Ribes Weed Management
Good weed control begins years before planting. Begin by identifying perennial weed problems in the field. Eliminate these weeds before planting. Early to mid-fall applications of glyphosate products can be very effective.
A permanent sod such as hard fescue between the rows is effective in controlling weeds in established plantings. Within-row weeds can then be controlled with appropriate herbicides or landscape fabric.
Herbicides labeled for use in bearing and nonbearing currants and gooseberries are certain glyphosate products (Roundup, Touchdown, and others), Gramoxone SL 2.0, Rely, and Surflan AS. Devrinol 50DF and Scythe are labeled for use on bearing and nonbearing currants. Fusilade DX, Select Max, and Gallery 75DF are labeled for use only on nonbearing currants and gooseberries (plants that won’t be harvested for at least one year). Other formulations with the same active ingredients may exist that are labeled for the same uses.
Glyphosate products and Gramoxone, Scythe and Rely are nonselective postemergence materials. Glyphosate products are translocated within and therefore kill the entire plant, even though only a portion of the plant may have come in contact with the herbicide. Fusilade and Select are selective postemergence materials that are also translocated in the plant, but are effective only on grasses. Gramoxone and Scythe are nontranslocated contact herbicides, and kill only the portion of the plant with which they come in contact. Because of this feature, the roots of treated weeds survive, and control of perennial weeds is only temporary. Good coverage is a necessity, as untreated portions of the leaves and stems will continue to live. Rely is partially translocated. Gallery, Surflan, and Devrinol are preemergence materials, so they must be applied before weeds have germinated. Gallery is effective against annual broadleaves, while Suflan and Devrinol are effective against annual grasses and certain annual broadleaves. Before use, always consult the herbicide labels for precautions, reentry intervals, and other restrictions.
Weeds can develop resistance to herbicides. The Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) developed a grouping system based on the mode of action of different herbicides. WSSA Group numbers can be used as a tool to choose herbicides in different mode of action groups so mixtures or rotations of active ingredients can be planned to better manage weeds and reduce the potential for resistant species.
Remember that weeds compete with each other, not just with crop plants. Therefore, controlling a particular weed or group of weeds may allow another weed species to take over, requiring adjustments to your control strategies.