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Open access

Eric A. Curry

Abstract

The use of chemicals to control vegetative growth of fruit trees at the Tree Fruit Research Laboratory in Wenatchee, Wash, began 25 years ago. Vegetative growth of apple seedlings in greenhouse trials was first controlled with foliar applications of butanedioic acid mono (2,2-dimethylhydrazide) (daminozide) (B-9, Alar). Field trials then were conducted on both apple and young cherry trees (3, 4). Daminozide also has been used to improve annual return blooming and fruit set, promote red skin color development, delay maturity, and improve storability of apple cultivars. Often, the high rates needed to control vegetative growth have reduced fruit size and fruit length, resulting in flat fruit shape (4, 13, 28). The latter phenomenon is important, for ‘Delicious’ apple for which “typiness” is a strong marketing characteristic and therefore an economic benefit. This paper presents results of continuing research on the control of excessive vegetative growth of deciduous fruit trees.

Open access

Melissa M. Gibbs, Thomas M. Blessington, James A. Price, and Yin-Tung Wang

Abstract

Pot-grown ‘Angie Physic’ hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L.) plants at the tight bud and blooming stages were stored in darkness for 3, 6, or 9 days at 4.5, 10.0, 15.5, 21.0, 26.5, or 32.0C, and then placed in a greenhouse for 21 days. Plants showed the least amount of damage at 10.0 or 15.5C or when stored for 3 days. Plants stored at 10.0 or 15.5C had delayed flowering, larger and more flowers, less flower bud and leaf abscission, and a higher plant quality. Storage for 6 or 9 days resulted in plants with smaller and fewer flowers, greater bud and leaf abscission, less fresh weight, and a lower quality.

Open access

Richard E. C. Layne

Abstract

‘Harglow’ is an attractive, high-quality, medium-sized apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) introduced in 1982 for the Ontario fresh market but also suitable for commercial processing and for home preserves. The tree is cold-hardy, late-blooming, moderately productive, and tolerant to perennial canker (Leucostoma spp.). The fruit are resistant to brown rot [Moniliniafructicola (Wint.) Honey] and bacterial spot [Xanthomonas pruni (E.F. Sm.) Dows.], and moderately resistant to skin cracking and preharvest drop. They ripen in the midseason; 6 and 3 days, respectively, after ‘Goldcot’ and ‘Veecot’ and about 3 Aug. at Harrow. ‘Harglow’ is adapted to regions of southern Ontario where apricots are grown successfully. Early reports of its performance in Michigan and Pennsylvania are promising.

Free access

Yin-Tung Wang

Blooming Phalaenopsis orchids have become a popular pot plant in recent years. Plants start producing spikes after experiencing cool air in early fall, bloom in early spring, and become limited in supply after April when market demand is strong. Deferring spiking and flowering by maintaining the greenhouse air constantly above 28°C is cost prohibitive. Previous research has discovered that plants must be given light while being exposed to cool air to induce spiking. In Fall 1994, 2-year old Phalaenopsis TAM Butterfly plants were exposed to repeated cycles of 1 day in darkness and another day in light (1D/1L), 4D/3L, 7D/7L, or 0D/7L (continuous lighted control) between 15 Sept. and 16 Dec. Each plant was removed from the treatment once it had started spiking. The control plants bloomed on 20 Jan. 1995, whereas the 4D/3L plants did not reach anthesis until April 17, nearly three months later. Flowering of the 1D/1L and 7D/7L plants was also deferred until early April. The treatments had no adverse effect on flower count or size. In 1995, 3-year old plants were exposed to 0D/7L (control), 2D/5L, 3D/4L, 4D/3L, or 5D/2L from 15 Sept. to 22 Jan. 1996. The control plants spiked on 17 Oct. and bloomed on 8 Feb. 1996 when spikes had just emerged from plants in the 5D/2L treatment. The 5D/2L plants are expected to bloom in late May or early June. The other treatments were not as effective as that in 1994 and resulted in blooming only 2–3 weeks after the untreated control. The results of this research will help producers to stagger or precisely program the time of flowering to meet the market demand.

Free access

Sylvie Jenni, Katrine A. Stewart, Gaétan Bourgeois, and Daniel C. Cloutier

A simple method to predict time from anthesis of perfect flowers to fruit maturity (full slip) and yield is presented here for muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) grown in a northern climate. Developmental time for individual muskmelons from anthesis to full slip could be predicted from several heat unit formulas, depending on the temperature data set used. When temperature at 7.5 cm above soil level was used, the heat unit formula resulting in the lowest coefficient of variation (cv=6.9%) accumulated daily average temperatures with a base temperature of 11 °C and an upper threshold of 25 °C. With temperatures recorded at a meteorological station located 2 km from the experimental field, the method showing the lowest cv (8.9%) accumulated daily maximum temperatures with a base temperature of 15 °C. This latter method was improved by including a 60-degree-day lag for second cycle fruit. The proportion of fruit volume at full slip of 22 fruit from the first cycle could be described by a common Richards function (R 2=0.99). Although 65% of the plants produced two fruit cycles, fruit from the first cycle represented 72% of total yield in terms of number and mass. The blooming period of productive flowers lasted 34 days, each cycle overlapping and covering an equal period of 19 days. Counting the number of developing fruit >4 cm after 225 degree days from the start of anthesis (when 90% of the plants have at least one blooming perfect flower) could rapidly estimate the number of fruit that will reach maturity.

