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Karen Mesa, Sara Serra, Andrea Masia, Federico Gagliardi, Daniele Bucci and Stefano Musacchi

Annual accumulation of starch is affected by carbon reserves stored in the organs during the growing season and is controlled mainly by sink strength gradients within the tree. However, unfavorable environmental conditions (e.g., hail events) or application of management practices (e.g., defoliation to enhance overcolor in bicolor apple) could influence the allocation of storage carbohydrates. This preliminary research was conducted to determine the effects of early defoliation on the dry matter, starch, and soluble carbohydrate dynamics in woody organs, roots, and mixed buds classified by age and two levels of crop-load for one growing season in ‘Abbé Fétel’ pear trees (Oct. 2012 to mid-Jan. 2013 in the northern hemisphere). Regardless of the organs evaluated (woody organs, roots, and mixed buds), an increase of soluble carbohydrate concentration was observed in these organs in the period between after harvest (October) and January (dormancy period). Among all organs, woody short-old spurs showed the highest increase (+93.5%) in soluble sugars. With respect to starch, woody organs showed a clear trend of decreasing in concentration between October and January. In this case, short-old spurs showed the smallest decline in starch concentrations, only 6.5%, whereas in other tree organs starch decreased by 34.5%. After harvest (October), leaves showed substantially higher starch and soluble sugar concentrations in trees with lower crop-loads. These results confirm that in the period between October and January, dynamic interconversions between starch and soluble carbohydrates occur at varying magnitudes among organs in pear trees.

Open access

Damon E. Abdi and R. Thomas Fernandez

Ornamental nurseries produce a large number of plants in a concentrated area, and aesthetics are a key component of the product. To produce crops in this manner, high inputs of water, nutrients, and pesticides are typically used. Container nursery production further increases the inputs, especially water, because container substrates are designed to quickly drain, and the most effective method of irrigating large numbers of plants in containers (up to a certain size) is the use of overhead irrigation. Because irrigation and pesticides are broadcast over the crop, and because the crop is limited to the container, a large proportion of water or pesticides may land on nontarget areas, creating runoff contaminant issues. Water is the primary means of pesticide movement in nursery production. This review discusses water and pesticide dynamics and management strategies to conserve water and reduce pesticide and water movement during container nursery production.

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W. Garrett Owen

Calceolaria (Calceolaria ×herbeohybrida) is a flowering potted greenhouse crop that often develops upper-leaf chlorosis, interveinal chlorosis, and marginal and leaf-tip necrosis (death) caused by cultural practices. The objectives of this research were to 1) determine the optimal incorporation rate of dolomitic and/or hydrated lime to increase substrate pH; 2) determine the influence of the liming material on substrate pH, plant growth, and leaf tissue nutrient concentrations; and 3) determine the optimal substrate pH to grow and maintain during calceolaria production. Sphagnum peatmoss was amended with 20% (by volume) perlite and incorporated with pulverized dolomitic carbonate limestone (DL) and/or hydrated limestone (HL) at the following concentrations: 48.1 kg·m−3 or 144.2 kg·m−3 DL, 17.6 kg·m−3 DL + 5.3 kg·m−3 HL, or 17.6 kg·m−3 DL + 10.6 kg·m−3 HL to achieve a target substrate pH of 4.5, 5.5, 6.5, and 7.5, respectively. Calceolaria ‘Orange’, ‘Orange Red Eye’, ‘Yellow’, and ‘Yellow Red Eye’ were grown in each of the prepared substrates. For all cultivars, substrate solution pH increased as limestone incorporation concentration and weeks after transplant (WAT) increased, although to different magnitudes. For example, as limestone incorporation increased from 48.1 kg·m−3 DL to 17.6 kg·m−3 DL + 10.6 kg·m−3 HL, substrate solution pH for ‘Orange’ calceolaria increased from 4.1 to 6.9 to 4.8 to 7.2 at 2 and 6 WAT, respectively. Substrate solution electrical conductivity (EC) and growth indices were not influenced by limestone incorporation, but total plant dry mass increased. Few macronutrients and most micronutrients were influenced by limestone incorporation. Leaf tissue iron concentrations for ‘Orange’, ‘Orange Red Eye’, ‘Yellow’, and ‘Yellow Red Eye’ calceolaria decreased by 146%, 91%, 71%, and 84%, respectively, when plants were grown in substrates incorporated with increasing limestone concentrations from 144.2 kg·m−3 DL to 17.6 kg·m−3 DL + 10.6 kg·m−3 HL (pH 6.5–6.9). Therefore, incorporating 144.2 kg·m−3 DL into peat-based substrates and maintaining a pH <6.5 will avoid high pH–induced Fe deficiency and prevent upper-leaf and interveinal chlorosis.

