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Jean Masson, Nicolas Tremblay, and André Gosselin

This experiment was initiated to determine the effects of supplementary lighting of 100 μmol·s-1·m-2 (PAR) in combination with four N rates (100, 200, 300, and 400 mg N/liter) on growth of celery (Apium graveolens L.), lettuce (Luctuca sativa L.), broccoli (Brassica oleracea italica L.), and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) transplants in multicellular trays. Supplementary lighting, as compared with natural light alone, increased shoot dry weight of celery, lettuce, broccoli, and tomato transplants by 22%, 40%, 19%, and 24%, and root dry weight by 97%, 42%, 38%, and 21%, respectively. It also increased the percentage of shoot dry matter of broccoli and tomato, leaf area of lettuce and broccoli, and root: shoot dry weight ratio (RSDWR) of celery and broccoli. Compared with 100 mg N/liter, a N rate of 400 mg·liter-1 increased the shoot dry weight of celery, lettuce, broccoli, and tomato transplants by 37%, 38%, 61%, and 38%, respectively. High N fertilization accelerated shoot growth at the expense of root growth, except for tomato where a 16% increase of root dry weight was observed. High N also reduced percentage of shoot dry matter. Supplementary lighting appears to be a promising technique when used in combination with high N rates to improve the production of high quality transplants, particularly those sown early.

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Brian R. Poel and Erik S. Runkle

. During commercial seedling production, a minimum DLI of 10–12 mol·m −2 ·d −1 has been recommended to achieve suitable seedling quality and reduced time to flower after transplant ( Lopez and Runkle, 2008 ; Pramuk and Runkle, 2005 ). Commercial

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Daniel I. Leskovar and Daniel J. Cantliffe

Shoot and root growth changes in response to handling and storage time in `Sunny' tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) transplants were investigated. Transplants, 45 days old, were stored either in trays (nonpulled) or packed in boxes (pulled) for 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8 days at 5 and 15C. Also, 35-day-old nonpulled and pulled transplants were kept in darkness at 20/28C for 0, 1, 2, or 3 days. At SC, pulled transplants had longer and heavier stems, a higher shoot: root ratio, higher ethylene evolution, and lower root dry weight than nonpulled transplants. At 15C, pulled transplants had more shoot growth than nonpulled transplants. Nonpulled, initially 35-day-old transplants had heavier shoots and roots and higher (7.0 t·ha-1) yields of extra-large fruit than pulled transplants (4.1 t·ha-1), but there were no differences in the total yields of marketable fruits.

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D.S. NeSmith

Greenhouse and field experiments were conducted to determine the influence of transplant age on growth and yield of `Dixie' and `Senator' summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.). Dry weight and leaf area measurements indicated that 28- to 35-day-old greenhouse-grown transplants grew more slowly after transplanting than plants that were 10, 14, or 21 days old. Older transplants flowered earlier; however, earlier flowering did not result in higher early yields. Transplants of varying ages did not differ greatly in yield and yield components in the field, although all transplants had higher early yields than the directly seeded controls. Results from these experiments suggest that 21 days may be a reasonable target age for transplanting summer squash. If transplanting were delayed by adverse planting conditions, 21-day-old transplants would likely have at least a 10-day window of flexibility before yields would be reduced notably by additional aging.

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Yuqi Li and Neil S. Mattson

is one of the most desirable traits for bedding plants ( Hu et al., 2012 ). Tomato is one of the most widely grown vegetables in the world ( Passam, 2008 ). Tomato transplants in a retail setting also often suffer from inadequate watering. Increasing

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Andreas Westphal, Nicole L. Snyder, Lijuan Xing, and James J. Camberato

produced with a transplant system on plastic mulch ( Hochmuth et al., 2001 ). Seedlings are produced in peatmoss-based, soilless potting mixes in plastic trays. This production system allows for early and rapid establishment of 1-month-old transplants into

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Masahumi Johkan, Kazuhiro Shoji, Fumiyuki Goto, Shin-nosuke Hashida, and Toshihiro Yoshihara

germination and uniformity in seedling morphology is easy to manage in plant nurseries, allowing seedlings of high quality to be raised. The quality of seedlings affects their growth and yield after transplantation. Good-quality seedlings exhibit morphological

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Lawrance N. Shaw

The use of containerized transplants will increase in the future because of greater survival rates and improved yields. Many transplant operations are already mechanized. Fully automatic field transplanting is highly feasible in the future for several vegetable crops and may become a common practice with most commercial crops. Technology is developing that uses the greenhouse growing trays as magazines to be loaded into the transplanting machines. Automatic field transplanters will then set plants into the soil at rates of 3 to 4 per second. To accomplish this, the following are required: highest quality uniform seedlings; greater seedling tolerance to handling stresses; no dead or missing plants in transplant trays; standardized cell containers; and precise cell arrangement to allow whole rows of plants to be mass removed simultaneously to reach the highest transplanter machine capacity. Plant production and greenhouse growing systems need to be modified to facilitate automatic field transplanting.

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Toyoki Kozai and Tadashi Ito

Commercial transplant production in Japan has been increasing rapidly since 1985. Transplant production began with plug seedlings for bedding plants, followed by carnation and Chrysanthemum plug transplants vegetatively-propagated using cuttings. Next, production more recently includes plug seedlings of lettuce and cabbage, and micropropagated tubers of potato plants and grafted transplants of tomato, eggplant, cucumber, and watermelon plants. The reasons for the rapid increase in commercial production of transplants will be reviewed. The current “cutting edge” practices include hardening before shipping or planting. The pros and cons of current transplant production systems in Japan will be discussed. Recent research advances in production of micropropagated, grafted and seedling transplants are reviewed with special reference to environmental control for hardening or acclimatization. Research on robotic or automated systems for micropropagation, grafting, and transplanting currently developed in Japan are described.

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James M. Dangler

Transparent polyethylene is used to enhance sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] transplant production in hotbeds and unheated field beds. Black plastic is used also in unheated field beds. The use of these bed covers, however, frequently results in transplant damage due to overheating. Despite the positive results obtained by using rowcovers in sweetpotato transplant production, recommendations for their use are not included in extension publications. Successful adoption of rowcovers by sweetpotato transplant producers in Alabama is illustrated.