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Jasmine J. Mah, David Llewellyn, and Youbin Zheng

In greenhouse production, it has been observed that bedding plants tend to be of lower quality when grown below a dense canopy of HBs, characterized by elongated stems and reduced branching ( Hamrick, 2003 ). Although it has been demonstrated that

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Christopher J. Currey and Roberto G. Lopez

Young plants propagated from seed (plugs) or stem-tip cuttings (liners) are commonly used in herbaceous ornamental annual bedding plant production and propagative material for this use is currently valued at over $159 million ( U.S. Department of

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Brian R. Poel and Erik S. Runkle

production of annual (bedding plant and vegetable) seedlings primarily occurs during the winter and early spring, and in the northern United States, the mean outdoor DLI is as low as 5–10 mol·m −2 ·d −1 ( Korczynski et al., 2002 ); inside a greenhouse

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J.E. Motes, M.D. McCullough, and B.A. Kahn

A problem associated with machine harvesting of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) with a stripper-type harvesting mechanism is plant uprooting. Four soil bedding treatments were compared for effects on uprooting force of Chile and paprika direct field seeded at Bixby, Okla. in 1992 and 1993. Bedding treatments were: 1) no-bed; 2) no-bed with 5 cm of soil hilled to the bases of plants; 3) bedded preplant but bed not maintained throughout the growing season; and 4) bedded preplant and bed maintained throughout the growing season. At harvest plants were cut off 10 cm above the soil surface and uprooting force determined using a wire cable puller, spring scale, and a lever based on a fulcrum. Chile uprooting force was significantly influenced by bedding treatments only in 1993. Paprika uprooting force was influenced in both years. In three of the four studies, bedding treatments 2 and 4 produced plants more strongly anchored than treatments 1 and 3.

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Amy L. Shober, Christine Wiese, Geoffrey C. Denny, Craig D. Stanley, Brent K. Harbaugh, and Jianjun Chen

with 20% vermiculite and 20% perlite. Plant materials and experimental design. Three annual bedding plant species, Solenostemon scutellarioides L. Codd ‘Wizard Velvet’, Tagetes patula L. ‘Safari Queen’, and Begonia × hybrida ‘Dragon

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H. Brent Pemberton and William E. Roberson

The East Texas Bedding Plant Pack and Garden Performance Trials began several years ago at the Texas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Overton (Overton Center) with the goal of providing information on greenhouse and field performance of bedding plant varieties to the local bedding plant industry and consumers of these products. The program began with local trials that have now expanded in scope with the Smith County Master Gardeners Association playing an integral role in performing the trials. Entries are received from most of the major ornamental seed companies doing business in the United States giving the regional industry access to the only comprehensive greenhouse performance trials in this part of the country. Performance evaluation data is important to this industry since it has a wholesale value of over $500 million in the northeast Texas region, of which over $100 million is bedding plant production. The field performance trials are now replicated at the Overton Center, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden (Dallas Arboretum) and the Texas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Dallas (Dallas Center), giving over 5 million consumers in the northeast Texas region the opportunity to see how promising new plants from all over the world perform in the local climate. Plants that grow well in this climate have the potential to reduce inputs needed for production and use in the home or commercial landscape. Many of the top performing varieties from the bedding plant trials are also chosen to be part of the Coordinated Education and Marketing Assistance Program (CEMAP), a statewide testing program headquartered at the Dallas Center in which entries vie for designation as Texas Superstar plants. The comprehensive benefit of the East Texas Bedding Plant Pack and Garden Performance Trials is the link between the rural bedding plant producers and the urban consumers which serves as a basis for improving the quality of life for the citizens of Texas.

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Jodi Benson and John Kelly

Height control is a major concern when growing bedding plants. Growth regulating chemicals are often applied to regulate height of bedding plant species. However, reductions in plant height have been observed when plants were grown under light with a high ratio of red to far red light. Light passing through clear double walled, acrylic panels filled with copper sulfate solution has a high red to far red ratio. This work examined the effect of growing tomatoes, peppers, pansies, petunias, geraniums, and impatiens under panels filled with 4, 8, and 16 percent copper sulfate solution. Plants were grown for approximately 3 weeks in cell packs, then data were taken on plant height, number of leaves, leaf area, fresh and dry weight, and chlorophyll content. Significant reductions in height (40-66%) were achieved by growing bedding plants under any of the copper sulfate concentrations.

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Allan M. Armitage

Minimizing environmental stress in bedding plant and greenhouse and seedling development has occupied many researchers in academia and industry for many years. The dependence on single plant germination units (plugs) for bedding plant production and high value hybrid seed demand high rates of germination and successful seedling establishment. Pre-germinating or priming of seed is an important method of germination enhancement and methods and benefits of “priming” will be discussed. Environmental options to enhance seed germination of non-primed seed include control of vapor pressure deficit (VPD) and temperature.

Enhancement of seedling establishment through growth room and greenhouse technology includes the optimal use of CO2, temperature and light. Carbon dioxide fertilization on seedlings is receiving serious study and will be further elucidated.

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J.E. Barrett, C.E. Wieland, T.A. Nell, and D.G. Clark

76 ORAL SESSION 13 (Abstr. 478-483) Floriculture: Postharvest Physiology/Plant Growth Regulators

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Christopher J. Currey, Veronica A. Hutchinson, and Roberto G. Lopez

Bedding plants are the highest revenue sector of the U.S. floriculture industry with a wholesale value over $1.91 billion for the 15 top-producing states ( U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2011 ). Young plants propagated from seed (plugs) or shoot