Department of Horticulture
Telephone: (517) 353-0338
East Lansing, MI 48824
Area of Expertise:
Weed science and ecology as it relates to ornamental crop production (in the landscape, nursery, greenhouse and Christmas tree industries)Home gardening questions? Call 1-888-678-3464 or Ask Extension
- 50% Extension
- 35% Research
- 15% Teaching
- PhD University of Florida (Horticultural Sciences)
- MS University of Calcutta (Botany)
- BS Presidency College, University of Calcutta (Botany Honors)
Dr. Saha investigates different chemical and non-chemical strategies for an effective weed control in ornamental crop production. Debalina has conducted studies and published results on herbicides and mulch combinations and their effects on different weed species in nursery and greenhouse container production systems, effects of strategic fertilizer placements in weed control for container production, evaluating different herbicide efficacies, studying different allelopathic properties of mulch extracts and their effect on weed control, and evaluating effects of different herbicide formulations and their cost effect in nursery production.
Current Projects in the Saha Lab
(1) With grants from Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) and Western Greenhouse Association (WMGA), Debalina and her doctoral student, Manjot Kaur Sidhu are investigating how to control liverwort infestation of container-grown ornamentals in nurseries and greenhouses.
(2) With a grant from Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA), Debalina, her cooperators, and her graduate students are determining the efficacy of different liquid formulations of herbicides (or their combinations) for control of large crabgrass and common ragweed and are determining the effectiveness of the older herbicide formulations versus the newer herbicides at reducing and eradicating these problematic weed species that have proliferation in MI nursery fields/containers.
(3) Developing an integrated weed control program for Christmas tree production especially during their establishment phase is extremely important as Michigan is one of the largest Christmas trees producing state in US. With the Specialty Crop Block Grant through Michigan Christmas Tree Association, Debalina along with her colleague and graduate student, Greta Gallina is investigating how organic mulch, postemergence herbicides, and their combinations can affect weed control efficacy and whether they can have phytotoxic effect on Christmas trees during their establishment stage.
(4) Several ornamental crop safety trials where phytotoxicity are being tested of different new chemicals (such as herbicides and fungicides) for their registration purpose are being conducted. These trials are being funded by USDA IR4.
(5) Dr. Saha also conducts several herbicide chemical company trials and projects for their new products and writes technical reports for the industries.
Debalina gives talks to state, regional, and national conferences/meetings and associations related to green industry. She is highly involved with Michigan Christmas Tree Association (MCTA), Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA), and Western Greenhouse Association (WMGA) in the state of Michigan. She often writes trade journal articles for Great Lakes Christmas Tree journal, The Michigan Landscape, Greenhouse Product News (GPN), and Nursery Management. In addition, to these, she publishes several MSU extension bulletins (series), newsletter, factsheets for identification and management of specific problematic weed species in nurseries, greenhouses, and Christmas tree production. Recently, Dr. Saha has become one of the team members of e-GRO (Electronic Grower Resources Online) which is a collaborative effort of floriculture specialist to create a new clearing house for alerts about disease, insect, weeds, environment, physiological and nutritional disorders being observed in commercial greenhouses.
Dr. Saha has 15% teaching appointment. She teaches PLB/HRT863 Environmental Plant Physiology (graduate level course) every odd Spring semester.
Current Graduate Students
Manjot Kaur Sidhu (Ph.D.): Expected graduation, December 2023
Greta Gallina (M.S.): Expected graduation, December 2022
Current Undergraduate Researcher
Ashley Jeon, Undergraduate intern, May 2021 to present
Carolyn Fitzgibbon (B.S.) Research technical aide April, 2020 to present
Saha, D., B.M. Cregg, and M.K. Sidhu. 2020. A review of nonchemical weed control practices in Christmas tree production. Forests 11, 554; doi:10.3390/f11050554
Sidhu, M.K., R. Lopez, S. Chaudhari, and D. Saha. 2020. A review on common liverwort control in nurseries and greenhouses. HortTechnology 30(4):471-479; doi: https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTTECH04652-20
Saha, D., C. Marble, B.J. Pearson, H.E. Perez, G.E. MacDonald, and D.C. Odero. 2019. Short-term preemergence herbicide adsorption by mulch materials and impacts on weed control. HortTechnology 1-9 doi: https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTTECH04432-19
Saha, D., C. Marble, B.J. Pearson, H.E. Perez, G.E. MacDonald, and D.C. Odero. 2019. Emergence of garden spurge (Euphorbia hirta) and large crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis) in response to different physical properties and depths of common mulch materials. Weed Technology 1-8 doi:10.1017/wet.2019.88.
