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Open access

Kayla R. Sanders and Jeffrey S. Beasley

Controlled-release fertilizers (CRFs) provide an extended period of nutrient availability for turfgrass growth and may limit offsite nutrient losses compared with water-soluble fertilizers (WSFs). However, increasing temperatures and soil moisture accelerate nutrient release from many CRFs. As a result, turfgrass managers growing turfgrass in warm, humid climates with high rainfall question how effective CRFs are in reducing nutrient runoff losses while maintaining aesthetic quality. A study was conducted to examine the effect of three fertilizer treatments—an unfertilized control, a CRF applied at 87 lb/acre nitrogen (N), and a WSF applied at 87 lb/acre N as a split application (43.5 lb/acre N) at 0 and 45 d after initial fertilization (DAIF)—on nutrient losses from ‘Tifway’ hybrid bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon × C. transvaalensis) during surface runoff events. Rainfall simulations were conducted 3, 28, 56, and 84 DAIF at an intensity of 3 inches per hour to induce 30 minutes of runoff. Water samples were analyzed for inorganic N and dissolved total phosphorus (DTP). Hybrid bermudagrass quality was similar among fertilizer treatments with CRF application, resulting in slightly higher quality. Across all fertilizer treatments, hybrid bermudagrass exhibited similar runoff initiation time and volumes within each rainfall simulation event. Nutrient losses from fertilized hybrid bermudagrass were greatest at the first runoff event at 3 DAIF, with WSF having the greatest losses. The subsequent application of WSF 45 DAIF did not result in greater N and DTP losses compared with CRF application, most likely a result of water incorporation applied to prevent wilting. Hybrid bermudagrass fertilized with a single application of CRF resulted in 23.6% and 55.6% reductions in cumulative inorganic N and DTP losses, respectively, compared with hybrid bermudagrass fertilized with the a split application of WSF.

Restricted access

Harbans L. Bhardwaj and Anwar A. Hamama

Lablab [Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet], which is one of the most ancient crops among cultivated plants, is a relatively unknown crop in the United States. Lablab is a major source of protein in the human diet in many parts of the world. Even though lablab is a potential alternative food and feed crop in other areas of the United States, it is expected to produce seed in southern United States (Florida, Georgia, and Texas). However, there is a lack of information about production potential of lablab in Virginia and adjoining states. We report the results of a replicated field study that was conducted for 2 years with 17 lablab lines in Virginia. The seed yield varied from 559 to 1678, with a mean yield of 1012 kg·ha−1. The seed protein concentration varied from 20.6 to 28.8, with a mean concentration of 25.4%. Lablab seed contained small amounts of oil (0.54% to 1.13%). Total sugars in lablab seed meal varied from 4.2% to 10.1%. Based on seed yields from other parts of the world and concentrations of protein, oil, and total sugars reported in literature regarding other food legumes, we concluded that lablab is a potential alternative summer crop in Virginia and other mid-Atlantic states.

Open access

Elisa Solis-Toapanta and Celina Gómez

In the quest to identify minimum daily light integrals (DLIs) that can sustain indoor gardening, we evaluated DLIs less than the recommended ranges for commercial production of basil (Ocimum basilicum). Experiments were conducted for 8 weeks to evaluate the effect of providing a constant vs. an increasing DLI over time (DLIInc) on growth and photosynthetic capacity of green (‘Genovese Compact’) and purple (‘Red Rubin’) basil grown hydroponically under a constant ambient temperature of 21 °C. Plants were grown under a 14 h·d–1 photoperiod and were subjected to the following DLI treatments: 4 (DLI4), 6 (DLI6), 8 (DLI8), or 10 (DLI10) mol·m–2·d‒1 (80, 119, 159, and 197 µmol·m‒2·s‒1, respectively); DLIInc was used as a fifth treatment and was achieved by transitioning hydroponic systems systematically to treatments with greater DLIs every 2 weeks. In general, regardless of cultivar, leaf area, leaf number, and overall growth [shoot fresh weight (SFW) and shoot dry weight (SDW)] were similar for plants grown under DLIInc to DLI4 and DLI6 during weeks 2, 4, and 6. However, plants grown under DLIInc produced the same leaf area as those grown under DLI10 at week 8. Nonetheless, across weeks, growth was significantly less under DLIInc compared with DLI10, but similar to that produced by DLI8 at week 8. Photosynthetic responses were significant only at week 8, for which leaves of plants grown under DLI8, DLI10, and DLIInc had 15% to 25% greater maximum gross carbon dioxide (CO2) assimilation (A max) than plants grown under DLI4. The light saturation point of photosynthesis was unaffected by DLI, but showed a general increasing trend with greater DLIs. Overall, our results suggest that providing a constantly high DLI results in greater growth and yield than increasing the DLI over time. In addition, we found that changes in A max and the light saturation point are not good indicators of the capacity of whole plants to make use of the available light for photosynthesis and growth. Instead, morphological and developmental traits regulated by DLI during the initial stages of production are most likely responsible for the growth responses measured in our study.

