Temperature and relative humidity affect weed response to vinegar and clove oil

Daniel C. Brainard, William S. Curran, Robin R. Bellinder, Mathieu Ngouajio, Mark J. Vangessel, Milton J. Haar, W. Thomas Lanini, John B. Masiunas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Nonsynthetic herbicides offer a potentially useful addition to the suite of weed management tools available to organic growers, but limited information is available to guide the optimal use of these products. The objectives of this research were to (1) evaluate the efficacy of clove oil- and vinegar-based herbicides on weeds across multiple states, and (2) assess the potential role of temperature, relative humidity (RH), and cloud cover in explaining inter-state variations in results. From 2006 to 2008, a total of 20 field trials were conducted in seven states using an identical protocol. Seeds of brown mustard were sown and herbicides applied to both mustard and emerged weeds when mustard reached the three- to four-leaf stage. Treatments included clove oil at 2.5, 5, 7.5, and 10% v/v concentrations at 54 L ha-1, and vinegar at 5, 10, 15, and 20% v/v concentrations at 107 L ha-1. Results varied widely across trials. In general, concentrations of at least 7.5% for clove oil and 15% for vinegar were needed for adequate control of mustard. Both products were more effective at suppressing mustard than Amaranthus spp. or common lambsquarters. Poor control was observed for annual grasses. No significant effects of cloud cover on the efficacy of either product were detected. In contrast, RH was positively correlated with control of brown mustard by both clove oil and vinegar with improved control at higher RH. Temperature had no detectable effect on the efficacy of clove oil, but higher temperatures improved control of brown mustard by vinegar. Nomenclature: Clove oil; vinegar; common lambsquarters, Chenopodium album L.; redroot pigweed, Amaranthus retroflexus L.; brown mustard, Brassica juncea L. Czerniak.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-164
Number of pages9
JournalWeed Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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