Scaling from dissolved and suspended solids in irrigation water reduces the efficiency of greenhouse irrigation systems. Water deposits inside pipes reduce water flow and deposits may reduce the flow through irrigation emitters, often clogging them. If not properly maintained, the clogging of emitters requires constant maintenance. This results in considerable labor expense and/or emitter replacement. Scaling inside irrigation system pipes also has the potential to harbor plant pathogens from the resulting biofilms. Oxcide, a novel hypochlorous acid (HOCl) compound, is produced electrochemically by removing sodium and hydroxide from sodium hypochlorite. The elimination of sodium hydroxide from the product creates a nontoxic oxidizer. A system to inject Oxcide into irrigation water at a commercial Colorado greenhouse was installed to maintain irrigation efficiency of emitters and irrigation lines during Winter 2003. The oxidation reduction potential (ORP) was monitored and visual evaluations of irrigation equipment in the Oxcide treated zones compared to those zones not treated with Oxcide was conducted. During January through March, geranium stock plants were irrigated with water that maintained ORP levels at around 600 mV. Visual ratings of the irrigation emitters revealed that the injection of Oxcide in the irrigation water did reduce the level of deposition. Deposition on the main feed lines was so thick that they hindered the complete closure of existing valves. Treatment of the irrigation water Oxcide injection for six months successfully removed of the scale and deposits from the water line.
Hypertext applications have grown from highlighted index referencing tools used in “help” windows to sophisticated file sharing between many computers linked via the World Wide Web (WWW). Software such as Mosaic makes this link easy and convenient by using “Hypertext Markup Language” (HTML). Most universities and many companies have installed WWW servers and have provided disk space for general use. Horticulture departments and many botanical gardens across the country and all over the world are adapting to this technology by providing access to extension information sheets, newsletters, and selected manuscripts. Pesticide chemical manufacturers are also establishing WWW servers with the intent on providing rapid access to pesticide labels and material safety data sheets (MSDS). For local classroom use, HTML using a WWW server can provide an innovative and alternative means for delivering lecture material.
Four rates of seven plant growth regulators were foliar-applied to 11.4 liter containers of Photinia × fraseri after initial root establishment. Growth regulators studied were uniconazole, paclobutrazol, dikegulac-sodium, ancymidol, 6-BA, GA4+7 and, 6-BA + GA4+7. Six months after application, plant height, plant width, growth index, and number of lateral and terminal branches were recorded.
Applications of uniconazole (30 mg a.i./liter), 6-BA alone or in combination with GA4+7, and dikegulacsodium stimulated lateral branching. The number of lateral branches increased linearly as paclobutrazol rates increased from 60 to 180 mg a.i./liter. Growth index decreased with increasing application rates of uniconazole and paclobutrazol, while the growth index of photinia treated with other growth regulators wasn't affected by application rate. Plant height was increased in GA4+7 treated plants.
An experiment was conducted to determine the influence of eight commercial root-zone media (four peat based and four pine bark based) on the effects of paclobutrazol applied to Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. `Eckespoint Celebrate 2' as an impregnated spike or a drench. Paclobutrazol treatments had the least influence on stem elongation of poinsettias grown in the peat-based medium containing Bacctite, a compressed peat product designed to increase aeration and cation exchange capacity, or composted pine bark ground to a particle size that could pass through an opening 1 cm or smaller. Spikes were more effective at reducing shoot elongation than drenches. Spike treatments also resulted in lower bract dry-matter accumulation than drenches. Paclobutrazol applied as a spike to poinsettias at pinch could combine pinching and chemical growth regulator application into one simultaneous operation. Chemical name used: (±)-(R*,R*)-beta-[(4-chlorophenyl)methyl]-alpha-(1, 1,-dimethyl)-1H-1,2,4,-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol).
Fresh-market basil is becoming a viable greenhouse commodity in Colorado. Marketing pressures and profit advantages also encourage the production of certified organic produce. The research objectives were to determine the length of time basil plants were productive in the greenhouse and to compare the production of fresh-market basil grown with three root zone systems and two fertilizer treatments. The three systems were hydroponic rockwool slab culture, hydroponic perlite raised bed culture, and hydroponic peat/perlite/compost bag culture. The two types of hydroponic fertilizer treatments were an inorganically formulated nutrient solution and an organic solution consisting of fermented poultry compost, hydrolized fish emulsion, and soluble kelp. The plants were harvested once per week and fresh weight was determined. During the 2nd and 3rd months of harvest, productivity from the plants treated with the organic fertilizer was greatest in the perlite system. However, productivity from the plants treated with the traditional fertilizer was greatest in the bag mix and rockwool systems.
