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Xiang Cao, Darrell Bosch, and James Pease

-labeling, and to determine how such a program would affect greenhouse/nursery production costs, gross revenues, and net revenues. Research results can help nursery growers and policymakers assess WRT adoption to improve crop water productivity and to reduce

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Carolyn F. Scagel, Guihong Bi, David R. Bryla, Leslie H. Fuchigami, and Richard P. Regan

potential with the use of limiting environmental conditions New For. 13 121 138 Franco, J.A. Martinez-Sanchez, J.J. Fernandez, J.A. Banon, S. 2006 Selection and nursery production of ornamental plants for landscaping and xerogardening in semi

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A. Michel-Rosales, J. Farias, S. Guzman, G. Lopez, and G. Valdovinos

In western Mexico, banana is traditionally multiplied by vegetative reproduction in the orchard; recently, micropropagation of this species has increased considerably. Banana has been shown to give a positive response to AM fungal inoculation. However, the selection of efficient AM fungi species, currently propagated in vitro, has not been documented. The selection of the most-effective arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi for growth enhancement of banana vitroplants is the first step toward development of an AM inoculation system. This work reports the effect of nursery inoculation of Glomus aggregatum, G. clarum, G. etunicatum, G. intraradices, G. monosporum, G. mosseae, and Gigaspora margarita on the banana vitroplants growth. Pots (4 kg) containing a mixture of soil and coconut fiber (1:1) sterilized with methyl bromide were used. Treatments were arranged under a fully randomized experimental design with eight replications. The plants were harvested 120 days after inoculation and plant height, number of leaves, leaf area, fresh weight of roots, mycorrhizal colonization, and intensity of infection were measured. Glomus etunicatum, G. monosporum, G. mosseae, and G. aggregatum were shown to be the most-effective endophytes. Plant height was increased, as well as the production of banana roots in response to mycorrhizal inoculation with these fungi. On the other hand, G. intraradices and G. clarum showed low levels of colonization. The data clearly show the most efficient AM fungi for future inoculation studies in nursery banana production.

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Masud A. Khan and James N. McCrimmon

The multiple use of water from aquaculture to supplement irrigated crop production could minimize the cost of growing fish and irrigating crops. Aquaculture effluent was utilized to supplement the fertility and irrigation of six native shrub species (big sage, fourwing saltbush, mountain mahogany, Mormon tea, rubber rabbitbrush, and winterfat). Plants were established in two container types: 20-liter standard polypot and nonwoven UV-stabilized Duon synthetic fiber growbags. The plants were irrigated with fish effluent or city water. Plants irrigated with fish effluent were not given any fertilizer treatment, while plants irrigated with city water were fertilized with Osmocote®. Fish effluent was suitable for production of fourwing saltbush, rubber rabbitbrush, big sage, and winterfat. Fourwing saltbush irrigated with effluent had the best survival rate, while mountain mahogany irrigated with effluent had the poorest growth and survival rates. Big sage, rubber rabbitbrush, and winterfat had better growth and survival rates in the growbags, while Mormon tea had better growth and survival rate in the polypot containers.

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Larry J. Shoemake and Michael A. Arnold

Ninety seedlings from each of seven half-sib families of sycamore (Platanus occidentalis L.) were grown to marketable size in 9.1-liter containers in College Station, Texas. Dry matter partitioning was assessed with 10 seedlings each of four half-sib families grown in 4.7-liter containers. Half-sib families included selections native to Brazos County, Texas, and Putnam County, Tenn., and four half-sib families from the Westvaco Corp. (WV) or Texas Forest Service (TFS) tree improvement programs. Families could be separated into three groups with TFS-09 attaining a significantly greater height than other families, while Brazos-D, Brazos-C, and TFS-24 were intermediate and WV-10 and WV-14 were shortest. Contrary to previous field production studies, a weak inverse correlation (R 2 = –0.19, P > 0.01) was observed between the number of cuts required to remove multiple leaders and plant height, perhaps due to episodic shoot elongation in south Texas conditions vs. a single flush in northern regions. Corrective pruning removed more dry matter from TFS-09 than from Brazos-D, Brazos-C, and Putnam seedlings. Total dry weights of TFS-09 and Brazos-C were greater than WV-14 or Putnam seedlings.

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K. Francis Salifu, Michael A. Nicodemus, Douglass F. Jacobs, and Anthony S. Davis

We evaluated suitability of chemical indices of three media formulations or substrates (A, B, and C) consisting of composted pine bark, coconut coir pith, sphagnum peatmoss, processed bark ash, and perlite in varied proportions for growing northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) seedlings. These substrates were ranked according to their ability to promote seedling growth. The low-yielding substrate (A) was devoid of pine bark and perlite and the medium-yielding substrate (B) contained no peatmoss or processed bark ash. The high-yielding substrate (C) contained all components. Additionally, we tested plant response to high nitrogen (N) fertilization on each substrate. Media EC, pH, and total dissolved solids measured at transplanting explained 68%, 43%, and 66%, respectively, of the variation in plant dry weight and 39%, 54%, and 46%, respectively, of the variation in shoot height. Vector diagnosis effectively ranked nutritional limitations on seedling growth as N > P > K. High N fertilization highlighted element deficiency in seedlings grown on substrate A, but resulted in element toxicity and antagonistic interactions in plants established on substrates B and C, respectively.

