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The American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) has since its inception published annual serial monographs or journals to achieve its mission of communicating horticultural science. To recognize the accomplishments of the membership, a series of professional awards was created. After the individual awards, the ASHS created publication awards. This paper, and the papers that follow, document the publication awards of the ASHS. The papers were based on presentations at the 2023 annual conference and serve as additional recognition of the contributions of member authors and as a historical record of achievements of the ASHS.

Open Access

Growers producing day-neutral strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa) in temperate climates face challenges when attempting to extend the season and mitigate the effects of rain. Conventional plastic coverings over low tunnels have been used for these purposes, but they often exacerbate heat-induced problems in summer. We examined two approaches for addressing this challenge. The first was to start dormant bare root ‘Albion’ strawberry plants in small pots in the greenhouse, then plant them into the field in spring so they could begin production before the onset of consistently high temperatures. Plants set in small pots on 26 Feb in the greenhouse and field planted on 6 May were compared with bare root plants set directly into the field on 6 May. The second approach used various low tunnel coverings to modify the light and temperature environment around the plants. Three coverings were woven nets embedded with reflective strips at various densities that allowed 50%, 60%, and 70% light transmission, and these were intended to lower temperatures under the covers by reflecting infrared radiation. A fourth covering was a polyethylene plastic embedded with optically active additives that shift incident light into wavelengths that are more photosynthetically active. Two other covers were standard commercial polyethylene plastics, and the final treatment was an uncovered control. Over the 2020 and 2021 growing seasons (hot and dry vs. moderate and wet, respectively), plots were harvested once or twice a week from June through October and fruit yield, size, and marketability were assessed. In both years, strawberry plants started in the greenhouse produced significantly higher yields than bare root plants over the season (30.5% and 43.7%). Bare root plants were less responsive to cover type than greenhouse plants. In 2020, yields tended to be higher in the middle of summer in plots with reflective coverings that reduced temperature and higher later in the season with coverings of wavelength-shifting film. Polyethylene covers that increased temperature without shifting the light spectrum had lower yields. Under the cooler conditions of 2021, plants under covers that increased temperature tended to have higher yields. In a third year (2023), bare root plants were covered with a reflective covering from 29 Jun until 1 Sep, then this cover was replaced with polyethylene with optical additives as the weather cooled and light levels dropped. This sequenced treatment was compared with uncovered plots and plots covered with standard commercial polyethylene plastic. Plants under the two-phase sequential covering performed significantly better than uncovered plots or those covered with standard polyethylene plastic alone.

Open Access

Sowing density is a key management practice influencing productivity and quality of leafy greens and culinary herbs grown in controlled environments. However, research-based information on optimal density is limited for many culinary herbs. This greenhouse study aimed to quantify sowing density impacts on biomass output, individual plant growth, and morphological traits in hydroponically produced ‘Giant of Italy’ parsley (Petroselinum crispum), ‘Santo’ cilantro (Coriandrum sativum), and sage (Salvia officinalis). Seedlings were grown in phenolic foam cubes with 1, 5, 10, 15, or 20 seeds per cell, transplanted into an ebb-and-flow hydroponic system in a glass-glazed greenhouse with 23 °C target average daily temperature, 16-hour photoperiod, a target daily light integral of 13 mol·m−2·d−1, and harvested at 16 to 28 d after transplanting depending on species. ‘Giant of Italy’ parsley and ‘Santo’ cilantro fresh weight per cell increased quadratically by 274% (57.3 g) and 305% (19 g), respectively, as sowing density increased from 1 to 15 seeds per cell, then plateaued as density further increased. Sage fresh weight plateaued at 10 seeds per cell with an increase of 225% (29.2 g) compared with 1 seed per cell. Cilantro and sage dry weight per cell plateaued at 14 and 8 seeds per cell, respectively, and parsley dry weight quadratically increased as sowing density rose up to 20 seeds per cell. Although fresh and dry weight increased, individual plant height, stem diameter, and individual plant dry weight exhibited linear or quadratic declines as sowing density increased, indicating higher sowing densities restricted individual plant growth. In summary, as sowing density increased, fresh and dry weight per cell generally increased but individual plant quality decreased. For the greatest fresh and dry weight, 20, 18, and 10 seeds per cell should be sown for parsley, cilantro, and sage, respectively. However, to balance fresh weight and crop quality, our results suggest sowing density (seeds per cell) targets of 16 seeds for parsley, 18 seeds for cilantro, and 10 seeds for sage.

