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- Author or Editor: Kimberly A. Moore x
Growth of `Oasis Scarlet' begonia (Begonia ×semperflorens-cultorum Hort.) and `Super Elfin Violet' impatiens (Impatiens wallerana Hook. f.) was compared in substrates containing compost made from used greenhouse substrates and yard trimmings (GHC) and in compost made from biosolids and yard trimmings (SYT). Treatments consisted of 100% compost (GHC or SYT) or compost combined with control substrate components at 60%, 30%, or 0%. Substrates containing SYT compost produced significantly larger begonia and impatiens plants than substrates containing GHC compost. Higher initial substrate nutrient concentrations in substrates containing SYT probably prompted increased begonia and impatiens growth because substrates containing SYT compost had significantly higher initial soluble salt, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg) concentrations than substrates containing GHC compost. Begonia and impatiens shoot dry mass and size linearly increased as the percentage of SYT compost in the substrate increased from 0% to 100%. However, no difference in begonia or impatiens growth was observed among the different percentages of GHC compost. Initial soluble salt, N, P, K, Ca, and Mg concentrations also linearly increased as the percentage of SYT increased while only initial P, K, and Ca concentrations linearly increased as the percentage of GHC increased.
Wetland restoration is critical for improving ecosystem services, but many aquatic plant nurseries do not have facilities like those typically used for large-scale plant production. We questioned if we could grow littoral aquatic plant species in a variety of substrates and irrigation methods similar to those used for traditional greenhouse production. Plants were grown in pots with drainage holes that were filled with potting substrate, topsoil, coarse builders’ sand, or a 50/50 mix of topsoil and builders’ sand. These substrates were amended with 2 g of 15N–3.9P–10K controlled-release fertilizer per liter of substrate and were watered using either overhead irrigation or subirrigation. Plants were grown for 16 weeks, then scored for quality and height before a destructive harvest. Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium) and arrow arum (Peltandra virginica) performed best when subirrigated and cultured in potting substrate or sand. Golden club (Orontium aquaticum) and lemon bacopa (Bacopa caroliniana) grew best when plants were cultured in potting substrate and maintained under subirrigation. These experiments provide a framework for using existing greenhouses to produce these littoral species and give guidance to growers who wish to produce plants for the restoration market.
Wetland restoration is an important way to improve ecosystem services, but many wetland nurseries lack the facilities that are traditionally used to produce large numbers of native plants used in these projects. Our goal was to evaluate growth and performance of four wetland species in a variety of substrates, fertilizer regimes, and irrigation methods under greenhouse conditions. Plants were grown in pots with drainage holes filled with one of four substrates (potting substrate, topsoil, sand, 50/50 mix of topsoil, and sand) amended with 0, 1, 2, or 4 g of 15N–3.9P–10K controlled-release fertilizer per liter of substrate. Irrigation was supplied via an overhead system or subirrigation. After 16 weeks of production, plants were scored for visual quality and plant height before a destructive harvest. Broadleaf sagittaria (Sagittaria latifolia) was mostly unaffected by substrate type but performed best when subirrigated and fertilized with 4 g·L−1 of fertilizer. Growth of skyflower (Hydrolea corymbosa) and cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) was best when fertilized with 2 or 4 g·L−1 of fertilizer and grown using overhead irrigation. String lily (Crinum americanum) was unaffected by substrate type but produced the largest plants when subirrigated. These experiments provide guidance for cultivating these wetland species under greenhouse conditions, which may allow growers to efficiently produce plant material needed for the restoration market.
Analytical determination and confirmation of minimum compost processing times and minimum curing times can aid commercial growers in selecting compost materials that should give them more reliable and consistent results in their operations. Five-cubic-yard volumes of yard-trimmings were assembled into three 1.25-cubic-yard compost piles at 60-day intervals. At the conclusion of the experiment, there were three piles each of compost of the following ages: 10 months, 8 months, 6 months, and 2 months. Compost was collected from each pile and screened through a 0.75-inch screen. Bulk density, water-holding capacity, air-filled porosity, carbon to nitrogen ratio, electrical conductivity, and ATPase activity were determined on samples from each reference compost pile. A bioassay using beans also was performed. These data will be presented.
Over the 10-year period of 1987-1997, the demographics of the student population enrolled in the University of Florida off-campus BS degree in horticulture program at Fort Lauderdale have changed. Average student age has increased from 35.5 years to 38.1 years. Age range has increased from 22 to 54 years to 21 to 75 years. Age distribution changes have been most notable. In 1987, the age of the student population was normally distributed, whereas by 1997 the distribution had become bimodal, with one mode in the age group 26 to 30 and the other mode in the 41 to 45 age group. Estimated median one-way distance traveled to attend classes has not changed significantly, from 13.2 miles (range 3.9-89.8 miles) in 1987 to 14.2 miles (range 1.0-59.8 miles) in 1997.
