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In strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa), initial bare-root crown diameter and early-season flower cluster removal have been two factors suspected of influencing fruit yield and size. This study evaluated the effect of these two factors on the day-neutral strawberry varieties Monterey and Cabrillo. Bare-root crowns with three different diameters were categorized into small (< 0.5 cm), medium (> 0.5 to 1 cm), and large (> 1 cm) at planting. Each of the crown diameter treatments was split into two plots for flower removal or no flower removal in the early season and data on canopy diameter, fruit yield, and fruit size collected in the subsequent months of production. The study was conducted over two growing seasons (2019–20 and 2020–21). No difference was found in plant canopy diameters measured in February, ∼3 months after planting, between any of the treatments in either year. Although early-season flower removal and some crown sizes resulted in lower fruit yield in March and April, none of these treatments resulted in any fruit yield or size differences in subsequent months nor in season end totals.

Open Access

A long-term, landscape grass hardiness study was initiated in Summer 1987 at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen, MN, USA [United States Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone (USDA PHZ) 4b, –20 to –25 °F]. This location averages a 158-day growing season (frost free), summer temperatures of 79.9 °F, and winter temperatures of 10.4 °F. Over 35 years, 392 different kinds of plants from the grass (Poaceae) and sedge (Cyperaceae) families were planted to evaluate winter survival, landscape value, flowering, and pest resistance. Most plants (n = 271, 69%) survived at least 4 years, 186 (47%) survived 10 years, 81 (21%) survived 20 years, and 29 (7%) survived 35 years. Sixty-eight plants (17%) were deemed not winter hardy in this location (USDA PHZ 4b), and 53 are listed with insufficient data for a hardiness rating. Changes in maintenance as well as challenges encountered with long-term trials of herbaceous plants are discussed.

Open Access

Grafted and ungrafted ‘Primo Red’ tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) transplants were planted at 16-, 20-, and 24-inch spacing in a commercial high tunnel in central New York, USA, to compare yields. ‘Primo Red’ scions were grafted onto ‘Maxifort’ rootstocks and left to heal in a commercial greenhouse facility. Tomatoes were harvested as they ripened, and the weight and number of fruit per plot was recorded and then calculated out to a per-plant basis. Wider plant spacings resulted in higher yields for both grafted and ungrafted plants. However, economic returns remained highest in the highest density (16 inches in-row) spacing with grafted plants. This indicates that growers may not need to adjust density despite additional foliage from grafted plants. Foliar incidence of Botrytis gray mold (Botrytis cinerea) was not significantly different under spacing or grafting treatments. Grafting resulted in higher yields across all plant spacings compared with ungrafted plants. Commercial growers can use this information to make choices on grafting and spacing in high tunnel tomato.

Open Access

The ornamental horticulture industry has long been significant in its vast economic contributions to the US agricultural sector, with Florida ranking second in nursery and greenhouse plant sales. A small proportion of introduced plants eventually escape cultivation and become invasive, leaving fragile ecosystems at risk. In response, a series of propagation and production research studies have been conducted over the years to 1) evaluate the female sterility and landscape performance of cultivars and/or hybrids of ornamental invasives, and 2) develop reliable propagation systems of novel or underused natives having ornamental and ecological value. Attractive, fruitless selections of popular species such as butterfly bush (Buddleja sp.), heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica), Mexican petunia (Ruellia simplex), lantana (Lantana strigocamara), trailing lantana (Lantana montevidensis), privet (Ligustrum sp.), maiden silvergrass (Miscanthus sp.), and fountain grass (Pennisetum sp.) have been identified as suitable non-native alternatives to the invasive or potentially invasive resident species (wild type). Simultaneously, researchers have taken a closer look at native plant alternatives that may offer similar aesthetic traits as invasive plants, while bringing added biodiversity and function for more ecologically friendly landscapes and gardens. As such, successful multisite trialing and/or propagation systems have been developed for a number of species native to Florida, such as squareflower (Paronychia erecta), coastalplain honeycombhead (Balduina angustifolia), wireweeds (Polygonella sp.), blue porterweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis), wild coffees (Psychotria sp.), sweet acacia (Vachellia farnesiana), and wild lime (Zanthoxylum fagara). With pronounced marketing and consumer education, it is hopeful that together sterile cultivars and native species will ultimately replace wild-type forms of commercially available ornamental invasives. This paper summarizes the current status of ornamental invasives in Florida and the role of native species and sterile non-native cultivars.

