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Harry K. Tayama and Stephen A. Carver

A series of crop-specific, resin-coated, controlled-release fertilizer formulations, including: Sierra Geranium Mix 13-12-11 Plus Minors, Sierra Chrysanthemum Mix 12-10-17 Plus Minors, and Sierra Poinsettia Mix 12-12-15 Plus Minors were preplant-incorporated into Metro Mix 350 growing medium for the production of potted zonal geraniums, chrysanthemum, and poinsettia. Plant growth and foliar nutritional responses were compared to those obtained from plants produced with a standard resin-coated, controlled-release Osmocote formulation (19N-6P-12K), water-soluble Peters 20N-10P-20K, and a combination of water-soluble and resin-coated treatments. Crops produced with specialty resin-coated mixes (at recommended rate = l×) were equal in growth and flowering characteristics to those produced with Osmocote (1×), water-soluble (200 ppm nitrogen), or a combination of water-soluble (200 ppm nitrogen) and resin-coated (0.5×) fertilizer treatments. Foliar analyses revealed elemental concentrations in resin-coated fertilizer-treated plants were below those in water-soluble or combination treatments, but were within a range to support satisfactory quality crop production.

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Doug Findley, Gary J. Keever, Arthur H. Chappelka, Charles H. Gilliam and D. Joseph Eakes

Five cultivars of buddleia, Buddleia davidii, were exposed to subambient, ambient, and twice-ambient levels of ozone in open-top chambers for 8 weeks during 1995. Plants were evaluated for foliar injury, growth index, and inflorescence characteristics during and following the exposure period. Destructive harvests were conducted at the end of the exposure period to determine the dry weight of both above- and below-ground plant components. All cultivars showed signs of visible injury in the twice-ambient treatment at both 3 and 8 weeks after treatment initiation (WAT). At 3 WAT, `Pink Delight' was the most severely injured, followed by `Opera'. The other three cultivars had similar lower levels of foliar injury. Reductions in growth index as well as dry weight were found for all cultivars in the twice-ambient treatment. The number of developing floral buds and inflorescences was reduced in the twice-ambient treatment for all cultivars. Differences among the cultivars was due to normal differences in growth habit and not due to elevated ozone levels. These data indicate that Buddleia cultivars are sensitive to levels of ozone similar to those found in urban areas of the southeastern United States.

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G.A. Picchioni, S.A. Weinbaum and P.H. Brown

Leaf retention, uptake kinetics, total uptake (per unit leaf area), export kinetics, and the total export of foliage-applied, labeled B (]0B-enriched boric acid) were determined for apple (Malus domestics Borkh.), pear (Pyrus communis L.), prune (Prunus domestics L.), and sweet cherry (P. avium L.). Foliar uptake of labeled B by shoot leaves was 88% to 96% complete within 24 hours of application. More than 50% of the B retained on shoot leaf surfaces following application was absorbed and exported within 6 hours of application. Genotypic differences in shoot leaf surface characteristics among the species tested greatly influenced the amount of solution retained per unit leaf area. Leaf retention capacity was the primary determinant of the quantity of B absorbed by and exported from shoot leaves following foliar application. On average, apple shoot leaves retained, absorbed, and exported at least twice as much labeled B per unit leaf area as prune and pear shoot leaves and three to four times as much as sweet cherry shoot leaves. The sink demand of nearby, mature apples did not affect the export of labeled B when applied to adjacent spur leaves, but the fruit imported 16% of their total B from the applied solution during a 10-day period. Despite extensive documentation for the immobility of B accumulated by leaves naturally (e.g., from the soil), the B accumulated by leaves following foliage application was highly mobile in all four species tested.

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Jonathan M. Frantz*, Dharmalingam S. Pitchay, James C. Locke and Charles Krause

Silica (Si) is not considered to be an essential plant nutrient because without it, most plants can be grown from seed to seed without its presence. However, many investigations have shown a positive growth effect if Si is present, including increased dry weight, increased yield, enhanced pollination, and most commonly, increased disease resistance, which leads to its official designation as a beneficial nutrient. Surprisingly, some effects, such as reduced incidence of micronutrient toxicity, appear to occur even if Si is not taken up in appreciable amounts. The literature results must be interpreted with care, however, because many of the benefits can be obtained with the counterion of the Si supplied to the plant. Determining a potential benefit from Si could be a large benefit to greenhouse plant producers because more production is using soilless media that are devoid of Si. Therefore, Si must be supplied either as a foliar spray or nutrient solution amendment. We investigated adding Si to New Guinea Impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri Bull), marigold (Tagetes erecta), pansy (Viola wittrockiana), spreading petunia (Petunia hybridia), geranium (Pelargonium spp.), and orchid (Phalaenopsis spp.). Using SEM, energy dispersive X-ray analysis, and ICP analysis, Si content and location was determined. This information and other growth characteristics will be used as a first step in determining the likelihood of using Si as a beneficial element in greenhouse fertilizer solutions for higher quality bedding plants with fewer agrochemical inputs.

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Mouna Benmbarek, Y. Desiardins and R.R. Simard

Landfiling and incineration constitute the most commonly used methods of biosolid disposal. To minimize the environmental risk, their chemical and biological characteristics have been the subject of several investigations.

The present research was undertaken to evaluate the agronomic value of municipal solid wastes (MSW) and composted de-inked sludge (CDS) in a field experiment for sod production. Four variables in a split factorial design, were investigated at two sod farms: compost (MSW and CDS), soil (sandy loam and clay loam), application method (surface applied 6cm and incorporated 20cm), and the application rate (50-100 and 150t/ha). Controls consisted of unfertilized and unamended but fertilized plots. Both experimental sites were seeded with kentucky bluegrass.

