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Drought and salinity affect turfgrass growth and development adversely. Plant growth-promoting microorganisms (PGPMs) have been shown to have the capability of improving resistance to biotic stressors in plants. The objective of this research was to determine the efficacy of six commercial PGPMs on enhancing the drought and salinity resistance of kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis). The six PGPMs evaluated were Beauveria bassiana (strain GHA), Bacillus subtilis (strain GB03), Azadirachtin, Bacillus firmus (strain 1-582), Trichoderma harzianum Rifai (strain T-22) combined with Trichoderma virens (strain G-41), and Bacillus subtilis (strain QST713). Three cultivars—Kenblue, Moonlight, and Waterworks—were seeded in the greenhouse. Two-week seedlings were exposed to saline (sodium chloride at 6 dS⋅m–1 three times per week) or drought (tap water once per week) conditions, and no stress (irrigated with tap water three times per week) for 4 weeks. Results show that drought and salinity inhibited turf growth, with the greatest reduction in root dry weight (50.3% in drought conditions and 31.4% in saline conditions). ‘Kenblue’ performed better than ‘Waterworks’ and ‘Moonlight’ in all growth indices except for root length. Beauveria bassiana and B. subtilis had a similar or better result in enhancing turfgrass growth and development compared with the untreated turf under stress. Our results suggest that certain PGPMs have the potential to improve abiotic stress resistance in turfgrass.

Open Access

Turfgrass seed, a living organism, is facing more stringent trade regulations compared with nonliving products. We applied multiple empirical approaches to explore the impact of these regulations on trade flows in grass seeds. We constructed a series of novel variables to measure these regulations, such as environment regulation stringency, pre-shipment inspections, market conditions, and product requirements. Our results showed that nontariff trade measures had substantial impacts on the trade of grass seeds. These measures sometimes worked as barriers to trade and at other times worked as catalysts for trade.

Open Access
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Established in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is a leading professional organization that serves a diverse horticultural community. With influence spanning both national and global domains, ASHS makes substantial contributions to various branches of horticulture. In 1985, ASHS introduced the annual Fruit Publication Award to honor exceptional research articles related to fruit. Reflecting on these awarded articles, especially in light of ASHS’s 120-year history, not only serves as a congratulatory gesture to the recipients but also provides insight into the evolutionary progression of fruit science.

Open Access

The production of Beit Alpha cucumber (Cucumis sativus) in hydroponic systems has increased in popularity since the early 2000s, along with the use of high-wire trellising systems. Some farmers claim the high-wire trellising systems, also known as drop-and-lean trellising, result in a more consistent weekly yield than umbrella or modified-umbrella systems. This study compared the high-wire and modified-umbrella trellising systems both using a 7 ft top wire and 4 plants/m2 plant density. The fruit weight and number of fruit per plant were significantly greater using the modified-umbrella trellising system, with the number of fruit being about twice as high as the high-wire trellising system. Consistency of yields was also measured for both systems and found to peak at ∼5 to 7 weeks after the start of harvest using both trellising systems. However, peak yields using the modified-umbrella trellising system followed a quadratic curve, implying that the high-wire trellising system results in more consistent yields. Differences in yield and harvest consistency were likely related to light penetration of the plant canopy. Growers using low-profile greenhouses can expect lower yields and more consistent harvests using the high-wire trellising system. Yields may be improved using a higher plant density. Alternatively, succession planting on a 5- to 7-week interval can improve harvest consistency using a modified-umbrella trellising system.

Open Access

With an increase in social awareness of environmental degradation and the need to conserve resources while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, consumers have become increasingly concerned about the environmental standards of the industries from which they purchase products. This has motivated industries to restructure their business model to one that is more environmentally sustainable. Research of consumers’ floral purchasing habits based on geographic regions found that these habits varied depending on the region where they lived. The main purpose of this study was to investigate US consumers’ perceptions and willingness to pay as they relate to retail floral providers’ environmentally sustainable practices based on the geographical region where the consumer lives within the United States. The results indicated differences in the way respondents answered questions based on the geographical region where they live. However, regardless of the US region where the respondents live, from the list of sustainable attributes covered in this study, respondents indicated the use of locally sourced flowers and composting of floral waste as the two sustainable attributes with the most perceived value to consumers. The findings of this study indicate that floral providers that have incorporated any type of sustainable attribute into their businesses should be promoting this to the public. Floral providers located in the West and Northeast regions of the United States should especially consider emphasizing sustainable attributes within their business because consumers in these regions indicated that they were most willing to pay premiums for sustainable practices. Additionally, floral providers in the West should consider sourcing and promoting the use of fair-trade materials to their customers.

