A UF/IFAS weed scientist and assistant professor shares the options for citrus weed management, advising growers to use many approaches.

Weeds are obviously not welcome in citrus groves; they compete with citrus trees for water and nutrients, and they harbor pests, even the vector that spreads citrus greening, the Asian citrus psyllid. UF/IFAS weed scientist and assistant professor, Ramdas Kanissery, shared the options growers have for citrus weed management in a Citrus Industry article, and advised growers to use multiple options for combating weeds. Read the details below.

Citrus Weed Management Options

“Weed management in citrus is one of the key ingredients for a successful and profitable production … Weeds can compete with citrus trees for nutrients, moisture and resources and can have an impact on the yield,” Kanissery said in the article. Research has shown that weed management can also reduce Asian citrus psyllid populations. Kanissery also shared that observations have indicated that keeping tree rows free of weeds can increase yields by at least 25 percent.

Kanissery shared the following weed management options for citrus growers, divided into four categories, in the article:

  1. Prevention and Cultural Options. These options include using cover crops and mulch. Cover crops also have the benefit of improving the soil of the grove.
  2. Mechanical Options. These options include disking and mowing between tree rows.
  3. Chemical Options. These include pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides.
  4. Thermal Options. These options include using steam and heat to target weeds.

Kanissery advised growers to use multiple weed management options, especially when some options—like chemical options—can have negative effects or in trying to control weeds before they go to seed.

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