Weed Control Strategies for Dune Sedge Transplants
Dune sedge is a creeping ground cover that makes an attractive, deep-green meadow and is fairly drought tolerant, but it establishes slowly, so weed control is essential. Ingels and Roncoroni (p. 166) compared several herbicides, both conventional and reduced-risk, and bark mulch for establishing dune sedge plantings. Two pre-emergent herbicide and one post-emergent conventional herbicide blend controlled most weeds without damaging dune sedge. Fir bark mulch also was effective in controlling most weeds. One organic herbicide controlled most weeds, but also damaged the dune sedge plants. Potential integrated strategies are proposed.
Germination of Non-stratified Japanese Tree Lilac Seeds
Temperate-zone woody plant species generally require seed stratification to overcome embryo dormancy. West et al. (p. 177) found that seeds of japanese tree lilac collected from non-dehisced ripening green capsules prior to natural drying could be successfully germinated without stratification. Germination rates of 89.5% were achieved. Timing of fall seed collection was critical. Seeds must be harvested prior to seed capsule maturation, which precedes dormancy or the onset of embryo dormancy, in order to avoid the 30- to 90-day seed stratification requirement.
School Gardening Program Improves Social Relations among Students
Kim et al. (p. 181) found that a school gardening program for fifth and sixth grade elementary school students resulted in a significant improvement in their peer status, peer relations, and sociality. The gardening program consisted of 10 weekly sessions within one semester. All sessions centered on plant cultivation, such as creating garden beds, planting crops, managing crops, harvesting produce, and using the plants for cooking and crafts. Gardening activities were modified to improve social relations by including social factors such as self-esteem, sense of achievement, cooperation, etc.
CO2 Absorbent Prevents Phytotoxicity of Phosphine Fumigation on Lettuce
Low-temperature phosphine fumigation has been used safely on some fresh commodities; however, long treatment causes injuries to lettuce. Liu and Liu (p. 188) found that 3 days of fumigation caused injury and quality reduction in lettuce. Adding absorbents for CO2 and ethylene in the fumigation treatment prevented both injuries and quality reductions. CO2 accumulation was likely the cause of injuries, based on symptoms and effects of absorbents. Based on this study, CO2 absorbent appears to have potential to prevent phytotoxicity of phosphine fumigation to lettuce and other sensitive fresh commodities.
Irrigation Pattern and Timing Affect Root Density of Young Citrus Trees
Kadyampakeni et al. (p. 209) conducted a study at two sites in Florida to investigate root and water distribution patterns among different irrigation and fertigation systems. Citrus root length density (RLD) was highest at 0- to 15-cm soil depth, and decreased with depth at both sites. The water content remained either close to or slightly above field capacity. They found higher RLD for intensive irrigation and fertigation practices in irrigated zones compared with conventional grower applications, suggesting greater water and nutrient uptake potential for the former.
Pecans: U.S. Consumer Purchases and Nutritional Knowledge
A web-based survey of 1009 U.S. consumers was conducted by Lillywhite et al. (p. 222) to explore purchase preferences, consumer demographics, and consumer nutritional knowledge relative to pecans. Many respondents (74%) consume pecans, and demographic differences were observed between respondents who consume pecans and those who do not. Respondents could be further educated about the nutritional benefits of pecans. Pecan consumers typically purchase pecans from a grocery store, buy them shelled as a raw ingredient, and consume pecans four to six times annually. Results suggest opportunities for pecan market growth in the U.S.
Assessment of Subirrigation Performance in Tree Seedling Production
Subirrigation systems allow nutrient solution recirculation and high efficiency, but commercial equipment is unavailable in Brazil. Construction of handmade systems, usually without technical criteria, has resulted in inefficiencies and contamination of soil and groundwater. Ribeiro et al. (p. 231) proposed and evaluated methodology to assess performance, thus enabling troubleshooting and technical adjustments of subirrigation systems. In a case study involving eucalyptus seedling production, solution losses reached 72.4% and system irrigation efficiency was 27.6%. Engineering criteria must be applied to equipment design to achieve high efficiencies and address crop needs. The use of small containers for long periods eliminated subirrigation benefits.
Examining Today’s Horticulture Graduate Programs
A comprehensive survey of many current horticulture graduate programs in North America revealed how their admissions policies functioned, examined the demographics of their faculty and students, compared the metrics by which they are assessed, and investigated various financial aspects of the programs. Arnold et al. (p. 241) report on the current state of horticulture graduate programs, and also look at how many of these aspects have changed over recent years. Information presented should be of particular interest to programs conducting academic assessments and reviews or those engaged in formulating strategic plans for horticulture graduate programs.