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M.A. Woodard, B.C. Bearce, and E.C. Townsend

A recycling nutriculture system was redesigned to improve growth and flowering of Tagetes erecta L., cv., Inca Yellow in four media; loose rockwool (RW), coal bottom ash (CBA), pinewood peelings (PWP) and CBA:PWP (1:1, v/v). Three nutricycle frequencies of 12, 6 and 4 per 12 hour light period were set with a nutricycle duration of 5 minutes. Volume, height and fresh and dry weights of marigolds in CBA, PWP and CBA: PWP were comparable to that of marigolds in RW. Flower diameters of plants in CBA, PWP and CBA:PWP were increased and days to harvest decreased compared to plants in RW. Plants in CBA: PWP increased in fresh weight compared to CBA or PWP plants. No interaction occurred between media and nutricycle frequency at 12 or 4 cycles per 12 hours; however a malfunctioning timer caused prolonged flooding of plant root zones at the 6 cycle setting. This resulted in decreased plant volume and fresh and dry weights at this frequency. These results show that growth and flowering of marigolds in CBA and PWP comparable with that in RW can be achieved with more than 1 nutricycle frequency.

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Patricia R. Knight, John M. Anderson, and Ralph A. Parks

The influence of media on plant growth was investigated for five annual species. Uniform 164-cm3 liners of Tagetes erecta `Discovery Orange', Impatiens wallerana `Accent Orange', Melampodium paludosum `Showstar', Scaevola aemula `New Wonder', and Petunia axillaris `Surfinia White' were planted into 2.8-L containers on 4 Apr. 1997. The experiment was terminated after 90 days. Media included Metro-Mix 366 peat or coir, Metro-mix 700 peat or coir, and 4 pine bark : 1 sand (by volume, amended with 1.2 kg.m-3 dolomitic limestone). Plants were top-dressed with 9 g Osmocote Plus 15-9-11. Substituting coconut coir for peat moss in commercial media reduced Petunia 90 DAT foliar color ratings, Impatiens shoot dry masses, and Melampodium and Scaevola root ratings. Utilization of pine bark did not influence foliar color ratings of Tagetes, Melampodium, Petunia, or Scaevola 90 DAT. Utilization of pine bark reduced shoot dry masses of Impatiens, Melampodium, and Scaevola, and root ratings of Melampodium and Tagetes.

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Kristin L. Getter

The effects of paclobutrazol (PBZ), a plant growth retardant, and average daily temperature (ADT) on geranium (Pelargonium ×hortorum), petunia (Petunia ×hybrida), marigold (Tagetes erecta), and pineapple mint (Mentha suaveolens) were quantified. Treatments consisted of four PBZ spray concentrations (0, 15, 30, or 45 ppm) and three ADTs (constant day and night greenhouse temperatures set to 16, 22, or 28 °C). The effectiveness of PBZ was dependent on species. Greenhouse ADT was significant for all species for both growth index (GI) and dry weight (DW). Whether the GI or DW was impacted by the interaction between ADT and PBZ levels were also species dependent. As ADT increased, the trialed levels of PBZ were less effective. Three species (all but petunia) had a significant ADT and PBZ interaction for DW. The 0 ppm PBZ treatment for geranium exhibited a larger DW at 28 °C compared with 16 °C, whereas the 30 and 45 ppm PBZ treatments each had smaller DWs at 28 °C than at 16 °C. However, marigold and pineapple mint generally had larger DWs at higher ADTs than lower ADTs within a PBZ treatment.

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Amanda Wiberg, Richard Koenig, and Teresa Cerny-Koenig

There is extensive variability in physical and chemical properties among brands of retail potting media. The purpose of this study was to assess variability in seed germination and plant growth responses among and within brands. Twenty-four different brands of media, and multiple bags of five brands, were purchased at nine retail stores. Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) seeds were germinated in 11 different brands of media and in media from different bags of four of the same brands. Marigold (Tagetes erecta) and petunia (Petunia×hybrida) were grown to flowering in 10 brands of media. Germination varied significantly among media brands and among bags of one of the brands. Plant performance also varied significantly, with several of the brands producing plants with few flowers, long times to flowering, and low shoot and root dry weights even though all treatments received uniform applications of a complete fertilizer solution three times per week. Few relationships could be discerned between individual physical and chemical properties of the media and plant performance. Results indicate improvements in quality among brands and quality control within brands are needed in the retail potting media industry. Quality assessment tools emphasizing plant performance could improve overall media quality.

