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Christian A. Wyenandt, James E. Simon, Margaret T. McGrath, and Daniel L. Ward

Sweet basil ( Ocimum basilicum L., Fam. Lamaiaceae) is the most commercially important annual culinary herb crop grown in the United States. Sweet basil is grown for culinary use for both fresh and dry consumption and as a source of essential oil

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Scott Henderson, David Gholami, and Youbin Zheng

Sensor-based feedback control irrigation systems have been increasingly explored for greenhouse applications. However, the relationships between microclimate variation, plant water usage, and growth are not well understood. A series of trials were conducted to investigate the microclimate variations in different greenhouses and whether a soil moisture sensor-based system can be used in monitoring and controlling irrigation in greenhouse crop productions. Ocimum basilicum ‘Genovese Gigante’ basil and Campanula portenschlagiana ‘Get Mee’ bellflowers were monitored using soil moisture sensors for an entire crop cycle at two commercial greenhouses. Significant variations in greenhouse microclimates were observed within the two commercial greenhouses and within an older research greenhouse. Evaporation rates were measured and used as an integrated indicator of greenhouse microclimate conditions. Evaporation rates varied within all three greenhouses and were almost double the lowest rates within one of the greenhouses, suggesting microclimates within a range of greenhouses. Although these microclimate variations caused large variations in the growing substrate water contents of containers within the greenhouses, the growth and quality of the plants were unaffected. For example, no significant correlations were observed between the growth of bellflower plants and the average volumetric water content (VWC), minimum VWC, or maximum VWC of the growing substrate. The change in VWC at each irrigation (ΔVWC), however, was positively correlated with the fresh weight, dry weight, and growth index (GI) of the bellflowers. For basil, no significant correlations were observed between plant growth and ΔVWC. This suggests that sensor-based feedback irrigation systems can be used for greenhouse crop production when considerations are given to factors such as the magnitude of microclimate variation, crop species and its sensitivity to water stress, and growing substrate.

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Mohammed El-Sayed El-Mahrouk, Yaser Hassan Dewir, and Salah El-Hendawy

Grape (Vitis vinifera) waste management is a major problem in juice production, but it could be transformed into a major opportunity if the waste was recycled and used as a nursery growing medium. The aim of this study was to evaluate the suitability of four composts based on squeezed grape fruit waste (SGFW), mixed with coir or vermiculite in a one-to-one ratio by volume to form 13 growing media, for seed germination and seedling growth of ‘Mrs. Burns’ lemon basil (Ocimum basilicum var. citriodora). The final germination percentage (FGP), corrected germination rate index (CGRI), survival percentage, and seedling growth of ‘Mrs. Burns’ lemon basil were the variables measured. Pure SGFW reduced seed germination and seedling growth. The medium combining pure SGFW with vermiculite in a one-to-one ratio by volume was optimal for seed germination and seedling growth; in this medium the highest FGP, CGRI, survival rate, and growth parameters were recorded. The negative effects of pure SGFW composts were eliminated by mixing all composts with coir or vermiculite. These waste recycling media are low-cost products that can be beneficially used in nurseries on a commercial scale.

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Courtney D. DeKalb, Brian A. Kahn, Bruce L. Dunn, Mark E. Payton, and Allen V. Barker

Four experiments were conducted under greenhouse conditions in Oklahoma. Pelleted ‘Genovese’ basil (Ocimum basilicum) seeds were sown in polystyrene flats with six different blends of a peat-lite mix (PL0) and yard waste compost [YWC (this batch designated C0)] in 2012 for the first two experiments. The proportions by volume of PL0:C0 included 100%:0%, 80%:20%, 60%:40%, 40%:60%, 20%:80%, and 0%:100%. Seedling establishment was unaffected consistently, but there was a distinct decline in seedling height and dry weight between 100% PL0 and 80% PL0:20% C0, followed by smaller decreases as the percentage of compost increased in the blends. A third experiment was conducted in 2013 with a different batch of peat-lite (PL1) after the compost had aged 17 months (now designated C1). Treatments were 100% PL1, 80% PL1:20% C1, and 80% PL1:20% C1 mixed with sulfur (S) at 1, 2, or 3 lb/yard3 of blend to acidify the media. The 100% PL1 treatment delayed seedling emergence and suppressed height and dry weight relative to seedlings grown in 80% PL1:20% C1 blends. The PL1 subsequently was found to have been produced in 2010, and the wetting agent had apparently degraded. The aged 2012 compost (C1) was not inhibitory to basil seedling growth when blended at 20% with the PL1, and in fact restored utility to the PL1. The carbon:nitrogen ratio of the original 2012 compost (C0) was 10.8:1, suggesting stability. It appeared that the main reason the C0 compost was inhibitory was that mineralization was slow or immobilization occurred, causing a lack of plant-available nitrogen, especially nitrate. Treatments with S lowered pH of the media, but there were no differences in basil seedling growth between the unamended 80% PL1:20% C1 blend and blends with added S. A fourth experiment compared three peat-lite media: PL1; a batch of the same medium as PL1 that was produced in 2013 (PL2); and a different medium also produced in 2013 (PL3). Peat-lite media were either used unblended, or blended with 20% C1 or 20% C2 (a fresh batch of YWC obtained from the same facility that had produced the original C0). The unamended PL1 was again inhibitory to basil seedling establishment and development. The two “fresh” peat-lite media (PL2 and PL3) were not inhibitory and were similar to each other in performance. A blend of 80% PL2 or 80% PL3 with 20% compost produced similar (C2) or somewhat better (C1) results than were obtained with the unamended peat. We conclude that a blend of 80% peat-lite medium and 20% YWC can be used to produce basil transplants. However, producers must consider the quality of the peat-lite medium and the compost based on the age and composition of the components.