Open access

Jennifer L. Parke, Neelam R. Redekar, Joyce L. Eberhart and Fumiaki Funahashi

Phytophthora species cause crop losses and reduce the quality of greenhouse and nursery plants. Phytophthora species can also be moved long distances by the plant trade, potentially spreading diseases to new hosts and habitats. Phytosanitary approaches based on quarantines and endpoint inspections have reduced, but not eliminated, the spread of Phytophthora species from nurseries. It is therefore important for plant production facilities to identify potential sources of contamination and to take corrective measures to prevent disease. We applied a systems approach to identify sources of contamination in three container nurseries in Oregon, California, and South Carolina. Surface water sources and recaptured runoff water were contaminated with plant pathogenic species at all three nurseries, but one nursery implemented an effective disinfestation treatment for recycled irrigation water. Other sources of contamination included cull piles and compost that were incorporated into potting media, infested soil and gravel beds, used containers, and plant returns. Management recommendations include preventing contact between containers and contaminated ground, improving drainage, pasteurizing potting media ingredients, steaming used containers, and quarantine and testing of incoming plants for Phytophthora species. These case studies illustrate how recycled irrigation water can contribute to the spread of waterborne pathogens and highlight the need to implement nursery management practices to reduce disease risk.

Open access

Zachary D. Small, James D. McCurdy, Erick D. Begitschke and Michael P. Richard

Wild garlic (Allium vineale) is an annual winter weed in managed turfgrass. Its dark green, upright stems are easily distinguishable among low-lying, dormant warm-season grasses. Experiments were conducted to determine the effectiveness of synthetic auxin and acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibiting herbicides for post-emergence control of wild garlic. Trials were conducted in 2016 and 2017. Throughout both trial years, synthetic auxin herbicides exhibited visual control quicker than ALS inhibitors at the initial assessment date 20 d after application (DAA). Conversely, at the final assessment date 49 DAA, ALS inhibitors were the only treatments that controlled wild garlic by more than 85%. In 2016, plots treated with 2,4-D + dicamba + mecoprop at 4 pt/acre exhibited 88% visual control when assessed 20 DAA, but this level had decreased to 51% by 49 DAA. Similarly, visual control in plots treated with 2,4-D + mecoprop + dicamba + carfentrazone-ethyl at 4 pt/acre decreased from 59% to 56% and 82% to 18% between assessment dates in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Metsulfuron-methyl at 0.5 fl oz/acre controlled wild garlic 94% and 91% at the 49 DAA assessment date, whereas sulfentrazone + metsulfuron-methyl at 0.41 lb/acre controlled wild garlic 93% and 95% at the same assessment dates in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Future research should consider tank mixes of auxin-mimicking and ALS-inhibiting herbicides as potential routes for quick burndown and season-long control.

Open access

John E. Kaminski, Tim T. Lulis and Travis R. Russell

Equipment with hydraulic implements are often used to maintain turfgrass surfaces. Hydraulic implements can malfunction and lead to leaks or spills of hydraulic fluid, which is phytotoxic to turfgrass. Previous research has documented extensively hydraulic fluid injury on warm-season turfgrasses, but these effects have not been evaluated on cool-season grasses and warrant further investigation. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to compare phytotoxicity of petroleum, vegetable, and synthetic hydraulic fluids on a creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) putting green and to evaluate the influence of postapplication remediation practices on reducing turfgrass injury. Turfgrass injury was evaluated over a 4-week period in 2011 and 2012 after simulated hydraulic fluid leak and remediation practices were applied. Complete necrosis was observed after 28 days for all hydraulic fluid types. However, water rinse (RO) or detergent soap solution drench followed by brushing in/water rinse (SBR) remediation practices effectively eliminated turfgrass injury by the end of the 4-week period for synthetic polyalkylene glycol fluid treatments, but no other hydraulic fluid types. Turfgrass managers might consider the synthetic polyalkylene glycol hydraulic fluid tested in this study as a less phytotoxic alternative to petroleum hydraulic fluids if a remediation practice is implemented after a leak or spill.

Open access

Alexa J. Lamm, Laura A. Warner, Peyton Beattie, Abraham Tidwell, Paul R. Fisher and Sarah A. White

There are many water treatment technologies available to the nursery and greenhouse industry, but this sector has been somewhat hesitant to adopt them. An online survey was used to evaluate nursery and greenhouse growers’ knowledge, implementation, and continued use of 12 water treatment technologies. Less than 24% of the growers had used a water treatment technology. The knowledge level was low overall, and fewer than one in four growers had implemented all 12 technologies. However, most growers who had implemented 10 of the 12 technologies continued to use them. The results imply water treatment technologies available for this group are somewhat unknown and underused, thereby implying that there is a need to increase awareness of these innovations and highlight the opportunity for growers to advocate for treatment technology use among their peers.