Open Access

Ornamental plant and weed response to oxyfluorfen + prodiamine herbicide was evaluated in Connecticut and Tennessee, USA, in 2017 and 2018. Preemergence application of oxyfluorfen + prodiamine was made at 0 lb/acre, 2 + 0.75 lb/acre, 4 + 1.5 lb/acre, and 8 + 3 lb/acre to container-grown ornamental plants on an outdoor gravel pad and weeds in greenhouse experiments. Ornamental plants were treated first within a week after transplanting and again 6 weeks after the first treatment. Asiatic jasmine (Trachelospermum asiaticum), candlestick plant (Senna alata), and English ivy (Hedera helix) in Tennessee, USA; and ‘Blue Flag’ iris (Iris sp.), ‘Firecracker’ gladiolus (Gladiolus sp.), and ‘Green Carpet’ Japanese pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis) in Connecticut, USA, were not injured with oxyfluorfen + prodiamine regardless of rate applied. Lily-of-the-Nile (Agapanthus africanus) in Tennessee, USA, and ‘Bowles’ periwinkle (Vinca minor) in Connecticut, USA, showed minor but commercially acceptable growth reduction with oxyfluorfen + prodiamine up to 4 + 1.5 lb/acre. Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum ×superbum) in Connecticut, USA, was the most sensitive ornamental plant. After the first application, average necrotic injury to Shasta daisy varied from 24% with 2 + 0.75 lb/acre to 31% with 8 + 3 lb/acre of oxyfluorfen + prodiamine. After the second application, necrotic injury was ≤ 5% with all oxyfluorfen + prodiamine rates tested and was commercially acceptable (≤ 20%). Oxyfluorfen + prodiamine reduced densities of creeping woodsorrel (Oxalis corniculata), hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta), giant foxtail (Setaria faberi), and large crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis) ≥ 80% by 4 weeks after treatment. The fresh weed biomass 6 weeks after treatment indicated an 88% to 99% reduction compared with the untreated control.

Open Access
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This study investigated whether coding (computer programming) and horticultural activities alone and combined have psychophysiological and psychological effects. Compulsory computer programming has been required in elementary schools in South Korea since 2018. A total of 34 participants, who were students between the ages of 11 and 16 years were involved in the study. Participants undertook the following activities in random order: connecting components, coding, horticultural activities, and combining coding and horticultural activities (run program, horticultural activities, and coding modifications). Brain waves were measured during the activity, and a subjective self-report evaluation was conducted at the end of each activity. In a spectral edge frequency of 50% of the alpha spectrum band, which indicates a comfortable, stable, and relaxed state, there was a significant difference in the left prefrontal pole when participants performed a combination of coding and horticultural activities (P < 0.001). In addition, there were significant differences in the coding activities based on horticultural activities (P < 0.05, P < 0.001), with a relatively low beta, indicating attention and alertness; relative mid beta, indicating active awareness; ratio of SMR to theta, indicating focused attention; and the ratio of mid beta to theta, indicating concentrated focus. It is judged that activities involving plant engagement can contribute to comfort, stability, focused attention, and positive effects in response to active stimuli. As a result of a subjective evaluation, it was found that horticultural activities had a positive effect on participants’ emotions (P < 0.01). This study demonstrates that horticulture-based coding activities have a positive impact on physiological relaxation and cognitive enhancement, and are also associated with subjectively reported positive emotions.

Open Access

Hydroponics is widely used in greenhouse and vertical farming production because these facilities can precisely control environmental conditions such as lighting, temperature, and vapor pressure deficit. However, the fertilizer solutions have a short life span, and they often do not have adequate microbial populations to enhance plant growth. Previous studies have shown the potential of beneficial microbes to promote plant production and alleviate abiotic and biotic stressors in the field, and studies on their use in controlled environments such as greenhouses and vertical farms are limited in the literature. In this study, we selected several plant growth promoting microbes (PGPMs) and tested their effects on alleviating salinity stress in ‘Rex’ lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and ‘Red Pac’ pak choi (Brassica chinensis) grown in deep water culture hydroponics. Our goal was to use one stressor, salinity, that induces profound symptoms in plant morphology. A three-cycle study was conducted using five PGPMs [Bacillus, Glomus, Lactobacillus, Trichoderma, and Bacillus/Pseudomonas/Trichoderma (B/P/T) mix] and two salinity levels [no salinity and salinity treatment, with 120 mM, 40 mM, and 80 mM sodium chloride (NaCl) solution used for the first, second, and third cycles, respectively]. We measured the effects of PGPMs and salinity on plant growth and quality and the solution pH and electrical conductivity (EC). Salinity stress decreased lettuce and pak choi leaf area and shoot fresh weight and increased plant leaf chlorophyll and anthocyanin contents with increased solution EC. Under high-salinity stress (120 mM NaCl), the addition of Trichoderma reduced pak choi leaf area and fresh weight but increased solution pH, whereas under low salinity stress (40 mM NaCl), Trichoderma increased pak choi leaf chlorophyll content. Under moderate-salinity stress (80 mM NaCl) condition, the addition of Glomus sp. increased lettuce fresh weight and leaf area, and B/P/T mix increased pak choi leaf area. In conclusion, using the selected PGPMs in low to moderate-salinity stress could increase lettuce and pak choi growth and quality parameters. These results have some practical applications in the future when more saline water is used for production.