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Paige L. Herring, Abbey C. Noah, and Helen T. Kraus

Sphagnum peat is a finite resource that is often used in the horticultural industry as a component in many substrates, especially for greenhouse production of transplants. Because peatlands are being depleted by vast amounts of mining, the horticultural industry is exploring alternative resources to use in substrates. Swine lagoon sludge (SLS) is an attractive option as it may provide nutrients needed to support plant growth, as well as using an agricultural waste product to address the peat shortage. A compost was developed using an in-vessel compost reactor to compost SLS with peanut hulls [15:85 (by volume) SLS:peanut hull] to produce a swine lagoon compost (SLC). A greenhouse transplant study was conducted with three species: basil (Ocimum basilicum ‘Dark Opal’), chives (Allium schoenoprasum), and dill (Anethum graveolens ‘Hera’) grown in three substrates: SLC, a commercially available organic potting substrate with a nutrient charge (OM), and a commercial peat-based potting substrate with a 2-week nutrient charge (PEAT). The average height for basil, chives, and dill was significantly greater at transplant harvest when produced in the SLC substrate compared with the OM and PEAT. Airspace was greatest for SLC and lowest for OM and PEAT. Although root growth was not measured in this study, more prolific root growth throughout the plug was observed with SLC compared with OM and PEAT possibly because of the greater airspace in SLC. Substrate solution pH did not change substantially over time, whereas electrical conductivity (EC) decreased from 0.24 to 0.14 mS·cm−1. Both substrate pH and EC were within acceptable ranges for transplant production. SLC provided the physical and chemical requirements for herb transplant production without any additional fertilizers or amendments.

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Kellie J. Walters and Christopher J. Currey

Breeding of sweet basil ( Ocimum basilicum ) resistant to fusarium wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. basilicum J. Herbs Spices Med. Plants 9 45 51 Fenneman, D. Sweat, M. Hochmuth, G. Hochmuth, R. 2013 Production systems—Florida greenhouse vegetable

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Tej P. Acharya, Mark S. Reiter, Greg Welbaum, and Ramón A. Arancibia

, especially in sandy-textured soils where intensive vegetable production often occurs ( Fleming et al., 2013 ; Gai et al., 2016 ; Stenberg et al., 1999 ; Zotarelli et al., 2009 ). Sweet basil ( Ocimum basilicum L.) is a member of the mint family and an

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Robert M. Pyne, Adolfina R. Koroch, Christian A. Wyenandt, and James E. Simon

identification of resistant genotypes at mature plant growth stages. Materials and Methods In this study, three basil species were evaluated for their response to BDM infection at the cotyledon and true leaf stages. Ocimum basilicum ‘DiGenova’ (DG, sensitive to

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Bridget K. Behe, Patricia Huddleston, and Lynnell Sage

basil ( Ocimum basilicum ) were selected to represent edible herb plants. Container colors were selected based on Whery et al. (2007) , whereas price levels ($0.99, $1.49, and $1.99) were chosen based on typical national price reflective of many types

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Orapin Kerdchoechuen, Natta Laohakunjit, Sasathorn Singkornard, and Frank B. Matta

Independence, MO Deshpande, R.S. Tipnis, H.P. 1997 Insecticidal activity of Ocimum basilicum L Pestic. 11 1 12 Djibo, A.K. Samaté, A.D. Nacro, M. 2004 Composition chimique de l