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Nancy K. Todd

Marigolds are susceptible to a specific nutritional disorder known as “bronze speckling”. It has been reported that the disorder is caused by excessive uptake of iron by the plant, which may be due to high levels of Fe in the soil solution or low soil pH. In this experiment, 12 cultivars of marigold (Tagetes erecta and T. patula) were grown using increasing levels of Fe (0, 5, 15, and 20 mg/l) from Fe DTPA. In the susceptible cultivars, symptoms were observed within 5 days of initial treatment and appeared as a chlorotic mottling. Initial symptoms resembled spider mite damage on older leaves, which gradually became bronze colored in appearance, and finally became necrotic. Downward cupping of leaves was observed in severely affected plants. Severity of necrosis and percent of plant leaves affected (dry weight basis) were evaluated to determine susceptibility of the different cultivars to the disorder. There was a direct correlation between increasing concentration of Fe and occurrence and severity of symptoms. The most susceptible to least susceptible cultivars were determined to be: First Lady, Inca, Discovery, Galore, Pineapple Crush, Perfection Excel, Voyager All Seasons, Nugget, Zenith, Voyager F1 and Diamond Jubilee.

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Arvazena E. Clardy and Stephen Garton

Two cultivars of Tagetes erecta Marigolds—Hero Yellow and Safari Tangerine—were grown hydroponically in two different nutrient solutions. The experiment was implemented in the greenhouses on the campus of Alabama A&M Univ., from March to May 1995. The experiment was to assess the effects of growth and development of Marigolds. Heights of seedlings, germinated in grodan (rockwool) cubes were measured and placed randomly in the hydroponic units. Plants were drenched with five rates of either Paclobutrazol (Bonzi) and Uniconazole (Sumagic). The experiment was laid out as a randomized complete block design with either three or four replications of the treatment, which were factorial combinations of variables. After 75 days measurements were made of plants heights, flower bud numbers and dry weights of shoot and root systems. Shoot dry weights were affected by growth regulator treatments, variety, nutrient treatments and a combination of variety and nutrient treatments. Root dry weights were affected by nutrient treatments. Flower bud formation and numbers were affected by the combination of nutrient and variety. Heights were affected by growth regulator treatments, variety and nutrient treatments.

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Iftikhar Ahmad, John M. Dole, Atyab Amjad, and Sagheer Ahmad

Effects of wet and dry storage methods were compared to improve postharvest performance of specialty cut flower species. While increasing duration of storage reduced vase life, vase life declined less with dry storage for marigold (Tagetes erecta) and rose (Rosa hybrida), but not for zinnia (Zinnia elegans) or lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) over wet storage. Marigold stems had 1.9, 4.6, and 1.5 days longer vase life after 1, 2, or 3 weeks in dry storage, respectively, as compared with storage in water. Zinnia stems did not tolerate either wet or dry storage, while lisianthus stems had a longer vase life when stored in water as compared with dry storage. For rose, dry storage for 2 weeks increased vase life compared with wet storage. Dry stored marigold and lisianthus stems had higher water uptake after being placed in the vase as compared with the stems stored in water, while zinnia and rose had less uptake. Storage method had no effect on leaf relative water content (LRWC) in lisianthus, marigold, and zinnia; however, LRWC decreased with increased storage duration. This necessitates evaluation of storage method and duration effects for each species and cultivar to ensure extended storage life and improve postharvest quality.

