Squash varieties of Golden Delicious and Squash Hybrid NK 530 were grown in disk-till, strip-till, and no-till conservation tillage systems following a cover crop of'Monida' oats (Avena sativa L.) and common vetch (Vicia sativa L.). Tillage systems were evaluated for effects on squash emergence and yield, weed density and biomass, and the time it took to hand hoe the growing area. Squash
emergence was similar among treatments and squash yield was similar between strip-till and disk-till systems. However, propane flaming appeared to increase squash emergence in strip-till treatments and reduce emergence in no-till treatments. Weed abundance was lower in strip-till and no-till treatments where a cover crop mulch remained on the soil surface than in disk-till treatments where the soil was less covered. Weed biomass in no-till treatments, where a cover crop mulch lay on the surface, was reduced for up to six weeks after squash planting. However, once the mulch broke down, weeds became abundant and no-till plots were abandoned one month prior to harvest because of concerns over contamination of weed seeds into the soil. This one year study suggests that squash grown in a strip-till conservation tillage system with a cover crop has adequate weed control and equivalent yields with a disk-till system and that squash grown in a no-till system has similar emergence and inadequate weed control at this amount of mulch.
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