Restricted access

Javiera Morales, Ximena Besoain, Italo F. Cuneo, Alejandra Larach, Laureano Alvarado, Alejandro Cáceres-Mella and Sebastian Saa

Excessive nitrogen (N) use in agriculture has been associated with increased severity of the damage caused by Phytophthora species. In this study, we investigated the impact in vitro and in vivo of N about Phytophthora cinnamomi. The preliminary in vitro assay showed the effect of different N sources on the mycelial growth of P. cinnamomi. This assay indicated that ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) and ammonium sulfate [(NH4)2SO4] allowed for greater control of P. cinnamomi mycelia in comparison with calcium nitrate [Ca(NO3)2] and potassium nitrate (KNO3) when used with 1000 ppm N. The in vivo assay showed the severity of P. cinnamomi in 5-month-old Juglans regia saplings grown under greenhouse conditions. We selected NH4NH3 as the source for N for the greenhouse assay, considering the inhibitory effect on the ingrowth of P. cinnamomi and the intensive use of this fertilizer in agriculture. Walnut saplings were fertilized with 0, 35, 70, 140, 210, and 1050 ppm N and were inoculated with zoospores of P. cinnamomi 45 d after the application of nitrogen treatment (DAA). They were harvested at 90 DAA. We found that a 70-ppm N fertilization reduced the development of P. cinnamomi, resulting in lower root and canopy damage indices (DIs) than the unfertilized inoculated treatments and fertilized treatments greater than 140 ppm. The results of the in vitro and in vivo assay agree that increased N concentrations were associated with reduced mycelium growth of P. cinnamomi, providing further evidence that N fertilization can mitigate this disease. Greater root and canopy damage was observed in saplings fertilized with 1050 ppm N, regardless of whether they were inoculated with P. cinnamomi, as a result of N phytotoxicity (verified through foliar analysis). In contrast, inoculated and unfertilized saplings (N0) also showed high root and canopy DIs associated either with the inoculation with P. cinnamomi or the no fertilization treatment. We postulate that 70 ppm N is the best fertilization rate for J. regia saplings because the positive effects of N on growth are maximized and the damage caused by P. cinnamomi is mitigated.

Open access

Saad B. Javed, Abdulrahman A. Alatar, Mohammad Anis and Mohamed A. El-Sheikh

The coral tree (Erythrina variegata) is a multipurpose horticultural plant with a plethora of medicinally important alkaloids. Regeneration via tissue culture can provide an efficient alternative to seed-grown plantlets and reduce the cost of the plant significantly. Thidiazuron (TDZ) is an efficient plant growth regulator and is effective in numerous species. However, the response to it varies with the type and position of the tissue on the plantlet treated. This study was carried out to ascertain the best tissue types for micropropagation of the coral tree using TDZ. Three tissue types (shoot tip, nodal, and hypocotyl), originating from different strata of the plantlet were evaluated. Adventitious shoots were observed in all three explants at the tested concentrations. However the quality and the shoot number varied significantly with the type of explant. Explants with a meristematic zone (shoot tip and nodal) were more responsive to the treatment compared with hypocotyl tissue lacking preexisting meristem. Nodal explants produced the maximum number of shoots (about eight) per explant after 4 weeks of culture, whereas shoot tips produced about only five shoots per explant at an equimolar concentration (1.5 µm). Approximately three shoots were observed in hypocotyl explants. Moreover, growth and rooting of the regenerated shoots was influenced by the origin of the explants. The molecular characterization of the regenerants using intersimple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers revealed genetic homogeneity among regenerants. An efficient micropropagation method for the coral tree is described.

Open access

Amanda Skidmore, Neil Wilson, Mark Williams and Ric Bessin

Pest management in cucurbit (Cucurbitaceae) cropping systems is challenging. As a result, pesticides are heavily used for managing insect pests and diseases. This work focused on the application of integrated pest management (IPM) techniques to control pests and reduce reliance on insecticide sprays while maintaining the quality and quantity of marketable yields in two commonly grown cucurbit crops: muskmelon (Cucumis melo) and summer squash (Cucurbita pepo). Plasticulture (raised beds covered in black plastic mulch) and strip tillage, two soil management systems commonly used for cucurbit IPM production, were compared to determine their impact on yield and pest numbers during the 2013–14 growing seasons. Additionally, the use of early season rowcovers and their impact on yield and pest pressure were investigated. Plasticulture use increased marketable yields compared with strip tillage for both summer squash and muskmelon, but strip tillage resulted in fewer total pests for both crops. Rowcover use did not have a consistent effect on insect pest numbers and showed a negative impact on the yield of both summer squash and muskmelon. No significant impacts on yield were observed when the interaction between rowcovers and the tillage system was investigated. The use of rowcovers impacted pest numbers, but these impacts were not consistent between insect pest species. Insecticide use was reduced in covered treatments, but only by one application. We concluded that these management techniques have the potential to be used in an IPM system, but the reduced marketable yield of strip tillage systems may reduce the adoption of this IPM technique for these crops.