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Kristin L. Getter and Dale W. Rozeboom

The objectives of this study were to determine the effectiveness of using animal tissue compost (ATC) as a substrate amendment for ornamental plant container production. The compost was produced using soiled sawdust bedding mixed with assorted animal tissues and actively composted for at least 6 months and cured for 6 to 10 months. Five substrate treatments that consisted of four different ratios of ATC and Canadian sphagnum peatmoss were formulated, all containing 20% medium grade horticultural perlite. Four species [geranium (Pelargonium ×hortorum ‘Maverick Red’), marigold (Tagetes erecta ‘Inca II Yellow’), pansy (Viola ×wittrockiana ‘Delta Premium Yellow Blotch’), and petunia (Petunia ×hybrida ‘Prostrate Wave Purple Improved’)] were evaluated with weekly plant measurements. Geranium and petunia exhibited 100% survival for all treatments. Marigold and pansy showed 100% survival for the control treatment (0% ATC) and the treatment with the smallest amount of ATC (20% ATC). Treatments for pansy and marigold with more than 40% ATC exhibited 40% to 90% survival. All ATC substrate treatments produced the same number of flowers and buds as the control in geranium, marigold, and petunia, while the treatments containing 20% to 60% of ATC for pansy exhibited more flowers and buds than the control. Measurements of pH and electrical conductivity (EC) varied based on treatment. Based on the species and the ratios of peat, ATC, and perlite tested here, ATC has the potential to be a peat extender in floriculture substrates when used in ratios of 20% or less.

Open access

G. J. Bugbee and C. R. Frink

Abstract

Sewage sludge, pharmaceutical fermentation residues, cranberry wastes, and food flavoring wastes that had been composted by in-vessel techniques were tested as substitutes for Canadian sphagnum peat in a Cornell peat-lite mix-A. Marigolds (Tagetes erecta L. ‘Lemondrop’) were grown in a medium containing 50% (by volume) vermiculite, and 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, or 50% compost, with the remainder comprised of Canadian peat. Marigold growth was improved when any or all of the peat was replaced with composted sewage sludge. Except for media containing 40% and 50% composted food flavoring waste, plant growth in nonliquid fertilized media containing the other composts was equal or superior to conventional Cornell peat-lite mix. Except for media containing 50% pharmaceutical, 50% cranberry, or 40% or 50% food flavoring compost, plant growth was improved by supplemental liquid fertilizer. Improved growth was related to increased levels of plant nutrients, while decreased growth, at the highest proportions of compost, resulted from excessive NH4N, pH, or soluble salts. Differences in aeration, water holding capacity, and other physical media properties were small. We conclude that many types of organic wastes, composted by in-vessel techniques, can be used as a substitute for part or all of the peat in a conventional peat-lite potting media.

Open access

H. M. Cathey and H. E. Heggestad

Abstract

[N-[2-(2-oxo-l-imidazolidinyl)ethyl]-N’-phenylurea (EDU or ethylenediurea) was applied as a soil drench and as foliar sprays to evaluate protection from ozone injury in controlled fumigations on 44 species of herbaceous plants. At least 4 doses of EDU were compared on 5 plant species: Begonia cucullata var. Hookeri Willd., (fibrous rooted begonia), Tagetes erecta L. (marigold), Antirrhinum majus L. (snapdragon), Lycopersicon esculentum Mill, (tomato), and Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat. (chrysanthemum). Protection from ozone injury was directly related to EDU dose up to about 500 ppm. The spray and drench treatments gave about the same protection from ozone. EDU had no measurable effect on plant growth. Genera showing relatively high sensitivity to ozone and good protection with EDU included Ageratum, Amaranthus, Browallia, Capsicum, Celosiay Dahlia, Lobelia, Lycopersicon, Nicotiana, Perilla, Salvia, and Zinnia. The EDU treatments used did not protect adequately Hedera Lactuca, Rosa, or Zea mays (sweet corn). Species of several genera showed little or no foliar injury even at the highest ozone dose (0.60 ppm/3 hr), including Brassaia, Catharanthus, Chlorophytum, Coffeay Cyclamen, Dizygotheca, Philodendron, Saintpaulia, and Torenia. ‘Fred Shoesmith’ chrysanthemum was insensitive to ozone.