Preliminary data indicate that the two biosolids promoted the sod growth at the rates applied. However, a better plot cover was observed if composts were rototilled at a depth of 6cm as compared to the conventional treated plots. Measurements of root and foliar weights revealed that the turf growth was enhanced with increasing rates, which is probably caused by additional soil macronutrients showed by the analysis. Seed germination and seedling emergence were not delayed as indicated by the observed increase in the water retention capacity of the soil especially at higher compost rates.

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Frank J. Peryea and Rhoda L. Burrows

Late dormant copper (Cu) sprays and mid-summer foliar Cu sprays are being promoted within the Washington apple industry as a means to enhance fruit typiness and red skin color, respectively. While there appears to be theoretical bases for these practices, they have not been tested for horticultural significance. Differential late dormant spray treatments of Cu hydroxide (the Cu source most commonly recommended by agricultural consultants) were imposed in two `Delicious' orchards. Flower cluster Cu was positively related to Cu rate, but the sprays had no effect on leaf Cu or on six fruit typiness variables. Differential mid-summer spray treatments of water, Cu sulfate, and Cu oxysulfate solutions were imposed in three `Delicious' orchards and one `Fuji' orchard. The Cu sprays increased leaf Cu, but had no effect on market color grade measured using a commercial color sorter. The results appear to reflect Cu physicochemistry and timing of application. These preliminary results call into question the utility of the Cu sprays for improving apple fruit quality characteristics when trees show no visual signs of Cu deficiency. They do suggest some alternative ways to manage Cu nutrition in deciduous tree fruit orchards.

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Allan M. Armitage, N. H. Hamill and S. Anderson

Research to determine protocols for greenhouse forcing of woody shrubs was initiated as part of the New Crop Research program at the University of Georgia. About 15 woody taxa were initially selected for the program based on habit, foliar qualities and flowering (if present). All plants were subjected to 1.7–4.4 °C for 0, 6, or 10 weeks in a controlled temperature cooler. Based on growth and visual characteristics, Leptodermis oblonga, Indigofera pseudotinctoria `Rose Carpet', Forsythia ×intermedia `Golden Peep' and Philadelphus coronaria `Manteau d'Hermaine' was discarded. Caryopteris x clandonensis `Sunshine Blue', Leycesteria formosa `Golden Lanterns', Sambucus nigra`Black Lace', Philadelphus coronaria`Variegata' and Physocarpus oblongifolius `Summer Wine' were investigated further. Data presented for Physocarpus suggested that cooling was not necessary for growth; however, 10 weeks of cooling resulted in the least time to finish in the greenhouse. Ten, six, and zero weeks cold resulted in 17, 10, and 7 weeks finish time respectively. Additional work conducted in 2005 and future research will be discussed.

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Brent L. Black

Balancing vegetative growth with fruiting is a primary concern in strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) production. Where nursery plant selection and preconditioning are inadequate for runner control, additional approaches are needed. The gibberellin biosynthesis inhibitor prohexadione-Ca (commercial formulation Apogee) was tested over two seasons for suppressing fall runners of `Chandler' plug plants in a cold-climate annual hill production system. Prohexadione-Ca was applied as a foliar spray at active ingredient concentrations ranging from 60 to 480 mg·L-1, either as a single application 1 week after planting, or repeated at 3-week intervals. The lowest rate resulted in inadequate runner control, with some runners producing malformed daughter plants. Higher rates resulted in 57% to 93% reductions in fall runner numbers, with a concomitant increase in fall branch crown formation. There were no effects of the prohexadione-Ca treatments on plant morphology the following spring, and no adverse effects on fruit characteristics or yield. Chemical names used: prohexadione-calcium, calcium 3-oxido-4-propionyl-5-oxo-3-cyclohexene-carboxylate.

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Desmond G. Mortley

The effects of 0.25, 1.0, 2.5, 10, and 100 mg Mn/liter on sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam] were evaluated in a greenhouse during 2 years using the nutrient film technique. Foliage and storage root dry weights declined linearly as Mn concentration increased in either whole plants or fibrous roots. Foliage and storage root dry weights were equally sensitive to Mn concentration in whole plants but 5 to 15 times more sensitive to increased Mn concentration in the fibrous roots. Foliar N, P, K, Ca, and Mg concentrations were adequate and did not appear to limit plant growth. Manganese concentrations in solution had very little effect on Fe, Zn, or B concentration. Manganese concentration was higher in the foliage than in fibrous roots. Plant roots showed browning at the higher (10 or 100 mg Mn/liter) concentrations in solution, which indicated the presence of oxidized Mn. Characteristic toxicity symptoms were observed in plants receiving 2.5 (moderate), 10, or 100 mg Mn/liter in solution.

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Brent K. Harbaugh

Symptoms of foliar chlorosis or bleaching, interveinal chlorosis of lower leaves, leaf edge and tip necrosis, stunted growth and delayed flowering of Eustoma increased as pH decreased below 6.5 in various peat-vermiculite based media for all cultivars tested. Symptoms were evident with or without microelement amendments in the media or fertilizer. A 5×5 factorial with pH of media and fertilizer solutions ranging from 5.1 to 7.5 indicated fertilizer pH did not negate plant response to low media pH. Leaf tissue levels of Zn were elevated at low media pH and negatively correlated to plant growth and flowering characteristics, while imbalances in tissue levels of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Cu and B appeared to be less important. Symptomatic plants grown in media with a pH from 5.0 to 5.8 had tissue levels of Zn ranging from 200 to 1200 ppm, and plants without symptoms in media with a higher pH had leaf tissue levels from 40 to 100 ppm Zn.