In the tropics, weed control is a year-round concern. The use of cover crops in a conservation tillage system allows for the production of a crop biomass that can be killed and mowed, and later used as mulching material to help reduce weed growth. This study compared yields of three vegetable species grown in two conventional tillage systems, one weeded and one unweeded control, and in two no-tillage treatments using two different cover crop species, oats (Avena sativa L. `Cauyse') and rye grain (Secale cereale L.). The cover crops were seeded (112 kg/ha) in Spring 1998 in 4 × 23-m plots in a RCB design with six replications per treatment, and mowed down at the flowering stage before transplanting the seedlings. Data collection throughout the experimental period included quadrant weed counts, biomass levels, and crop marketable yields. Weed suppression was compared with the yields of the vegetable crops. The greatest vegetable yields were in the conventionally hand-weeded control and the worst in the un-weeded controls. Weed species composition varied depending on the cover crop species treatment. The rye better suppressed weed growth than the oats, with greater control of grass species. Rye, however, suppressed romaine and bell pepper yields more than the oat treatments. Similarly greater eggplant yields and more fruit per plant were found in the oat treatment than in the rye. Both cover crops suppressed weed growth for the first month; however, by the second month most plots had extensive weed growth. This study showed that at the given cover crop seeding rate, the mulch produced was not enough to reduce weed growth and provide acceptable yields of various vegetable crops.
Christine Crosby, Hector Valenzuela, Bernard Kratky, and Carl Evensen
Eun Young Yang*, Keum Soon Park, Dong Soo Lee, and Yong-Beom Lee
This study was conducted to understand the effect of different nutrient control method on the growth, cut-flower quality, root activity and fertilizer consumption. Single-node cutting rose `Versillia' was grown in aeroponics and DFT system and was irrigated with the nutrient solution of the Univ. of Seoul (NO3 -N 8.8, NH4 -N 0.67, P 2.0, K 4.8, Ca 4.0, Mg 2.0 me·L-1). Recirculated nutrient solution was managed by five different control method: macro- and micro-element control in aeroponic system (M&M); macroelement control in aeroponic system (M); nutrient solution supplement in aeroponic system (S); electrical conductivity (EC) control in aeroponic system (EC-A); EC control in deep flow technique system (EC-D). The mineral nutrient control method had significantly effected on the cut-flower quality. In the M&M and M, flower length, fresh weight and root activity were higher than those with other mineral nutrients control method. Although EC-A and EC-D could save total amount of fertilizer compared to M&M and M, the growth and quality of the rose with EC control system were lower than those with mineral nutrient control system. Therefore, these result suggest that EC control system is not economic method in a closed hydroponic system.
Derek M. Law and Brent Rowell
A 2-yearfield study in Lexington, Ky., evaluated the use of mulches in two organic production systems for bell peppers. Two planting strategies, flat ground and plastic-covered raised beds, and five weed control practices, straw mulch, compost mulch, wood chip mulch, corn gluten, and “living mulch” clover were tested. In 2003, the mulches were applied at planting, while in 2004, shallow soil cultivation was used for 6 weeks prior to mulch application. In 2003, the experimental field had been under a winter wheat cover crop; in 2004, the field had been cover cropped for more than a year prior to planting with sudex/cowpea (Summer 2003) and rye/hairy vetch (Winter/Spring 2004). Bell pepper yields in both bed treatments were very low in 2003 due to extensive weed competition. In 2004, plastic-covered raised beds coupled with mulching in-between beds resulted in significantly higher yields than the peppers grown on flat ground. These yields were as high as yields from a conventional pepper trial conducted on the same farm. Compost mulch, continuous cultivation, and wood chip mulch provided excellent weed control in 2004. Straw mulch was variable in its weed control efficacy; corn gluten and “living mulch” clover were ineffective.
John Masiunas, Elizabeth Wahle, Laurel Barmore, and Albert Morgan
A foam mulch system was developed that can be applied as an aqueous mixture of cotton and cellulose fibers, gums, starches, surfactants and saponins and dries to an one inch thick mat. This mulch may overcome the difficulty in applying and lack of persistence with natural mulches. Foam mulch also has the advantage of being able to be incorporated into the soil without requiring disposal like some plastic mulches. The objective of our study was to determine the effect of foam mulch and its color on weed control within the crop row and on yields of basil (Ocimum basilicum) and tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum). The foam mulch maintained its integrity for the entire growing season and provided weed control within the crop row comparable to black plastic mulch. The only weeds that emerged in the crop row were through holes in either the black or foam mulch. Foam mulch color did not affect weed control because regardless of color it did not allow light penetration andserved as a physical barrier impeding weed emergence. Basil shoot biomass was not affected by mulch treatment. Mulch color affected early, ripe fruit, and total yield of tomato. Tomato yields in the blue foam were greater than other treatments. Yields in the black foam mulch were similar to those in black plastic mulch. Further research is needed to characterize the effects of foam mulch on crop microenvironment. Currently foam mulch is being commercialized for use in the home landscape and other highvalue situations.