Open Access

Many species of herbaceous perennials now have numerous cultivars, with growth habits and flower colors unique to each cultivar. Vegetative propagation is required so that resulting plants are genetically identical to the parent plant. Although many cultivars are selected for precocious and vigorous flowering, it is often difficult to collect adequate vegetative cuttings from such cultivars for commercial production because juvenile (vegetative) growth is preferred for high-quality cuttings. Cuttings that are reproductive (with flower buds or flowers) can have reduced or delayed rooting and increased occurrences of fungal pathogens (especially Botrytis species), resulting in lack of crop uniformity. We sought to answer the question, can growing stock plants of herbaceous perennials under defined photoperiods extend the length of the vegetative period and enhance the rooting of cuttings harvested from these stock plants? In this study, stock plants of ‘P009S’ twinspur (Diascia integerrima), ‘Furman's Red’ sage (Salvia greggii), and ‘Wild Thing’ sage (Salvia greggii) were grown under ambient, 12-hour light, 10-hour light, and 8-hour light to determine if a particular photoperiod could be used to suppress reproductive growth by promoting vegetative growth, thereby enhancing cutting rooting success. Effects of photoperiod treatments varied among the plant cultivars studied. Plants grown under 8-hour photoperiod had longer duration of vegetative growth, smaller growth rates, and lower dry weights when compared with plants grown under 12-hour or 10-hour photoperiod. Plants grown under 12-hour photoperiod had shorter duration of vegetative growth, larger growth rates, and higher dry weights when compared with plants grown under 10-hour and 8-hour photoperiods. The probability of rooting of cuttings harvested from stock plants of ‘P009S’ twinspur, ‘Furman’s Red’ sage, and ‘Wild Thing’ sage grown under 12-hour and 10-hour photoperiods was greater when compared with cuttings harvested from stock plants grown under 8 h photoperiod.

Open Access

This study investigated the activity of upper- and lower-extremity muscles for 15 agricultural tasks of agro-healing. For the development of an agro-healing program using farm resource types, 15 selected agro-healing activities (namely, digging, raking, fertilizing, planting transplants, tying plants to stakes, watering, harvesting, washing, cutting, cooking, collecting natural objects, decorating natural objects, interacting with dogs, walking dogs, and feeding fish) were extracted and performed in a total of 21 adults (average age: 42.29 ± 14.76 years) at D Care Farm in Cheongju, Korea, from June to July 2022. Before these activities, informed consent was obtained from participants and muscle activity of the upper and lower extremities was measured. Muscle activation during activity performance was measured using electromyography (EMG), and the rating of perceived exertion for each activity was investigated. Bipolar surface EMG electrodes were attached at 16 locations on the left and right upper-extremity muscles (anterior deltoid, biceps brachialis, brachioradialis, and flexor carpi ulnaris) and lower-extremity muscles (vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, biceps femoris, and gastrocnemius). The results indicated that the activity of the lower-extremity muscles was higher than that of the upper-extremity muscles during 15 agricultural activities. During plant-mediated activity and animal-assisted activities, the rate of right muscle use was higher than that of left muscle use among the upper-extremity muscles, whereas the rate of right and left muscle use showed a similar tendency among the lower-extremity muscles. During plant-mediated activities, agricultural activities involving the use of heavy tools highly activated the right forearm muscle (flexor carpi ulnaris), whereas holding and interacting with animals highly activated the left forearm muscles (biceps brachialis, brachioradialis, and flexor carpi ulnaris). It is expected that the EMG data obtained in this study can be used as basic biomechanical data when designing an agro-healing program to improve physical function.

Open Access