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Open access

Alex J. Lindsey, Adam W. Thoms, Nick E. Christians, and Ben W. Pease

Aeration and sand topdressing are important cultural practices for organic matter management on golf course putting greens. Many golf courses lack the budget for applications of new sand topdressing material. A 2-year study was conducted to investigate the effect of recycling sand from hollow-tine aerification cores on a sand-based creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) putting green soil properties and playability. Treatments included traditional [T (cores removed and sand topdressed)], verticut [V (cores broken up with verticutter)], and recycle [R (cores recycled using a core recycler)]. There were no differences in root zone organic matter, bulk density, soil porosity, infiltration rates, percent sand recovered during mowing, surface firmness, and ball roll distance between treatments during the study. Immediately after aerification treatments, T had the highest percent green cover (PGC) (38.3%) compared with V (26.9%) and R (26.8%), indicating that T offered the least sand present on the surface. Seven days after treatments, there was no difference in PGC (85.3% to 90.1%), indicating all treatments recovered similarly. Alternative aerification treatments V and R could be useful techniques to minimize or reduce the amount of sand used for backfilling core aeration holes without compromising the putting green soil properties and playability.

Open access

Godwin Shokoya, Charles Fontanier, Dennis L. Martin, and Bruce L. Dunn

Consumers desire low-input turfgrasses that have tolerance to both shade and drought stresses. Several sedges (Carex sp.) and nimblewill (Muhlenbergia schreberi) are native plants prevalent in dry woodland ecosystems in Oklahoma, USA, and may have potential as alternatives to conventional species in dry shaded turfgrass systems. To evaluate selected species for this purpose, a multilocation field trial was conducted in Stillwater and Perkins, OK. Four sedges [gray sedge (Carex amphibola), Leavenworth’s sedge (Carex leavenworthii), ‘Little Midge’ palm sedge (Carex muskingumensis), and Texas sedge (Carex texensis)] and nimblewill were evaluated as alternative turfs for the study. Alternative turfs were compared against two conventional turfgrasses [‘El Toro’ Japanese lawngrass (Zoysia japonica) and ‘Riley’s Super Sport’ bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon)]. The conventional turfgrasses outperformed each sedge and nimblewill in coverage and turf quality. Leavenworth’s sedge, gray sedge, and Texas sedge persisted well but did not spread quickly enough to achieve a dense canopy by the end of the 2-year trial. In contrast, nimblewill established quickly but declined in coverage over time. This study demonstrated some sedges and nimblewill can be established and maintained as a low-input turf in dry shade, but development of unique management practices is still required for acceptable performance.

Open access

Lauren E. Kurtz, Lillian N. Borbas, Mark H. Brand, and Jessica D. Lubell-Brand

There is demand for micropropagated Cannabis sativa liner plants, because they are uniform, vigorous, and pathogen free; however, availability is limited because of challenges with in vitro culture decline and ex vitro rooting. Ex vitro rooting success of microcuttings was evaluated for ‘Abacus’ and ‘Wife’ when cultures were 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18 weeks old from initiation. Microcuttings of ‘Wife’ harvested from 6, 9, and 12-week-old cultures rooted at or above 80%, but rooting declined to 50% and 30% for 15- and 18-week-old cultures, respectively. Rooting for ‘Abacus’ remained relatively constant between 47% and 70% for microcuttings harvested from 6- to 18-week-old cultures. ‘Wife’ plants grown from microcuttings, stem cuttings, and retip cuttings (cuttings taken from new shoots on recently micropropagated plants) had equivalent total shoot length, number of shoots, and flower dry weight, whereas micropropagated ‘Abacus’ plants had less shoot length and flower dry weight than plants from stem cuttings. However, when micropropagated ‘Abacus’ plants were provided an extra week of vegetative growth to reach an initial size equivalent to stem and retip plants, all plants performed the same. Propagation method did not change cannabinoid content for both ‘Abacus’ and ‘Wife’. Retip cuttings of ‘Abacus’ and ‘Wife’ rooted at 76% to 81% without rooting hormone, which is comparable to rates reported for stem cuttings of C. sativa treated with rooting hormone. Propagators should consider retipping to expand their liner production, because retips root well and possess the same desirable attributes as micropropagated plants.

Open access

Muhammad S. Islam, Alessio Scalisi, Mark Glenn O’Connell, Peter Morton, Steve Scheding, James Underwood, and Ian Goodwin

Automatic in-field fruit recognition techniques can be used to estimate fruit number, fruit size, fruit skin color, and yield in fruit crops. Fruit color and size represent two of the most important fruit quality parameters in stone fruit (Prunus sp.). This study aimed to evaluate the reliability of a commercial mobile platform, sensors, and artificial intelligence software system for fast estimates of fruit number, fruit size, and fruit skin color in peach (Prunus persica), nectarine (P. persica var. nucipersica), plum (Prunus salicina), and apricot (Prunus armeniaca), and to assess their spatial and temporal variability. An initial calibration was needed to obtain estimates of absolute fruit number per tree and a forecasted yield. However, the technology can also be used to produce fast relative density maps in stone fruit orchards. Fruit number prediction accuracy was ≥90% in all the crops and training systems under study. Overall, predictions of fruit number in two-dimensional training systems were slightly more accurate. Estimates of fruit diameter (FD) and color did not need an initial calibration. The FD predictions had percent standard errors <10% and root mean square error <5 mm under different training systems, row spacing, crops, and fruit position within the canopy. Hue angle, a color attribute previously associated with fruit maturity in peach and nectarine, was the color attribute that was best predicted by the mobile platform. A new color parameter—color development index (CDI), ranging from 0 to 1—was derived from hue angle. The adoption of CDI, which represents the color progression or distance from green, improved the interpretation of color measurements by end-users as opposed to hue angle and generated more robust color estimations in fruit that turn purple when ripe, such as dark plum. Spatial maps of fruit number, FD, and CDI obtained with the mobile platform can be used to inform orchard decisions such as thinning, pruning, spraying, and harvest timing. The importance and application of crop yield and fruit quality real-time assessments and forecasts are discussed.

