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Daniel I. Leskovar

Pepper cv. `Jupiter' plants were field-grown from containerized transplants produced with either overhead (SPl) or sub-flotation (SP2) irrigation, or from direct seeding, in 3 years. Shoot and root growth were measured at frequent intervals. At planting, SPl transplants had larger basal root length and numbers than SP2 transplants. At the end of the growth period, basal, lateral, and taproot dry weights accounted for 81, 15, and 4% of the total for transplants, and 25, 57, and 18% of the total for direct-seeded plants. The coordination of growth (linear logarithm relationship) between root and shoot, changed after fruit set only in transplants. Over all seasons, transplants exhibited significantly higher yields than direct-seeded pepper plants.

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Charles S. Vavrina

Tomato transplants when planted to the cotyledon leaves, or to the first true leaf, yielded more than transplants set to the top of the root ball. Yield increase appears to be a function of increased extra-large fruit number, which suggests advanced maturity. Results held across four widely separated geographic locations for both spring and fall plantings. These data suggest that planting tomato transplants deeper is commercially beneficial in Florida.

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José A. Franco and Daniel I. Leskovar

Containerized `Lavi' muskmelon [Cucumis melo L. (Reticulatus Group)] transplants were grown in a nursery with two irrigation systems: overhead irrigation (OI) and flotation irrigation (FI). Initially, root development was monitored during a 36-day nursery period. Thereafter, seedling root growth was monitored either in transparent containers inside a growth chamber, or through minirhizotrons placed in the field. During the nursery period, OI promoted increased early basal root growth, whereas FI promoted greater basal root elongation between 25 and 36 days after seeding (DAS). At 36 DAS leaf area, shoot fresh weight (FW) and dry weight (DW), and shoot to root ratio were greater for OI than for FI transplants, while root length and FWs and DWs were nearly the same. Total root elongation in the growth chamber was greater for FI than for OI transplants between 4 and 14 days after transplanting. Similarly, the minirhizotron measurements in the field showed a greater root length density in the uppermost layer of the soil profile for FI than for OI transplants. Overall, muskmelon transplants had greater root development initially when subjected to overhead compared to flotation irrigation in the nursery. However, during late development FI transplants appeared to have a greater capacity to regenerate roots, thus providing an adaptive mechanism to enhance postplanting root development and to withstand transplant shock in field conditions. At harvest, root length density and yield were closely similar for the plants in the two transplant irrigation treatments.

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Stephen M. Olson, George J. Hochmuth, and Robert C. Hochmuth

Studies were conducted at the NFREC, Quincy, and AREC, Live Oak, Fla., to compare watermelon {Citrullus lanatus [(Thumb.) Matsum & Nakai]} plant establishment by transplanting and direct-seeding. Cultivars used were `Charleston Gray' in 1984, 1985, 1986, and 1989; `Jubilee' in 1988 and 1989; and `Crimson Sweet' in 1987 to 1990. Early yields were greater with transplants for all three cultivars in all years. With `Charleston Gray', total yields with transplants were higher in 1985 and 1989, but not in 1984 or 1986. The average fruit weights with transplants were also greater in 1985 and 1989 than in 1984 or 1986. With `Jubilee', total yield with transplants was higher in 1989, but not in 1988. Average fruit weight with transplants was greater in 1989 than in 1988. With `Crimson Sweet', total yields were higher with transplants in 1989 and 1990, but not in 1987 or 1988, but fruits were larger with transplanting compared to direct-seeding only in 1990. In all experiments, yields with transplants were never less than those with direct-seeded plants.

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Amnon Koren* and Menahem Edelstein

Grafting technology for vegetable transplants was introduced to Israel eight years ago by Hishtil Nurseries, Inc. The main goal of grafting was to find a substitute for methyl bromide, the elimination of which was pending. The use of grafted watermelon transplants soon followed. Presently, more than 40% of watermelon transplants are grafted. The chief reason for the success of grafted transplants is their tolerance to soil-borne pathogens, including Fusarium, Monosporascus, and Macrophomina. Yields of grafted transplants are often much higher, and it has been shown possible to grow watermelons with saline water (4.5). A limitation of grafted transplants is that presently, we do not have a good solution for nematodes. A drawback is that in order to get good watermelon taste and flavour, the grower needs the experience to adjust agrotechniques, especially determining the best harvest date. Grafted tomato transplants were also introduced early on. Grafted tomato transplants can have excellent resistance to fusarium crown rot, corky root, and other soil-borne pathogens. Some rootstocks have been observed to tolerate water salinity of 8 ec and still produce commercially acceptable yields. Limitations to the use of grafted tomato transplants are the lack of compatibility of some of the cultivars with the rootstocks and the breakdown of nematode resistance at high soil temperatures. Melons, eggplants, and cucumbers are grafted under some conditions.