Open Access

The American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) Vegetable Publication Award, established in 1985, recognizes the author(s) of the outstanding paper on vegetable crops each year published in ASHS journals by an ASHS member. The goal is to encourage better quality research and more effective communication through writing and publication. Manuscripts published in any of the three ASHS journals are eligible to receive the award. To date, of the 36 awarded papers, 86.5% of the awarded papers were published in the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science and 13.5% in HortScience, and no publications in HortTechnology have received the award. Authors from 25 states have received the Vegetable Publication Award, with Florida having the most recipients (eight), followed by California (four), Wisconsin (four), Michigan (three), and Illinois (three). In addition, the Vegetable Publication Award has been presented to papers with authors from Israel (two), Canada (two), and one each from Belgium, Brazil, China, Italy, Japan, and the Netherlands. There is some association between commodities that were the subject of the awarded papers and the highest value vegetable commodities in the United States. Eight of the awarded papers reported studies on tomato (ranked first for value in the United States), four on lettuce (ranked second), and three each on broccoli, (ranked fifth) and sweet corn (ranked seventh). Most of the awarded papers covered topics related to plant physiology and response to stress (18 papers), followed by breeding and genetic resources (eight papers); nutraceuticals, aroma, and volatiles (five papers); genetics and gene mapping (three papers); postharvest (two papers); and only one winning paper focused on production systems.

Open Access
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The American Society for Horticultural Science Education Publication Excellence award was established in 1997 to recognize the most outstanding publication in ASHS journals related to education and teaching. This article reviews the award history, authors, and topics of the awarded papers. The award was recognized annually from 1998 to 2023 except for 3 years when no award was given. The majority of awarded papers were published in HortTechnology. Awards were presented to 70 authors from 23 institutions in 20 states and two other countries. Of the awarded papers, three had single authors, and 20 had multiple authors. Several awarded authors have been recognized in other ASHS publication awards or professional career awards. The majority of awarded papers focused on undergraduate students, teaching methods, and floriculture or ornamental topics.

Open Access

The increasing demand for sustainable products has helped spur demand for native plants. This study used an online survey of 2066 US consumers, a factor analysis, and Ward’s linkage cluster analysis to identify unique customer segments in the native plant marketplace. The following three clusters were identified: native averse (31.6%), native curious (35.7%), and native enthusiast (32.7%). The native enthusiast cluster agreed strongly with positive statements related to native plant perceptions and attributes. The native averse cluster exhibited the lowest level of agreement with these items and the greatest level of agreement with negative or neutral statements about native plants. The native curious cluster was intermediate between the other clusters but generally agreed with positive attributes. Demographic characteristics impacted cluster membership. The marketing implications are discussed.

Open Access

Cucurbit crops comprise ∼25% of the vegetable acreage in the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States. However, options for postemergence weed control in these crops are limited. Overlapping herbicides is a technique that involves sequential applications of soil-applied residual herbicides to lengthen herbicidal activity before the first herbicide dissipates. Residual herbicides such as S-metolachlor will not control emerged weeds, but weed control efficacy may be extended if these herbicides are applied after crop emergence, but before weed emergence occurs. Currently S-metolachlor is not labeled for broadcast applications over cucurbit crops. Greenhouse studies were conducted to evaluate pumpkin, cucumber, and summer squash variety response to varying S-metolachlor rates. S-metolachlor was applied at 1.42 and 2.85 lb/acre at the two-leaf stage of pumpkin and 0.71, 1.42, 2.85, and 5.7 lb/acre at the two-leaf stage of cucumber and summer squash. Cucumber showed a greater response to S-metolachlor with up to 67% injury observed at 5.70 lb/acre. S-metolachlor applications to pumpkin and summer squash resulted in less than 6% injury, regardless of application rate or crop variety. S-metolachlor applied at 2.85 lb/acre reduced pumpkin and cucumber dry weight 6% and 19%, respectively, but did not reduce squash dry weight. S-metolachlor reduced cucumber dry weight 78% for all varieties. Pumpkin varieties ‘Munchkin’ and ‘Baby Bear’ exhibited a 23% difference in dry weight, but no other differences were observed among other varieties because of S-metolachlor applications. Summer squash varieties ‘Respect’ and ‘Golden Glory’ exhibited a 31% difference in dry weight, but no other differences were observed among other varieties. Results show that pumpkin and summer squash demonstrated good crop safety when S-metolachlor was applied as a broadcast treatment after crop emergence. However, caution should be urged when applying this herbicide to cucumber.

Open Access