Growers Assn. Annual meeting, Rutland VT
Feb. 19 NOFA-VT Winter Conference
Feb. 23-27 Mid-Atlantic Direct Marketing Conference, Parsippany NJ. Contact: Dr. Ramu Govindasamy (732)932-9171 ext. 254