in HortTechnology

Carbon Footprint/Costs of Landscape Plant Production/Use

Life cycle assessment was used to characterize carbon footprint (CF) and variable costs of landscape plants (Ingram et al., p. 6). Understanding CF is important for minimizing the negative impacts of production and assessing positive life-cycle impacts of landscape plants. The dominant CF contributors are equipment used for field-grown trees and plastics for container-grown plants. Often, the higher contributors to CF are also the higher variable costs. Such knowledge allows managers to consider protocol modifications relative to profit potential and environmental impact. Plant life-cycle benefits are important for the environment and human well-being.

U.S. Strawberry Industry Review

Samtani et al. (p. 11) divided the United States into eight distinct geographic regions of strawberry production plus an indoor controlled-environment production system. In this review, the authors synthesized current production systems, markets, varieties, trends, and future directions for each region. All regions showed increase in protected culture strawberry production and experienced challenges with pests and obtaining adequate labor. Production across all regions will be impacted by consumer demand for berries, climate change-induced weather variability, high pesticide use, labor and immigration policies, and land availability.

Bispyribac-sodium Detection in Walnut Leaves

Complaints of damage from rice herbicides allegedly drifting into young walnut orchards have been reported in the Sacramento Valley of California. The symptoms observed in the field are consistent with ALS inhibitor herbicide damage, bispyribac-sodium in particular. However, laboratory analysis of walnut leaf samples displaying ALS-inhibitor symptoms usually does not detect bispyribac-sodium residues. Galla et al. (p. 25) found that bispyribac-sodium can cause visual symptoms even if the herbicide cannot be analytically quantified from symptomatic leaves. Nevertheless, low levels of injury on walnut leaves did not result in direct effects on gross walnut yield or nut weight.

Calcium Improves Postharvest Quality of Poinsettia Cuttings

Shoot tip cuttings for vegetative propagation of herbaceous ornamental species like poinsettia, are produced in equatorial locations and shipped via airfreight to the United States. As a result, postharvest damage and losses are common. Samarakoon and Faust (p. 30) evaluated the potential use of foliar sprays of calcium and salicylic acid, to increase the mechanical strength in leaf tissue. Application of 80 ppm calcium in the form of chelated calcium to stock plants during shoot development, improved the cutting quality.

Managing Anthracnose Canker of Cider Apple Trees

Anthracnose canker threatens sustainable apple production in the maritime climate of western Washington. In a 2-year study, Garton et al. (p. 35) assessed the efficacy of zinc, basic copper sulfate, captan, thiophanate-methyl, and pyraclostrobin + boscalid in preventing and/or controlling anthracnose canker infection in young cider apple trees. In 2016, canker size increased an average of 77% for all treatments. In 2017, two to three new cankers were observed 3 weeks after final treatment application for all treatments. Current fungicides recommended for control of anthracnose canker are not reliably effective for long-term cider apple production in a maritime climate.

Greenhouse Production of Native Aquatic Plants

Wetland restoration is critical for improving ecosystems, but many aquatic plant nurseries lack the facilities for large-scale aquatic-plant production. Gettys and Moore (p. 41) found that four greenhouse-grown native aquatic species were tallest, heaviest, and had the highest quality when they were subirrigated and cultured in commercial potting substrate amended with controlled-release fertilizer at 2 g·L-1 substrate. This information provides guidance to growers who wish to use existing greenhouses to produce native wetland plants for the booming restoration market.

Stub Type Not Important When Pruning Apple

A short upward facing cut, (Dutch cut), is a common practice when pruning tall-spindle apple trees to promote limb renewal. This cut releases latent buds to produce smaller limbs, and the upward-facing bevel purportedly results in more fruitful limbs with wide crotch angles. Schupp et al. (p. 46) evaluated three stub orientations, and two stub lengths for 2 years, and found no difference in the number or quality of renewal shoots. Stub angle and length were not important criteria for renewal pruning ‘Gala’. This information will be useful when conducting machine learning for automated pruning or for training pruning crews.

Fertilizer and Varieties for Hydroponic Leafy Greens

Fertilizer and variety selection is a major challenge for new hydroponic vegetable production growers that are looking to use a simple one- or two-bag approach. Using 5N-4.8P-21.6K (5-11-26) and 5N-5.2P-21.6K (5-12-26) hydroponic fertilizers, Singh et al. (p. 50) recommend 'Fordhook Giant' swiss chard in hydroponic production; however, they found no fertilizer effect. For lettuce fresh weight, there was an interaction between fertilizer and variety with Mirlo, Rubysky, Oscard, Panisse, and Rex performing better in 5-12-26 and Dragoon performing best in 5-11-26. For basil, there was no fertilizer or variety effect in terms of fresh weight production.

Grafting Method and Healing Conditions for Cabbage

Grafting is widely used in the commercial production of many vegetable crops, but not for cabbage. Chen et al. (p. 57) developed a grafting method and identified the best healing conditions (temperature 20 °C, relative humidity 95%, light intensity 79-107 µmol·m-2·s-1) for grafted cabbage seedlings. Using tube grafting together with optimum healing condition, the survival rate of grafted cabbage seedlings was as high as 96.7%. This approach can be used to improve head quality by selecting suitable scion/rootstock combinations.

Weed Control by Mulch and Herbicide Combinations

Mulch is used for weed control, but little research has focused on mulch + herbicide combinations. Saha et al. (p. 65) conducted an experiment examining the use of hardwood, pinebark and pinestraw mulch in combination with preemergence herbicides including prodiamine, dimethenamid-P + pendimethalin, and indaziflam applied as granular or sprayable formulations. Spray formulations of prodiamine and dimethenamid-P + pendimethalin were more effective than granular when applied alone, while indaziflam was more effective as a spray formulation when used both alone and with mulch. Increasing irrigation volume was not significant for any of the herbicide + mulch combinations.

Basil Variety Performance in Aquaponics

Basil is a popular crop for aquaponic production because of the fast turnaround, high yield, and prime market value. Ferrarezi and Bailey (p. 85) conducted a variety trial to identify suitable basil varieties for outdoor aquaponics production in the U.S. Virgin islands using the University of the Virgin Islands Commercial Aquaponics System (UVICAS). Our results indicate basil has potential as a specialty, short-season, high-value crop in the UVICAS. 'Genovese' and 'Spicy Globe' were the highest-yielding varieties tested for two consecutive seasons. Local growers can benefit from adapted varieties to diversify their portfolios and minimize risks.

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