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Marc W. van Iersel, Matthew Chappell, and John D. Lea-Cox

The use of sensors can provide quantitative information to help guide and automate the decision-making process for irrigation. This article provides an overview of the most common sensors that can be used for this purpose. Such sensors include those that are commonly used for weather stations as well as sensors to monitor the water status of the soil or substrate, and sensors that can be used to monitor and troubleshoot irrigation systems. Although collecting data with sensors is relatively easy, data are only useful if the sensors are used correctly and the limitations of sensors are understood. Optimizing the value of the collected data requires selecting the best sensor(s) for a particular purpose, determining the optimal number of sensors to be deployed, and assuring that collected data are as accurate and precise as possible. We describe general sensing principles and how these principles can be applied to a variety of sensors. Based on our experience, proper use of sensors can result in large increases in irrigation efficiency and improve the profitability of ornamental production in greenhouses and nurseries.

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Michael P. Harvey and Mark H. Brand

Studies conducted in 1998 and 1999 analyzed the influence of division size, nutrition, and potting medium pH on the growth rate of Hakonechloa macra `Aureola' in nursery-container production. For each study, divisions were made from container-grown nursery stock in late March, then established in 325-mL pots in a greenhouse prior to being transplanted to 3.7-L nursery containers in late May. Grass plants were grown outdoors, under 30% shade density cloth, with drip irrigation from June through September, and, excluding plants in the nutrition study, received top-dressed 17-6-10 slow-release fertilizer containing micronutrients. To determine the optimum division size for production, divisions of four sizes were made (based on one to two, four to six, eight to 10, or 12 to 15 buds per plant). There was a significant division size effect on bud count, leaf area, plant weight, width, and shoot count only when comparing the two lowest division sizes with the two highest. Treatment effects were insignificant among divisions containing one to two and four to six buds, or between eight to 10 and 12-15 buds. Both the larger two sizes produced marketable plants; therefore, divisions with eight to 10 buds are recommended for a schedule aimed at producing salable Hakonechloa over one growing season. The smallest division class is believed to be the more efficient size when one merely wishes to increase plant stock. In a separate study, a factorial trial testing ppm fertilizer (28, 56, 112, 224, and 448 ppm N) and N-P-K formulation (1-1-1, 2-1-2 and 4-1-4) did not generate significant differences between formulations. Plants were fertigated once a week, and EC levels were monitored bi-weekly from leachate collected in drainage saucers. Plant responses to N rates suggest that electrical conductivity levels be kept around 2.5 mS·cm-1 from a 112 ppm N fertilizer (EC can go as high as 4.0 mS·cm-1 with 224 ppm N). It was evident H. macra `Aureola' prefers acidic soil in production. When lime was not included in the potting mixture (a control treatment equating to a pH of about 4.5), leaf area, bud count, and shoot number doubled relative to the three lime treatments (2, 6, and 16 g lime/L of media, or 3.4, 10.1, and 26.9 lb/yard3).

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Kimberley Dennis, John R. Clark, and James A. Robbins

Studies were conducted from January to November of 2005 to determine the effect of root-cutting length on adventitious shoot yield and the management practices necessary to produce nursery-quality blackberry plants. The first portion of the study measured the average number of shoots produced from 7.6 and 15.2 cm long root cuttings of APF-44 blackberry—a primocane-fruiting clone (not available in commerce) from the University of Arkansas breeding program. Cuttings were forced in a shallow bin containing soilless potting media. The average number of shoots per root cutting from 7.6- and 15.2-cm-long root cuttings averaged 1.6 and 2.7 shoots per root cutting, respectively. Rooting percentage of shoots was near 100% regardless of root cutting length and produced rooted plants of equal quality. The latter part of the study included various treatments on the rooted shoots that might affect the productivity and quality of the final product intended for nursery sales in early fall. With the aim of producing a flowering/fruiting shrub by late September, three treatments were applied: pot dimension, fertilizer rate, and shoot tipping. Fertilizer rate had the greatest impact of all treatments. Above normal summer/fall temperatures may explain lack of fruiting on APF-44 blackberries, but the dimension and size of some plants provided a portion of the intended aesthetic.

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Raul I. Cabrera and Diana R. Devereaux

Containerized crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica L. × Lagerstroemia fauriei Koehne `Tonto') plants were grown for 9 months under various nitrogen fertility regimes, and then transplanted to a sandy loam soil with minimal management to evaluate their landscape establishment and growth performance. During the nursery phase plants were irrigated, except over an overwintering period, with complete nutrient solutions differing in applied N concentration, ranging from 15 to 300 mg·L-1. By 16 weeks after transplanting (WAT) into the landscape soil, plant biomass was significantly higher in the plants that had been grown with higher N supplies and had been among the smallest at transplant. Such plant growth response was linearly and positively correlated to plant N status at transplant. Plant shoot to root ratio and tissue N, Ca, S, and Fe concentrations, which had been significantly affected by the N fertilization regime in the nursery, equalized over time after transplant, with no significant differences observed among treatments by 16 WAT. Flowering response in the landscape was delayed in plants originally grown with the higher N supplies. Plant survival and establishment per se were not affected by treatments; no plants were lost, and aside from the differences in size and flower timing, all plants were considered aesthetically similar.