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J.G. Robb, J.A. Smith, R.G. Wilson, and C.D. Yonts

The Paperpot system provides a relatively flexible approach to commercial transplanting of crops. Around the world, most of the research and application of this system has been on sugar beets. Compared to traditional hand-transplanted, field-grown, bare-root onions, there are several potential advantages of the Paperpot system, including reduced labor requirements, accuracy of placement, and fewer imported insect and disease problems. Comparison of three transplanters—carousel, BST, and chain-type—indicated the chain-type transplanter had lower labor inputs and a higher transplanting capacity than the other models. The BST transplanter was capable of placing 65% of the plants within a 3- to 5-inch plant spacing. The chain-type and carousel deposited 36% and 14%, respectively, within this same spacing. Yield was higher when onions were transplanted with the BST machine. This was attributed to the more-accurate placement of the onion plants. A four-row BST transplanter was capable of transplanting 0.4 acres/h of onions in field-scale trials.

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Ricardo Hernández and Chieri Kubota

production of vegetable transplants because cucumber growth rate decreased with the increased of blue PF under low solar DLI (5.2 ± 1.2 mol·m −2 ·d −1 ) ( Hernández and Kubota, 2014a ). To advance the use of LEDs as a supplemental lighting technology in

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Jonathan M. Frantz, Gregory E. Welbaum, Zhengxing Shen, and Ron Morse

“Float-bed” (FB) is a simple hydroponic system used by the tobacco industry for transplant production. “Ebb-and-flood” (EF) is a modified FB system with periodic draining of the bed to limit water availability and control plant growth. Field-bed cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. gp. Capitata) transplant production was compared with FB, EF, and overhead-irrigated plug-tray greenhouse systems. Plants were produced in May and June and transplanted in a field near Blacksburg, Va., in June and July of 1994 and 1995, respectively. Beds for FB and EF production consisted of galvanized metal troughs (3.3 × 0.8 × 0.3 m) lined with a double layer of 0.075-mm-thick black plastic film. In 1994, both EF and FB seedlings were not hardened before transplanting, were severely stressed after transplanting, and had higher seedling mortality compared with plants from other systems. Plug-tray transplants showed the greatest increase in leaf area following transplanting and matured earlier than seedlings produced in other systems. In 1995, EF- and FB-grown cabbage plants were hardened by withholding water before transplanting, and seedlings had greater fresh mass and leaf area than plug-tray or field-bed seedlings 3.5 weeks after transplanting. Less succulent cabbage transplants were grown in EF and FB systems containing 66 mg·L-1 N (40% by nitrate) and 83 mg·L-1 K. Compared with the FB system, the EF system allowed control of water availability, which slowed plant growth, and increased oxygen concentration in the root zone. Both EF and FB systems are suitable for cabbage transplant production.

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Jonathan M. Frantz, Gregory E. Welbaum, Zhengxing Shen, and Ron Morse

“Float-bed” (FB) is a simple hydroponic system used by the tobacco industry for transplant production. “Ebb-and-flood” (EF) is a modified FB system with periodic draining of the bed to limit water availability and control plant growth. Field-bed cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. gp. Capitata) transplant production was compared with FB, EF, and overhead-irrigated plug-tray greenhouse systems. Plants were produced in May and June and transplanted in a field near Blacksburg, Va., in June and July of 1994 and 1995, respectively. Beds for FB and EF production consisted of galvanized metal troughs (3.3 × 0.8 × 0.3 m) lined with a double layer of 0.075-mm-thick black plastic film. In 1994, both EF and FB seedlings were not hardened before transplanting, were severely stressed after transplanting, and had higher seedling mortality compared with plants from other systems. Plug-tray transplants showed the greatest increase in leaf area following transplanting and matured earlier than seedlings produced in other systems. In 1995, EF- and FB-grown cabbage plants were hardened by withholding water before transplanting, and seedlings had greater fresh mass and leaf area than plug-tray or field-bed seedlings 3.5 weeks after transplanting. Less succulent cabbage transplants were grown in EF and FB systems containing 66 mg·L-1 N (40% by nitrate) and 83 mg·L-1 K. Compared with the FB system, the EF system allowed control of water availability, which slowed plant growth, and increased oxygen concentration in the root zone. Both EF and FB systems are suitable for cabbage transplant production.

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Albert Liptay, Peter Sikkema, and William Fonteno

The theme of this review is modulation of extension growth in transplant production through restraint of watering of the seedlings. The purpose of the modulation is to produce transplants of 1) appropriate height for ease of field setting and 2) adequate stress tolerance to withstand outdoor environmental conditions. Physiological responses of the plant are discussed in relation to the degree of water deficit stress and are related to the degree of hardening or stress tolerance development in the transplants. Optimal stress tolerance or techniques for measuring same have not been fully defined in the literature. However, stress tolerance in seedlings is necessary to withstand environmental forces such as wind and sand-blasting after the seedlings are transplanted in the field. It is also imperative that the seedlings undertake a rapid and sustained rate of growth after outdoor transplanting. Water deficit stress applied to plants elicits many different physiological responses. For example, as leaf water potential begins to decrease, leaf enlargement is inhibited before photosynthesis or respiration is affected, with the result of a higher rate of dry matter accumulation per unit leaf area. The cause of the reduced leaf area may be a result of reduced K uptake by the roots with a concomitant reduction in cell expansion. Severe water deficits however, result in overstressed seedlings with stunted growth and poor establishment when transplanted into the field. In transplant production systems, appropriate levels of water deficit stress can be used as a management tool to produce seedlings conducive to the transplanting process.