Open Access

Passionfruits (Passiflora sp.) are widely grown throughout tropical regions of the world. Burgeoning new interest in this fruit in both its fresh and processed forms has led to an increase in planting outside of traditional growing zones. Passionfruit production has increased steadily in the United States and its territories since the 2002 US Department of Agriculture Census of Agriculture; however, little is known about how the industry functions across production areas. To assess passionfruit growers’ production practices and support their needs, we conducted a survey during 2021. That survey consisted of 45 questions pertaining to various aspects of passionfruit production, including horticultural practices, pest management, cultivars grown, and industry challenges and needs. The objectives of the survey were to identify where passionfruit is currently grown in the United States, what production practices are being used, and what problems are being encountered so that researchers and extension personnel could provide remedies in the future. Forty-four surveys were complete and allowed for data analyses. Florida had the most responses (21), followed by Puerto Rico (12), California (6), Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, and the Virgin Islands. Most of the passionfruit production in the United States comprises purple passionfruit (Passiflora edulis f. edulis) or intraspecific red types at 68.2%. This value is driven by the high amounts of purple passionfruit and red passionfruit in Florida and other states. In contrast, nearly all farms in Puerto Rico grow yellow passionfruit (P. edulis f. flavicarpa) and fewer purple types. The main obstacle to obtaining optimum production was labor availability. Managing passionfruit, like many other specialty crops, is labor-intensive and includes many activities that require manual labor, such as weeding, training, pruning, pollination, and harvesting. Other obstacles that were noted were weather variability, vine decline, poor pollination, and availability of high-quality cultivars. Diseases, especially fungal diseases, are of particular concern to growers of passionfruit in the United States, although the identification of specific diseases was limited. Online delivery methods of information ranked high on the list of desired products. Online articles, such as those offered by extension services, were the most preferred, followed by webinars, which comprise a more recently developed method of information delivery. Overall, the survey provided baseline information to further develop initiatives to aid passionfruit production within the United States.

Open Access

In 2011, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (New Brunswick, NJ, USA) and Akdeniz University (Antalya, Turkey) conducted a survey to identify needs, interests, and capacities of Turkish women farmers. We interviewed extension educators and female farmers in three villages and used the results to develop a pilot, 28-hour course to train 40 small-scale citrus (Citrus sp.) and greenhouse producers from Kumluca, Turkey. Training included computer literacy, citrus and greenhouse production, and business management. The municipalities of Elmali, Duzce, Korkuteli, and Boztepe, Turkey, duplicated the successful pilot program within the next 2 years. To expand the training to more women farmers, we partnered with colleagues in Germany, Spain, and Malta to develop Empowering Women Farmers with Agricultural Business Management Training (EMWOFA), which had a multiplier effect by training educators who then trained women farmers to improve their business skills. The outputs of EMWOFA were a training manual for educators, a workbook for the women farmers, and e-learning videos in English, Turkish, Spanish, German, and Maltese.