Growth of hand-watered and subirrigated `Ultra Red' petunia (Petunia ×hybrida Hort.) and `Super Elfin Violet' impatiens (Impatiens wallerana Hook.f.) plants were compared when grown using four controlled-release fertilizer rates and four fertilizer placements in the pot. Furthermore, the amount of NO3-N leached from hand-watered plants was compared to amount captured by subirrigation system. Before planting, Osmocote (14N-6.2P-11.6K) (4 month release) was either topdressed (TD), layered in the middle of the pot (M), layered at the bottom of the pot (B), or incorporated throughout (I) the substrate at 1.25, 2.5, 5.0, or 7.5 kg·m-3 (oz/ft3). Shoot dry mass of petunia plants was similar between both irrigation systems and among the four fertilizer placements. Subirrigated petunias fertilized with 2.5 kg·m-3 had similar shoot dry mass as hand-watered petunias fertilized with 7.5 kg·m-3. Hand-watered impatiens had greater shoot dry mass than subirrigated impatiens. Hand-watered impatiens also had greater shoot dry mass in pots with fertilizer at TD, M, or I than with fertilizer at B, but no difference in growth was observed in subirrigated impatiens among the different fertilizer placements. Finally, significantly more NO3-N was leached from hand-watered plants than was captured with the subirrigation systems.
The average undergraduate horticulture major at the Univ. of Florida Academic Program at Fort Lauderdale is 38 years old. The older, non-traditional student population is quite diverse, but many individuals are motivated by a desire to change careers, and many of them have taken extensive academic course work at other institutions prior to applying for admission to the Univ. of Florida. Academic advisement of this type of student presents a substantial challenge because of the uncertainty of content and vigor of prior academic preparation. To help meet this challenge, we have developed several academic advisement checklists that indicate numbers and titles of critical preprofessional and general education courses from the academic institutions that have been most frequently attended by the highest numbers of the incoming non-traditional students. These checklists have been cross-referenced between the catalogs of the various academic institutions and the Univ. of Florida catalog. We use these documents to evaluate the academic preparation of incoming transfer students and to assist them in making correct course selections to remedy any academic deficiencies that could negatively influence their success in upper division horticulture course work.
The development of course content and assignments focused on basic horticultural knowledge and theory (hard skills) in an online setting is relatively straightforward and uncomplicated. However, it is slightly more challenging to improve a student’s soft skills like communication, problem solving, critical observation, and professionalism in an asynchronous online classroom environment. To address this challenge, we developed assignments, such as the challenge question, that focused on having students solve situational horticulture problems. In another assignment, we gave students data from an experiment and asked them to summarize and interpret the data. The recent addition of an online scholars ignite assignment (3-minute thesis competition) has turned each student into the teacher for a brief moment and makes the student an active learner and active listener. The addition of etiquette rules to the syllabus, weekly online tasks, and reminders help to develop professionalism and time management skills in addition to organization skills. It is impossible to cover all soft skills in any class but by offering various assignments and assessments, many soft skills are potentially improved.
Areca palms [Dypsis lutescens (H. Wendl.) Beentje & J. Dransf.], spathiphyllums (Spathiphyllum Schott. `Figaro'), ixoras (Ixora L. `Nora Grant'), tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. `Floramerica'), marigolds (Tagetes erecta L. `Inca Gold'), bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L. `Better Bell'), and pentas [Pentas lanceolata (Forssk.) Deflers. `Cranberry'] were grown in a pine bark-based potting substrate and were fertilized weekly with 0, 8, 16, 32, or 64 mg (1.0 oz = 28,350 mg) of P per pot. Shoot, and to a much lesser extent, root dry weight, increased for all species as weekly P fertilization rate was increased from 0 to 8 mg/pot. As P fertilization was increased from 8 to 64 mg/pot, neither roots nor shoots of most species showed any additional growth in response to increased P. Root to shoot ratio decreased sharply as P fertilization rate was increased from 0 to 8 mg/pot, but remained relatively constant in response to further increases in P fertilization rate.
In this study, areca palm (Dypsis lutescens), crossandra (Crossandra infundibuliformis), pentas (Pentas lanceolat), and philodendron (Philodendron) `Hope' plants were transplanted into containers filled with four growing substrates and watered daily, every 2 days, or every 3 days using subirrigation or overhead irrigation. Plants were grown in either a pine bark/sedge peat/sand substrate (BSS), Metro-mix 500 (MM), Pro-mix GSX (PM), or a 60% biosolid substrate (SYT). For both irrigation systems, final shoot dry weight of pentas, crossandra, philodendron, and areca palm plants in each substrate was greatest for plants watered every day and least for plants watered every 3 days. At all three irrigation frequencies, pentas, crossandra, and philodendron shoot dry weight in subirrigated pots filled with PM was greater than in overhead watered pots filled with PM. PM had the highest total pore space and moisture content of the four substrates examined. There was no difference in pentas, crossandra, or philodendron shoot dry weight between the irrigation systems, at all three irrigation frequencies, when plants were grown in BSS, MM, or SYT. However, for all four substrates and at all three irrigation frequencies, areca palm shoot dry weight was greater in overhead watered pots than in subirrigated pots. The final substrate electrical conductivity (EC) in all four subirrigated palm substrates was more than double the concentrations in overhead watered palm substrates. In this study, largest pentas, crossandra, and philodendron plants were grown in pots filled with PM and subirrigated daily, while largest areca palm plants were grown in pots filled with MM or SYT and watered overhead daily.