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Lauren M. Garcia Chance, Joseph P. Albano, Cindy M. Lee, Staci M. Wolfe and Sarah A. White

Floating treatment wetlands (FTWs), a modified constructed wetland technology, can be deployed in ponds for the treatment of nursery and greenhouse irrigation runoff. The pH of nursery and greenhouse operation irrigation water varies from 3.3 to 10.4 across the United States. Water flow rate, plant species selection, and variable nutrient inputs influence the remediation efficacy of FTWs and may interact with the pH of inflow water to change nutrient remediation dynamics. Therefore, an experiment was designed to quantify the effect of pH on the growth and nutrient uptake capacity of three macrophyte species using a mesocosm FTW system. ‘Rising Sun’ japanese iris (Iris ensata), bushy bluestem (Andropogon glomeratus), and maidencane (Panicum hemitomon) were grown for two 6-week periods and exposed to five pH treatment levels representing the range of nursery and greenhouse irrigation runoff, 4.5, 5.5, 6.5, 7.2, and 8.5, for a total of 15 plant and pH combinations. Water was treated with either hydrochloric acid to decrease the pH or sodium hydroxide to increase the pH. The pH-adjusted solutions were mixed with 12 mg·L−1 nitrogen (N) and 6 mg·L−1 phosphorus (P) fertilizer (64.8 g·m−3 N and 32.4 g·m−3 P). Differences in pH impacted both N and P removal from the FTW systems for two of the three species studied, maidencane and bushy bluestem. Higher pH treatments reduced nutrient removal efficacy, but plants were still capable of consistently removing nutrients across all pH treatments. Conversely, ‘Rising Sun’ japanese iris maintained similar remediation efficacies and removal rates across all pH treatments for both N and P, possibly due to the ability to acidify its rhizosphere and modify the pH of the system. Average N and P loads were reduced by 47.3 g·m−3 N (70%) and 16.6 g·m−3 P (56%). ‘Rising Sun’ japanese iris is a promising plant for use in highly variable conditions when the pH of irrigation runoff is outside the typical range (5.5–7.5). Results from model simulations poorly predict the nutrient availability of P and ammonium in effluent, most likely due to the inability to determine plant and biological contributions to the system, such as N-fixing bacteria.

Open access

Debalina Saha, S. Christopher Marble, Brian Pearson, Héctor Pérez, Gregory MacDonald and D. Calvin Odero

The objective of this research was to determine how mulch type affects adsorption and efficacy of commonly used preemergence herbicides in nurseries and landscapes. Nursery containers were filled with standard potting media and mulched with either pine bark (PB) mini-nuggets (mixed Pinus sp.), pine straw (PS; mixed Pinus sp.), or shredded eucalyptus hardwood (HW; Eucalyptus sp.) at a 2-inch depth. Herbicides including dimethenamid-P + pendimethalin (applied as a tank mix), prodiamine, and indaziflam were applied to mulched containers, watered in, and the mulch was subsequently removed 3 days later. Seeds of garden spurge (Euphorbia hirta), large crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis), and eclipta (Eclipta prostrata) were then seeded and used as bioassay species for dimethenamid-P + pendimethalin, prodiamine, and indaziflam, respectively. Chemical assays were also performed using a separate set of pots mulched with PB at 2 inches and treated with the same herbicides. Results from the bioassay experiment showed PS was the only mulch type that did not significantly decrease efficacy of any applied herbicide. Chemical assays showed only 34% of the applied dimethenamid-P reached the soil surface as evidenced by chemical assay, but more dimethenamid-P moved through PB than did pendimethalin (12%) or prodiamine (17%), which adsorbed more strongly. Overall results suggest preemergence herbicides will be strongly adsorbed to organic mulch. However, as mulch is typically more effective on weeds that germinate below the mulch layer, this does not automatically result in reduced efficacy from herbicide + mulch combinations, and the addition of a preemergence herbicide may be effective in reducing weed germination within or on top of the mulch layer.

