Recommendations Made for Endowment Creation at University-based Public Gardens
The University of Delaware Botanic Garden is at a critical turning point in its development toward becoming a nationally recognized university-based public garden. To move forward, an endowment to fund staff and operations that is compatible with a university environment is needed. Stephens et al. (p. 570) gathered recommendations for creating and maintaining the endowment after interviewing four university-based public gardens (Cornell Plantations, JC Raulston Arboretum, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and State Botanical Garden of Georgia). These diverse and practical recommendations will help the University of Delaware Botanic Garden create a sound financial future.
Iron Status of Nectarine and Kiwi Revealed via Analysis of Fruit
Chemical leaf analysis usually is not a reliable indicator of the status of iron in fruit plants. Razeto and Valdés (p. 579) analyzed fruit and leaf samples from nectarine and kiwi plants exhibiting different degrees of iron chlorosis. Leaf iron concentration had no correlation with plant chlorosis and fruit yield; however, iron concentration in the fruit was highly correlated with both chlorosis and yield. Fruit analysis appears a promising tool as an indicator of iron status for nectarine and kiwi, and possibly for other horticultural species.
Sweet Corn Can Tolerate Rotary Hoe Cultivations
In a 2-year study, Leblanc et al. (p. 583) determined that sweet corn at preemergence to the six-leaf stage can be cultivated with a rotary hoe at least once without yield reduction. Cob numbers were reduced and maturity delayed after three or four cultivations with the rotary hoe. The experiment was conducted on three sweet corn varieties: `Quickie' (early), `July Gem' (mid-season), and `Sensor' (late) sown at two dates. When late-seeded `Sensor' was cultivated three times, insect damage was significantly reduced.
Glyphosate-resistant and Conventional Creeping Bentgrass Display Similar Lateral Growth
Genetically engineered creeping bentgrass varieties have been developed that are resistant to glyphosate, a nonselective herbicide. Such varieties allow use of glyphosate to control annual bluegrass, which is a serious management problem in creeping bentgrass golf fairways and putting greens. Gardner et al. (p. 590) conducted field studies in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, and Oregon in 2000 and 2001 to examine the relative lateral growth of several transformed lines of creeping bentgrass, nontransformed controls, and variety standards. Overall, lateral growth and establishment rate of transgenic lines were similar to their nontransformed parent and the standard varieties tested.
Wireless Data Acquisition and Control Systems for Water Management
Monitoring of continuous hydrologic/hydraulic data for horticultural crops has been a challenge due to factors such as data loss, high cost, and complicated setup and operation. Shukla et al. (p. 595) demonstrate the use of state-of-the-art wireless spread-spectrum technology and wireless data acquisition and control (WDAC) systems for a vegetable water management research project. The total cost of the WDAC system was almost 50% less than the manual system ($130,380). The advantages of the WDAC over a commonly used manual system include reduced equipment losses from lightning, improved equipment maintenance, reduced data loss from faulty equipment, and higher project personnel efficiency.
Herbicide Options for Selected Container-grown Hardy Ferns
Container-grown hardy ferns are widely produced for use in the landscape. There are no labeled herbicides for the majority of hardy fern species in container production. Container-grown variegated east indian holly fern, tassel fern, autumn fern, rochford's japanese holly fern, and southern wood fern were evaluated for their tolerance to selected preemergence-applied herbicides (Fain et al., p. 605). Granular prodiamine proved to be a safe herbicide for all species tested in both 2004 and 2005. Southern wood fern was tolerant of the herbicides tested with the exception of the high rate of oxadiazon.
Constructed Wetlands Help Nursery Industry Meet Water Quality Standards for Nitrogen
Taylor et al. (p. 610) evaluated the nutrient remediation efficiency of a constructed wetland on a commercial nursery in southern Georgia for 38 months. Horticultural enterprises use substantial quantities of water and nutrients during production of high-value nursery and greenhouse crops, and levels of nitrogen in runoff can exceed current water
quality standards at certain times of the year. The authors found that a constructed wetland offers an effective means of removing excess nitrogen from large volumes of runoff, although it was not effective for removing soluble reactive phosphorus from the runoff.
Temperature Influences Lycopene and Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) Content of Fresh Tomatoes
Antioxidant compounds of tomatoes have played a great part in the prevention of many cardiovascular diseases and types of cancer. One of the most significant antioxidants in fresh tomatoes is lycopene. Helyes et al. (p. 615) found a close negative correlation between growing degree-days (GDD) for lycopene biosynthesis and lycopene content of tomato fruit. Polyphenols also have substantial antioxidant effect. HMF, which is harmful to human health, can be found not only in processed tomato foods but also in fresh tomato fruit. Correlation analysis suggested a strong positive relation between GDD and HMF in fresh tomatoes.
Sanitation Is Important in Reducing Insect Pest Problems
Sanitation is recommended as a pest management strategy to reduce problems with insect pests; however, there is no quantitative data to substantiate these claims. Hogendorp and Cloyd (p. 633) conducted a study in four greenhouses over a 28-week period in which they collected plant and growing medium debris and captured insects on yellow sticky cards attached to the inside of 32-gal containers. Western flower thrips, fungus gnats, and whiteflies were the primary insects collected each week. Insect prevalence on the yellow sticky cards varied across the greenhouses, which was related to the type of plant debris discarded.
Iodine Staining Does Not Indicate Harvest Maturity of `Ananasnaya' Hardy Kiwifruit
Dipping sliced hardy kiwifruit berries in an iodine solution turned immature fruit a dark purple color, but the test was not useful as a harvest index. Fisk et al. (p. 655) found that fruit harvested later in the season had less starch and thus were lighter in color after staining. However, a visual color difference was only apparent weeks after commercial harvest is recommended based on percent soluble solids. Use of a refractometer to harvest when fruit average 8% to 10% soluble solids is still the recommended method for determining optimum harvest date in hardy kiwifruit.
Challenges in Adopting Soil Moisture Sensing Technology for Growers of Irrigated Pecans
With electronic soil moisture sensors and computerized data-collection devices becoming less expensive and more accessible, there is potential to improve irrigation timing and water use efficiencies for growers using computers in their businesses. Kallestad et al. (p. 667) evaluated the performance of granular matrix sensors in three orchards, estimated the yield costs from late irrigation, discussed the potential barriers to adoption of these cost-saving technologies among growers, and recommended an alternative method for field calibrating these sensors.
Consumers Prefer Low-priced and High-lycopene Tomatoes
In an Internet survey conducted by Simonne et al. (p. 674), consumers viewed high-quality digital images showing combinations of tomato types (cherry, grape, cluster, plum, slicing), retail price (high, medium, low), lycopene content (high, medium, low), and production method (conventional, organic) and rated their preferences. Conjoint analysis of their responses revealed that price consistently was the most important factor affecting their purchase decision, followed by tomato type, lycopene content, and production method.
Survey of Container Nursery Irrigation Practices
A survey conducted by Schoene et al. (p. 682) indicated that most BMPs (best management practices) were used by less than 50% of the respondents from nurseries in west-central Florida. BMPs that extension educators should focus on include: uniformity of overhead sprinkler systems, effective use of rain and conserving water with rain shutoff devices, collection and reuse of rain and irrigation water, determination of water holding capacity of substrate, monitoring amount of water applied in relation to water holding capacity of substrate, use of cyclic irrigation to minimize water and nutrient loss from containers, and use of substrate moisture sensors for initializing irrigation.