C.A. Mach, J.W. Buxton, and R.S. Gates
The CWT irrigation system consists of a capillary mat placed on a level bench so one side extends over the edge of the bench into a trough containing a nutrient solution maintained at a controlled distance below the bench. The nutrient solution is drawn by capillarity up to and over the bench surface. As plants use the nutrient solution or as water evaporates from the media, it is replaced from the trough. The automatic system maintains a constant air/water ratio in the growing media. Geraniums were grown in a peat based media in 15-cm pots at 0, 2, and 4 cm CWT. In a separate study, the water potential was determined in two media. Water potential was determined at the bottom, middle, and top of the container at 0, 2 and 4 cm CWT every 2.5 hrs during the light period. Geraniums at 0 and 2 cm had the greatest leaf area and dry weight. The 0- and 2-cm treatments were >25% greater than plants at 4 cm CWT. The roots of plants at 0 cm CWT were concentrated at 2–4 cm above the bottom of the container, whereas roots at 2 cm CWT uniformily extended from the center to the bottom. Water potential was about the same in each media within each CWT treatment. The water potential from top to bottom decreased slightly about midafternoon on a sunny day when water demand was the greatest. Media at 0 CWT at the container bottom had 0 water potential; whereas the water potential at 2 and 4 CWT had a lower water potential.
Eun Young Yang*, Jung-Sim Oh, and Yong-Beom Lee
This experiment was carried out to observe the effect of mineral nutrient control in photosynthetic capacity of single-node cutting rose grown in a closed hydroponic system. Single-node cutting rose `Versillia' was grown in aeroponics and DFT system and was irrigated with the nutrient solution of the Univ. of Seoul (NO3 -N 8.8, NH4 -N 0.67, P 2.0, K 4.8, Ca 4.0, Mg 2.0 me·L-1). Recirculated nutrient solution was managed by five different control method: macro- and micro-element control in aeroponic system (M&M); macro-element control in aeroponic system (M); nutrient solution supplement in aeroponic system (S); electrical conductivity (EC) control in aeroponic system (EC-A); EC control in deep flow technique system (EC-D). The photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance and transpiration rate at 35 days after transplant with M&M and M were higher compared to those with S, EC-A and EC-D. The maximal efficiency of photochemistry (Fv/Fm) was higher for M&M, M and S than that with EC-A and EC-D. Therefore, it is possible to increase photosynthetic capacity of rose with mineral nutrient control in recirculated nutrient solution.
Hamid Reza Rajablarijani, Bahram Mirshekari, Majid AghaAlikhani, Varahram Rashidi, and Farhad Farahvash
States to extend the availability of fresh produce for marketing and processing ( Williams, 2008 ). Use of variable sowing dates to control weeds is dependent on time of weed emergence. An awareness of the timing of weed emergence facilitates the planting
Kevin M. Folta and Kayla Shea Childers
Maruhnich, 2007 ), indicating that these wavebands may also have important roles in controlling plant physiology through a separate sensory system. PHOTOTROPINS AND THE OTHER LOV-DOMAIN PHOTORECEPTORS Without muscles, plants rely on differential
Craig S. Charron, Daniel J. Cantliffe, Raymond M. Wheeler, Ara Manukian, and Robert R. Heath
1 Predoctorate fellow. 2 Professor and chair. 3 Plant physiologist. 4 Systems engineer. 5 Research chemist. University of Florida journal series no. R-04133. We gratefully acknowledge the technical assistance of B.D. Dueben and A.T. Proveaux. The
Jennifer Nelkin and Ursula Schuch
Fresh weight production of basil (Ocimum basilicum`Genovese') growing in a retractable roof greenhouse (RRGH) or outdoors was evaluated under different shade environments, cultural production systems, and roof control strategies in a semi-arid climate. Cultural production systems included raised beds and towers consisting of six pots arranged vertically and stacked on edge. The growing substrate in both systems was perlite. The three shade environments included a RRGH with either a clear woven roof (35% shade) or a white woven roof (50% shade), or outdoors in full sun (0% shade). Within the RRGH, three strategies of roof control were tested based on air temperature thresholds, quantum thresholds, and globe thermometer temperature thresholds. After establishment, plants were grown for 4 weeks, each under the three roof control strategies in each environment and in both cultural systems. New shoots were harvested weekly and fresh weights were determined. Overall, fresh weight per plant was significantly affected by cultural production system, and basil grown in raised beds produced twice the biomass compared to plants grown in vertical towers. Productivity of basil grown in raised beds was not affected by the three shade environments, but plants in vertical towers produced about 20% more when grown in full sun or under 35% shade compared to under 50% shade. Within the RRGH, roof control strategy significantly affected basil fresh weight per plant. Roof control, based on either a quantum sensor or globe thermometer, increased production by 31% compared to air temperature control. Greater productivity was related to higher cumulative light exposure of plants. Quality of basil grown in the RRGH was superior to that grown in full sun.