Open access

Cristian E. Loyola, John M. Dole and Rebecca Dunning

Imports of cut flowers into the United States have doubled in the last 20 years and come mainly from Colombia and Ecuador. We surveyed the cut flower industry in South and Central America, focusing on Colombia and Ecuador, to determine their production and postharvest problems. We received a total of 51 responses, of which 62% of the respondents had 100 or more employees. The most commonly grown or handled crops were rose (Rosa hybrids), carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus), chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum ×grandiflorum), alstroemeria (Alstroemeria cultivars), gerbera (Gerbera jamesonii), and hydrangea (Hydrangea species), in order of ranking. The most significant production problem was insect management, with disease management and crop timing the next most important issues. The most important species-specific issues in production were phytosanitary problems, disease (causal organism not specified), leaf miner (Lepidoptera, Symphyta, or Diptera), and thrips (Thysanoptera). The main overall postharvest problem was temperature management, followed by hydration and flower food management and botrytis (Botrytis cinerea). In regard to on-farm postharvest handling, damage to the flowers was the most mentioned issue. For the postharvest during storage and transport phase, temperature management, air transport, damage, and botrytis were the most important problems. The most mentioned customer complaints were damage, botrytis, and phytosanitary problems. The results of this survey can be used by researchers to focus their work on topics of most need. Improved production and postharvest handling will support the continued growth of the cut flower industry.

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Babak Talebpour, Maksut Barış Eminoğlu, Uğur Yegül and Ufuk Türker

One important goal of precision horticulture (PH), as well as precision agriculture (PA), is to measure and manage spatial and temporal variation in orchards. In this study, temporal and spatial analysis of yields were carried out over 2 years for a 0.5-ha apple orchard (at the Haymana Research Station of Ankara University, Turkey, from 2017 to 2018) to determine the variability of yields over time and included seven apple varieties: ‘Royal Gala’, ‘Red Chief’, ‘Braeburn’, ‘Mondial Gala’, ‘Jonagold’, ‘Fuji’, and ‘Mitch Gala’. To achieve this, yield data for two different years were analyzed for mean yield, temporal variance, and cv in terms of spatial and temporal stability, and their yield maps were produced. The results showed that ‘Jonagold’, ‘Braeburn’, and ‘Red Chief’ varieties yielded less than the average yield, whereas the other varieties produced average yields when the yield from 2 years was taken into account. Calculation of the values for determining temporal stability over time resulted in all existing varieties being identified as stable over time. For example, the ‘Jonagold’ and ‘Red Chief’ varieties showed 100% stability in terms of temporal variance. Results also showed that the ‘Gala’ varieties were stable for 2 years and produced high yields, whereas the other varieties were specified as stable and low yielding when spatial and temporal variability was considered in combination.

Open access
Open access

Yasser Ismail El-Nashar and Yaser Hassan Dewir

Breaking of dormancy in african juniper (Juniperus procera) seeds is a challenge faced by nurseries attempting to grow large numbers of this plant for restoration projects. The purpose of this study was to develop a protocol for breaking dormancy and stimulating germination in african juniper. Seeds were presoaked in different concentrations (0, 1, 10, or 20 mg·L−1) of gibberellic acid (GA3), indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), and naphthalene acetic acid (NAA), and incubated under different air temperatures (10, 15, and 20 °C). The petri dishes were monitored daily for 84 days, to record germination percentage, rate, and uniformity, and the growth of shoots and roots, and biomass production. The highest germination percentages were obtained under 20 °C with a high concentration of NAA (20 mg·L−1). The greatest seedling growth was under 20 °C with IBA. The greatest seedling length was under 20 °C with a low concentration of IBA (1 mg·L−1). The greatest shoot fresh weight was under 20 °C with medium GA3 concentration (1 mg·L−1). Compared with the control, almost all growth regulator treatments stimulated higher germination percentages and vigor indices with increased temperatures.