Open access

Bruce L. Dunn, Carla Goad, and Lynn Brandenberger

Uniconazole is approved for use as a chemical option on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) for height control, but research is limited. In this study, 12 tomato cultivars were chosen with three cultivars each of indeterminate, determinate, heirloom, and container types. Plants were sprayed with a one-time application of 0, 2.5, 5, 7.5, or 10 mg⋅L–1 of uniconazole during the two- to four-leaf stage to evaluate height control. Results indicated no significant difference between concentrations for plant height, stem caliper, and plant dry weight. The greatest soil plant analysis development (SPAD) values were observed with the 10-mg⋅L–1 treatment. Flower response in ‘Brandywine’ to a single application of 0, 2.5, or 5 mg⋅L–1 of uniconazole demonstrated a greater number of flowers per plant at 5 mg⋅L–1, whereas no significant difference was shown for the number of flower clusters or the number of flowers per cluster at other treatment levels. Using 2.5 mg⋅L–1 uniconazole was effective for reducing plant height across all cultivars of greenhouse-grown tomato seedlings compared with the control, whereas addition of 5 mg⋅L–1 was shown to increase the number of flowers in the heirloom cultivar Brandywine.

Open access

Ricardo Goenaga, Angel Marrero, and Delvis Pérez

Little is known about the adaptability of lychee (Litchi chinensis) to acidic soils high in aluminum (Al). A 2-year greenhouse study was conducted to determine the effects of various levels of soil Al on dry matter production, plant growth, and nutrient concentration in shoots of lychee cultivar rootstock seedlings (maternal half-sibs) of cultivars Brewster, Bostworth-3 (Kwai May Pink), and Kaimana. Soil Al treatments were statistically different for all variables measured in the study but not rootstock seedlings. Total leaf, stem, and root dry weights significantly decreased at soil Al concentrations ranging from 0.42 to 12.69 cmol·kg−1. Increments in soil Al resulted in a significant reduction in the concentration of leaf calcium and phosphorus and a significant increase in leaf Al in cultivar rootstock seedlings. The concentration of leaf potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and boron were in the optimum range for lychee, whereas leaf nitrogen and manganese concentrations were above optimum. The results of this study demonstrated no cultivar rootstock seedlings differences for dry matter production in lychee trees grown under Al stress and demonstrate that lychee is highly susceptible to acid soils.

Open access

Ehtisham S. Khokhar, Dennis N. Lozada, Amol N. Nankar, Samuel Hernandez, Danise Coon, Navdeep Kaur, and Seyed Shahabeddin Nourbakhsh

Fruit architecture and morphology-related traits are among the determinants of fruit diversity and are major contributors to yield and yield potential in chile pepper (Capsicum spp.). This study aimed to characterize 105 genotypes of a Capsicum diversity panel consisting of cultivars, breeding lines, landrace, and wild species belonging to twelve different pod (fruit) types, for 32 morphometric Tomato Analyzer (TA) descriptors. Hierarchical cluster analysis grouped the genotypes into eight clusters based on the TA descriptors. A multivariate principal component analysis yielded two principal components, PC1 and PC2, which explained 53.24% and 10.11% of the variation in fruit diversity, respectively. The basic measurements—namely, perimeter, area, width midheight, maximum width, height midwidth, maximum height, and curved height were the most discriminating descriptors with a maximum contribution to the overall fruit shape. There was a strong, positive correlation for basic measurements and fruit shape index, whereas blockiness was negatively correlated with distal angle macro. Additive genetic effects and high heritability for the fruit traits were observed. Results of this study will provide valuable information to breed high-yielding chile pepper cultivars based on fruit morphology traits.

Open access

Ping Yu and Stephen Christopher Marble

Pennsylvania bittercress (Cardamine pensylvanica) and other bittercress (Cardamine) species are among the most common and difficult-to-control weed species in container nurseries, and they have been vouched in most counties in Florida. Preemergence herbicides can provide control, but concerns over potential resistance development, environmental issues, and crop injury problems associated with herbicide use create the need for alternative weed control methods to be explored. Previous studies have shown the potential of mulch materials for controlling weeds in nurseries, but their use along with preemergence herbicides has not been extensively investigated. To compare the effects of different mulch materials and herbicides on Pennsylvania bittercress control, a full factorial designed greenhouse study was conducted. Three mulch treatments including no mulch, pine (Pinus sp.) bark, and rice (Oryza sativa) hulls were evaluated with three herbicide treatments, including water (i.e., no herbicide), isoxaben, and prodiamine applied at label rates. Twenty-five seeds of Pennsylvania bittercress were sown on the surface of each container and emergence (percent), coverage (square centimeters), seedhead number, and biomass (grams) were measured. The results showed that Pennsylvania bittercress in containers mulched with rice hulls had the lowest emergence throughout the experiment. For coverage, seedhead, and biomass parameters, Pennsylvania bittercress seeded in rice hulls treatments had significantly lower coverage, fewer seedheads, and lower biomass compared with those in nonmulched or pine bark treatments, regardless of herbicide treatment. With isoxaben and the water check, nonmulched treatments had the highest coverage/seedhead/biomass, whereas with prodiamine, Pennsylvania bittercress in pine bark mulched containers had the highest coverage/seedhead/biomass. In conclusion, applying rice hulls alone can provide better Pennsylvania bittercress control compared with isoxaben or prodiamine applied alone.