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We analyzed the floral morphology and nectar production of several cultivars and species of Monarda representing five cultivars and four species grown in Georgia Piedmont and Montane regions. Over the course of two seasons, we detected significant differences among the samples in terms of inflorescence size, petal lobe and corolla widths and lengths, and total sugar content. M. didyma had larger glomerules, longer corollas and petal lobes, and higher nectar volume and total sugar content per flower. M. fistulosa and M. punctata had smaller glomerules, corolla and petal lobe lengths, and total sugar content per flower. Petal lobe and corolla length strongly correlated with sucrose and nectar production. Combined with data on horticultural performance, these results could be valuable in informing breeding goals for conservation-oriented landscape plants.

Open Access

Rapid leaching of soluble nitrogen (N) sources in soil poses a significant challenge in agricultural practices. Therefore, gaining a comprehensive understanding of crop responses to slow-release N application rates has become crucial to contributing valuable insights to optimize N management strategies in agriculture. A field study was conducted to investigate the influence of preplant calcium cyanamide fertilizer on the growth, yield, quality, and shelf life of short-day onion. Six levels of calcium cyanamide (CaCN2, 19.8% N), 0, 90, 120, 200, 400, and 600 kg⋅ha−1 CaCN2, which are equivalent to 0, 17.82, 23.76, 39.6, 79.2, and 118.8 kg⋅ha−1 N, respectively, replicated four times were broadcasted and incorporated into the top 5 to 10 cm of soil. Using 400 kg⋅ha−1 of CaCN2 yielded noteworthy improvements in various parameters of onion growth, such as plant height, leaf count, bulb weight per plant, bulb diameter, bulb length, and overall plant weight, as indicated by the study results. The application of different levels of CaCN2 as an N source exerted a significant influence on these growth factors. Moreover, the study revealed a direct correlation between CaCN2 application levels and the storage life of onions. Specifically, the findings demonstrated that the application of 400 kg⋅ha−1 CaCN2 resulted in enhanced yield and overall onion plant growth. However, the application of 600 kg⋅ha−1 CaCN2 increased the incidences of bulb weight loss, rots, and sprouting during the 8-week storage period at room temperature. These findings provide valuable insights for onion investors and farmers in the region and offer practical recommendations for optimizing fertilizer use and storage practices to improve onion production and minimize postharvest losses.

Open Access

Both natural turfgrass and synthetic turf fields have distinct advantages and disadvantages and present unique challenges. The challenges evolve over time because of climate change, players’ ever-changing needs, and the development of technologies. It is imperative to identify these challenges and devise effective solutions to overcome them. We conducted a survey of 97 administrators and managers from various organizations in the United States who were responsible for managing community sports fields. Our findings identified budget constraints as the biggest challenge for natural turfgrass field management, followed by issues related to use/scheduling and weather/climate. For synthetic turf field management, the top three challenges included budget constraints, use/scheduling, and other challenges (mainly safety issues). Additionally, administrators and managers consistently indicated increased funding as a solution for addressing challenges of both natural turfgrass and synthetic turf field management. We discuss the implications of these findings and provide potential ways to address these challenges.

Open Access

Angelonia (Angelonia angustifolia) is an important potted flowering plant or bedding plant widely used in tropical and subtropical regions. However, most Angelonia cultivars have relatively small flowers and demonstrate limited drought tolerance in root-restricted environments such as small containers. Polyploid plants often exhibit larger flowers and enhanced drought tolerance. In this study, Angelonia ‘Serena White’ seeds and ‘Serena Purple’ seedlings were treated with 0.1% and 0.2% colchicine to induce polyploid lines, respectively. The resulting tetraploids had larger pollen and flowers, along with thicker, greener leaves distinguished by serrated edges, longer stomata, and lower stomatal density compared with diploid ‘Serena White’ and ‘Serena Purple’ plants. Both diploid and tetraploid plants subjected to a 20% volumetric water content (VWC) treatment exhibited smaller leaves, higher SPAD-502 readings, and a decreased number of flowers compared with those subjected to 40% VWC treatment. Moreover, tetraploids had higher photosynthetic rates than diploids under both 20% and 40% VWC conditions. When grown in 0.8-L containers, tetraploid plants required fewer watering events and had thicker, erect stems with larger flowers than diploids, even under a 20% VWC treatment. Colchicine-induced polyploidization presents a promising method to potentially enhance drought tolerance in angelonia.