Open Access

In commercial interior green walls, plant trimming and replacement necessitated by stem elongation under low interior light levels is labor intensive and costly. Antigibberellin plant growth regulators (PGRs) may slow stem elongation and thus reduce maintenance costs in this environment. In Expt. 1, two PGRs were applied as foliar spray or drench to three spiderwort selections [two of zebra plant (Tradescantia zebrina) and one of inch plant (Tradescantia fluminensis)] immediately before installation in a green wall, each at three rates: ancymidol (ANC) foliar spray at 25, 100, and 200 mg·L−1; paclobutrazol (PBZ) foliar spray at 20, 80, and 160 mg·L−1; and PBZ drench at 1, 4, and 8 mg·L−1, along with an untreated control. In Expt. 2, 80 mg·L−1 PBZ foliar spray, 1 mg·L−1 PBZ applied via subirrigation four times, and the combination of these two treatments, was evaluated on ‘Burgundy’ zebra plant. In both experiments, plants were placed in a vertical modular tray interior green wall. Change in total stem and specific internode length were measured every 14 days after installation for 3 months to calculate growth per month. Antigibberellin application slowed internode elongation of spiderwort selections during the first month after installation. Antigibberellins were more effective in zebra plant at reducing overall stem growth rate and less so on inch plant. Across the three spiderwort selections, 25 mg·L−1 foliar spray of ANC resulted in no difference in growth rate when compared with the control, although 100 to 200 mg·L−1 foliar spray was effective. Based on the results of both experiments, moderate and high rates of PBZ, applied both as a foliar spray and drench, resulted in similar reduction in stem elongation. PBZ applied as 20 to 80 mg·L−1 foliar spray, 4 mg·L−1 drench before installation in the wall, or a combination of an 80 mg·L−1 PBZ pre-installation foliar spray and recurring 1 mg·L−1 via subirrigation (four times) were effective at growth suppression of spiderworts for at least 3 months. Even rates of PBZ of 160 mg·L−1 foliar spray or 8 mg·L−1 drench did not show phytotoxicity in treated plants and could be considered for use. We recommend a pre-installation application of 80 mg·L−1 foliar spray or 4 mg·L−1 drench for controlling stem growth across spiderwort selections. Application of antigibberellin PGRs to plants before installation in green walls slows stem growth and can contribute to reduced maintenance costs.

Open Access

Golf facilities account for 2.3 million acres in the United States. Numerous turfgrass species are managed on US golf facilities, but golf facilities may change turfgrasses depending on numerous variables. Knowing which turfgrasses are grown and how turfgrass selection has changed would provide important information to scientists, turfgrass managers, and policymakers. The objective of this survey was to measure turfgrass use on US golf facilities in 2021 and to determine whether changes in turfgrass selection have occurred since 2005. A survey was developed and distributed via e-mail to 13,938 US golf facilities, with 1861 responding. From 2005 to 2021, the total projected area of maintained turfgrass on US golf facilities decreased by 14.2%, which was likely a result of course closures and maintenance operations. Nationally, bermudagrass (Cynodon sp.) and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) remained the most common warm- and cool-season turfgrasses, respectively. The area of winter-overseeded turfgrass declined by 60% between 2005 and 2021. The percentage of golf facilities that used zoysiagrass (Zoysia sp.) and seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum) increased depending on region and specific playing surface, albeit a pragmatically minor increase. In general, turfgrass selection on golf facilities in northern climates did not change, whereas turfgrass selection in southern climates favored a change from cool- to warm-season species, depending on the playing surface. Whether in historically cool-season or warm-season regions, it appears that many golf facilities are exploring alternatives to their traditional turfgrass species.

Open Access

Industrial insect rearing is expected to increase as a feedstock to meet growing global food demand. This will lead to greater production of insect excreta known as frass, a nutrient-dense organic material that has shown promise as a natural fertilizer source with potential environmental benefits. In this study, black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) frass (BSFF) was compared with a synthetic fertilizer (SF) during production of containerized ornamentals grown under greenhouse conditions. Fertilizers were incorporated into a bark-based substrate at 0, 0.1, 0.2, or 0.3 kg⋅m–3 nitrogen (N) planted with coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides) plugs. Growth index, shoot dry weight, and leaf quality were assessed for a period of 6 weeks. In addition, coleus fertilized at 0.3 kg⋅m–3 N and a control had leachate collected and analyzed weekly for volume, pH, electrical conductivity, and nutrient losses. Black soldier fly frass was found to produce marketable coleus plants at 0.3 kg⋅m–3 N and reduce cumulative N leaching by 87% compared with coleus fertilized with SF at the same rate. Therefore, BSFF can be a suitable fertilizer source for coleus production without compromising growth and leaf quality while potentially decreasing nutrient leaching losses.

Open Access