Response of Easter Lily Bulbs to Peat Moisture Content and the Use of Peat or of Polyethylene-lined Cases during Handling and Vernalization

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210

Lining of shipping cases with low-density polyethylene (PE) greatly reduced moisture loss from packing media and bulbs of Lilium longjlorum Thunb. `Nellie White' during shipping, handling, and case vernalization (CV). Three years of studies showed that use of PE liners accelerated floral sprout emergence above the growing medium, floral bud initiation, and flowering date. Effects of case lining became more pronounced as the initial water content of the spagnum peat packing was lowered. Case lining sometimes increased apical meristem diameters measured immediately after vernalization, or 2 or 4 weeks after bulb planting, but flower bud number was never significantly increased. Root growth during the first 4 weeks after planting was not affected by case lining. Bulb scale and basal plate water contents at planting were greater in lined than nonlined cases and when packed in peat of relatively high moisture content. Handling and vernalization of bulbs in PE-lined cases without a packing medium resulted in similar bulb forcing characteristics as in bulbs held in PE-lined cases packed with sphagnum peat.

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