Saha, D., C. Marble, N. Torres, and A. Chandler. 2019. Fertilizer placement affects growth and reproduction of three common weed species in pine bark-based soilless nursery substrates. Weed Science 1-7 doi:10.1017/wsc.2019.49.
Marble, S.C., S.T. Steed, D. Saha, and Y. Khamare. 2019. On-farm evaluations of wood-derived, waste paper, and plastic mulch materials for weed control in Florida container nurseries. HortTechnology 1-8 doi:10.21273/HORTTECH04437-19.
Saha, D., C. Marble, B.J. Pearson, H.E. Perez, G.E. MacDonald, and D.C. Odero. 2019. Influence of mulch type and depth, herbicide formulation, and post-application irrigation volume on control of common landscape weed species. HortTechnology 29:65-77.
Saha, D., C. Marble, and A. Chandler. 2018. Early postemergence control of bittercress (Cardamine flexuosa With.) and oxalis (Oxalis stricta L.) with dithiopyr and isoxaben combinations. Journal of Environmental Horticulture 36(3): 114-118. http://hrijournal.org/doi/full/10.24266/0738-2898-36.3.114.
Saha, D., C. Marble, and B.J. Pearson. 2018. Allelopathic effects of common landscape and nursery mulch materials on weed control. Frontiers in Plant Science 9:1-8. doi:10.3389/fpls.2018.00733.
Saha, D., C. Marble, C. Stewart, and A. Chandler. 2017. Preemergence and postemergence control of Artillery weed (Pilea microphylla) in container nurseries and landscapes. Weed Technology 31(4): 574-581.
Trade Journal Publications:
Saha, D. 2021. Biology and management of common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisifolia L.) in Christmas tree production. Great Lakes Christmas Tree Journal 17(1): 40-42.
Saha, D. 2021. Controlling weeds in container production: Can growers control weed growth in container production? Greenhouse Product News (GPN) 31(1):30-33 http://digital.gpnmag.com/i/1322476-january-2021/0?
Saha, D. H. Lindberg, and M.K. Sidhu. 2020. Weed ID: Learn how to manage liverwort in nurseries and greenhouses. Nursery Management http://magazine.nurserymag.com/article/august-2020/weed-control-managing-liverwort-weed-id.aspx.
Saha, D. 2020. Top three problematic weeds of Michigan nursery container production. The Michigan Landscape 63(3):25-28.
Saha, D. 2020. Managing birdeye pearlwort in Michigan's nursery container production. The Michigan Landscape 63(2):48-51.
Saha, D., H. Lindberg, and M.K. Sidhu. 2020. Identification and management of liverwort in greenhouses. Electronic grower resources on-line (e-grow) vol 9.03.
Saha, D. 2020. Chemical weed control strategies for nurseries and landscapes: Part II. The Michigan Landscape 63(1):44-46.
Saha, D. 2019. Nonchemical weed control strategies for nurseries and landscapes: Part I. The Michigan Landscape 62(6):39-41.
Saha, D. 2019. Top three problematic weeds of Christmas tree plantations in great lake regions. Great Lakes Christmas Tree Journal 15 (4): 28-30.
Other Extension Publications:
Saha, D., C. Marble, S. Steed, and N.S. Boyd. 2019. Biology and management of Yellow (Cyperus escuelentus) and Purple Nutsedge (C. rotundus) in ornamental crop production and landscapes, ENH 1305. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences EDIS http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep569
Laughinghouse IV, H.D., D.E. Berthold, C. Marble, and D. Saha. 2019. Biology and management of Nostoc (Cyanobacteria) in nurseries and greenhouses, SS-AGR-431. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences EDIS. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag430
Saha, D., C. Marble, R.H. Stamps, S. Steed, and N.S. Boyd. 2016. Biology and management of ragweed parthenium (Parthenium hysterophorus L.) in ornamental crop production, ENH 1270. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences EDIS. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep535
Saha, D., C. Marble, S. Steed, and N.S. Boyd. 2016. Biology and management of Pilea microphylla (Artillery weed) in ornamental crop production, ENH 1272. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences EDIS. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep531.