The Leaf Wetness Data Logger (LWL) and accompanying Logbook software were designed by Spectrum Technologies Inc. as a low-maintenance tool to aid in disease prediction and spray scheduling for outdoor field-grown crops. The LWL mimics leaf surface moisture represented as a value between 0 (dry) and 15 (wet). We explored an expanded use of the LWL to large-scale commercial greenhouses for the purpose of humidity control and disease prevention. Data were collected over 15 days in a commercial hydroponic tomato production greenhouse and repeated. Results indicated that leaf wetness, as determined by the LWL, increased during irrigation periods, with cumulative effects dependent on daily irrigation requirements and climate. Irrigation was controlled by the climate control computer in response to cumulative radiation intensity. By analyzing leaf wetness in correlation with climatic conditions, more adequate irrigation scheduling may be implemented, reducing the risk of disease spread and infection.
Growth chamber studies using elevated root-zone temperatures and greenhouse studies using two root-zone and two night air temperatures were conducted to determine the effects on growth and flowering of two response groups [`Rainier White' (Group II) and `Tampico' (Group III)] of cut-flower snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus L.). Chamber-grown snapdragons with the root zone at 30C had shorter stems and a lower dry weight than those at 20C. Holding the root zone above 26C increased time to flower. Greenhouse-grown `Tampico' and `Rainier White' snapdragon stems were longer with increased root-zone temperature regardless of night air temperature. Time to flower was reduced an average of 6 days with increased root-zone temperature and 12 days when the night air was maintained at 20C. This study demonstrated that the effects of relatively low greenhouse temperatures may be offset by root-zone heat.
Greenhouse studies of cut flower snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus L.) using two night air and two root-zone temperatures were conducted to determine the effects on growth and quality of four cultivars in two response groups [`Cheyenne' and `Rainier White' (group II) and `Tampico' and `Potomac' (group III)]. The group II cultivars were the earliest to harvest, but at the expense of quality. Grades of first, extra, and fancy only were harvested. Group III cultivars were harvested with all grades; first, extra, fancy and special. Group II cultivars generally had weaker stems and were of lower dry weight. Night air temperature had the greatest effect on days to harvest. Harvest date was reduced more than 14 days, but at the expense of quality and dry weight. Root-zone heating decreased quality of the group II cultivars at either night air temperature. but reduced quality of the group Ill cultivars only at high night temperatures. Root-zone heat and high night air temperature reduced the number of days to harvest, also at the expense of quality. The majority of high quality stems were from group Ill cultivars harvested from rooms with low night temperatures without root-zone heat.
The objective of this study was to determine the influence of uniconazole and calcium applied as a drench or foliar spray to `Gutbier V-14 Glory' poinsettias'. Uniconazole was drenched into half of the plants at 6 mg/pot. Calcium was applied weekly as either a spray, drench, or a combination of both at 350 ppm Ca. Uniconazole reduced plant height, bract dry weight, and plant dry weight. Bract dry weight from plants not treated with uniconazole and received calcium as a spray was less than from those plants that received either no supplemental calcium or calcium as a drench. Calcium improved the appearance of plants treated with uniconazole.
Twelve snapdragon cultivars of different response groups were grown in a double polyethylene greenhouse to determine the impact of no root-zone heat (RZH) and 22C RZH at 15 or 20C night air temperature (NT) on flower quality. Data were recorded when the first floret of each stem showed color and harvested when the lower third of the florets were open, Flower quality was evaluated at harvest based upon stem length and fresh weight using Society of American Florists standards. Cultivars `Butterfly White II', `Hercules', `Navajo', and West Virginia' (Group II) were the first to bloom under 20C NT regardless of RZH; whereas cultivars `Oklahoma', Houston', and `Potomac Pink' (Group IV) were delayed. Similar trends were observed under 15C NT, but the crop was harvested a few days earlier with RZH as compared to no heat. Flower quality was better under 15C NT.