Free access

Terri Woods Starman and James E. Faust

The objective was to provide options for hanging basket production schedules by varying the number of plants per pot (one to four) and the number of manual pinches per basket (zero to two). Several species were evaluated in Spring 1995 and heat tolerance was assessed throughout the summer. Plugs (82 plugs per flat) were transplanted into 25-cm hanging baskets in a 22/18°C (venting/night temperature set points) glasshouse. Bacopa speciosa `Snowflake', Brachycome iberidifolia `Crystal Falls', Helichrysum bracteatum `Golden Beauty', Scaevola aemula `New Blue Wonder', and Streptocarpella hybrid `Concord Blue' produced quality baskets with three or more plugs per basket and no pinch. Pentas lanceolata `Starburst' and Lysimachia procumbens (Golden Globes) produced quality baskets with fewer than three plants per basket if plants received at least one pinch, however length of growing time was increased. Pentas lanceolata `Starburst', Scaevola aemula `New Blue Wonder', and Streptocarpella hybrid `Concord Blue' proved to be heat tolerant, blooming throughout the summer. Bacopa speciosa `Snowflake', Brachycome iberidifolia `Crystal Falls', and Lysimachia procumbens (Golden Globes) were not heat tolerant, i.e., ceased developing flowers in June and resumed flowering in September. Bidens ferulifolium did not produce an acceptable quality hanging basket under any experimental treatments.

Free access

Mario R. Morales and James E. Simon

`African Beauty', a new ornamental camphor basil cultivar, was developed through three cycles of selfing and selection from USDA accession PI 500942, originally collected in Zambia, Africa. `African Beauty' was field-evaluated and compared with PI 500942 (the original population), PI 500954 (another accession from Zambia), a camphor cultivar from Companion Plants, and three other related lines in 1997 and 1998. Most commercial camphor basils are tall (50 to 60 cm), late-flowering, and unattractive. Our goal was to develop a new cultivar that had a short stature (≈40 cm), an early flowering, and an attractive appearance. The outcome was `African Beauty', which has the following characteristics: plant height: 30 to 35 cm, plant spread: 50 to 55 cm, leaf length: 6.3 to 6.7 cm, days to flower: 76 days, inflorescence length: 25 cm, essential oil yield: 3 mL/100 g dw. The essential oil of `African Beauty' is also highly aromatic, with 72% camphor, 12% camphene, and 9% limonene. The plant is a fast-growing, semicompact aromatic plant that produces small leaves and large quantities of long and slender inflorescences that, when fully developed, curve at the tip like the tail of a cat. Blooming usually lasts from 20 to 25 days, when the plant looks most beautiful. `African Beauty' is an attractive ornamental that would be excellent as a garden border plant, or as an indoor potted plant.

Free access

Paul Lyrene

The best time to harvest fresh blueberries in Florida is 1 April to 15 May. Weather during this period is normally favorable for harvest: low rainfall, low humidity, warm, sunny days, and cool nights, and supplies of fresh blueberries from other producing areas are low. To ripen high-quality blueberries in April, the plants must flower in February and must have a full canopy of leaves to support the developing crop in March and April. Observations of thousands of blueberry seedlings and selections over the past 25 years in Florida have indicated that blooming and leafing time are affected by the chilling requirement and heat requirement of the variety and also by environmental factors. Factors that increase plant vigor (high soil fertility, ample moisture, and young plants) cause the plants to flower earlier in the spring. Flower buds that do not open by 15 Mar. in north Florida frequently abort. The timing and extent of this physiological bud abortion varies with cultivar. Some southern highbush cultivars leaf before they flower. Others flower before they leaf. The ideal blueberry variety for north Florida would have a very low chill requirement, a high heat requirement to prevent January flowering, and a short flowering-to-ripening interval.

Free access

Christopher Gunter, David Francis, and Alba Clivati McIntyre

Yellow shoulder disorder (YSD) is a physiological disorder of processing tomato that affects both the appearance and nutritional quality of the fruit. This disorder reduces the suitability of fruit intended for the whole-peeled and diced product markets. The YSD involves an interaction between plant genotype and the environment. A number of soil factors have been related to the incidence of YSD, including organic matter, phosphorous, K/Mg ratios, and soil K. Varieties of tomatoes differ in their susceptibility to color disorders, thus variety selection offers growers one strategy to manage this color disorder. The use of supplemental K application at a time when plants are blooming and actively growing offers a second strategy for management of YSD. To this end, a field study was conducted at the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Program in southwestern Indiana to study the effects of different sources of K on the color and quality of tomato fruit. Potassium chloride, potassium nitrate, and potassium sulfate were applied at first flowering in a solid, broadcast application. Appropriate controls were used to balance the nutrients supplied in addition to K. Supplemental K, regardless of source, improved fruit hue, though the trend was not always statistically significant between treatments. Variety specific effects were observed. This is a complex disorder and its management will entail minimizing risk of incidence through careful selection of variety and field location.

Free access

David A. Bender, Roland E. Roberts, and Frank J. Dainello

Watermelon is grown under a range of moisture regimes from rainfed to heavily irrigated, but water requirement patterns are not well documented. Drip irrigation and plastic mulch provide the opportunity to control water applications to optimize yield and quality. Water applied through subsurface drip irrigation was measured in two watermelon trials in 1998 (25 seeded and 20 seedless cultivars) and 1999 (26 seeded and 14 seedless cultivars) at Lubbock, Texas. Melons were transplanted in plastic-covered raised beds 13.6 m long spaced 2 m apart. Irrigation was applied when morning soil moisture tension measured by tensiometers exceeded 20 kPa. Watermelon yields ranged from 50 to 100 t·ha-1 with excellent quality. Weekly water use averaged 14 mm during the first 3 weeks of establishment then increased to 28 mm during the next 3 weeks as plants were running and blooming. During the 5-week fruit-enlargement period, water uptake averaged 57 mm, then decreased as full fruit size was attained. Similar uptake patterns in both years suggest that meaningful crop coefficients for scheduling watermelon irrigation could be based on phenological growth stages.