Open Access

Based on the International Camellia Register (ICR), an analysis of 1616 cultivars of Sasanqua that were registered in 2022 and earlier was conducted. This analysis focused on the resource and biological characteristics of the cultivars. Additionally, a trait diversity analysis, principal component analysis, and cluster analysis of 118 cultivars that had complete morphological records were performed. The findings revealed a rich diversity of Sasanqua cultivars, with Japan, the United States, and Australia being the main sources. The primary flower color was red, followed by multiple colors, white, and rare colors. The predominant flower forms were single-petal and semi-double-petal, with a limited number of formal double-petal forms. Elliptical leaf shapes were the most common, and the predominant leaf colors were green and deep green. The flowering period mainly corresponded to early flowering cultivars. The phenotypic diversity index (H) of the 118 cultivars ranged from 0.31 to 1.84. The flower diameter exhibited the highest H value (1.84), whereas leaf shape had the lowest H value (0.31). The coefficient of variation (CV) ranged from 21.67% to 71.81%, with the flower diameter having the smallest CV (21.67%) and petal number having the largest CV (71.81%). The first three principal components, which accounted for a cumulative contribution rate of 62.49%, effectively represented most of the information regarding the seven trait indicators of the different cultivars. Furthermore, a cluster analysis was conducted based on the flower form, diameter, petal numbers, and other characteristics of the various cultivars. The 118 cultivars were divided into three groups. The first group could be used for breeding single-petal flower cultivars, whereas the third group exhibited a larger number of petals and could be used for breeding double-petal flower cultivars.

Open Access

The effects of sole-source lighting on the growth and yield of hydroponically grown lettuce have been extensively studied, but research of postharvest performance is limited. We grew frill-leaf lettuce (Lactuca sativa) ‘Green Incised’ and ‘Hydroponic Green Sweet Crisp’ hydroponically in an indoor vertical research farm under daily light integrals (DLIs) of 12 or 18 mol⋅m−2⋅d−1 and the following three ratios of blue (B; 400–499 nm) and red (R; 600–699 nm) light from light-emitting diode fixtures: B5:R95, B20:R80, and B35:R65. We postulated that biomass accumulation would increase with the DLI and decrease with the B light fraction, and that postharvest longevity would increase with the DLI and the B light fraction. As expected, shoot fresh weight, leaf length and width, leaf number, and relative chlorophyll content (SPAD; ‘Green Incised’ only) decreased as the proportion of B light increased from 5% to 35%. Decreasing the DLI from 18 to 12 mol⋅m−2⋅d−1 reduced the shoot fresh weight and leaf number of both cultivars. Leaves of ‘Green Incised’ were up to 27% wider under B5:R95 and 60% longer under B5:R95 at 12 mol⋅m−2⋅d−1 than those under treatments with a higher DLI or more B light. The shoot fresh weight of ‘Hydroponic Green Sweet Crisp’ was greatest when grown under B5:R95 at 18 mol⋅m−2⋅d−1 and decreased as B light increased or DLI decreased. At the time of harvest, leaves of each cultivar and treatment were placed in clamshells and stored at 7 °C in darkness and evaluated for decay. ‘Green Incised’ that grew under B35:R65 and a DLI of 18 mol⋅m−2⋅d−1 had the shortest storage life, with 9.5 d and 11.4 d for replications 1 and 2, respectively, which were ∼2.5 to 4.0 d and 1.4 to 3.6 d earlier, respectively, than the storage life of lettuce grown under other treatments. In contrast, ‘Hydroponic Green Sweet Crisp’ was not influenced by light quality or DLI and had a storage life of 12.6 to 13.3 d and 13.5 to 14.3 d for replications 1 and 2, respectively. Therefore, a B light fraction between 5% and 20% and a DLI of 18 mol⋅m−2⋅d−1 produced high-yielding frill-leaf lettuce with a relatively long storage life.

Open Access

Green care activities are associated with lower intensity and a lower risk of injury than agricultural activities aimed at producing agricultural and livestock products; however, the risk of health problems cannot be completely ruled out. To implement green care interventions to improve physical health, it is essential to identify the green care activity levels and biomechanical characteristics of the movements that are appropriate for each subject’s physical functions and goals. Thus, this study was conducted to determine the muscle activation of the upper and lower limbs during 19 green care farming activities. We used electromyography signals, which are biomedical signals that measure the action potentials generated in the muscles and nervous system when the muscles contract, to evaluate the muscle activation. Twenty adults (aged 29.9 ± 9.6 years) participated in this study. Participants performed 19 green care farming activities, including horticultural activity, animal-mediated, and off-farming activities. The participants performed each activity three times. The electromyography data were assessed using surface electromyography during activities to measure muscle activation. As a result, 16 upper and lower limb muscles were activated during the green care farming activities, which showed significantly different muscle activation by care farming activity. As a result of the comparison of muscle activity according to each muscle, many of the muscles of the upper and lower limbs were most activated during organizing a garden plot, transplanting plants, and collecting natural objects. In conclusion, the electromyography data obtained during this study suggest that green care farming interventions may be effective for training specific muscles of the upper and lower limbs.

Open Access