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  • Author or Editor: Edward Bush x
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Four warm-season grass species [common carpetgrass (Axonopus affinis Chase), common bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon [L.] Pers.), St. Augustinegrass (Stenophrum secondatum Walt. Kuntze.), and zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.)] were established in containers filled with an Olivia silt loam soil for 12 weeks. Grasses were maintained weekly at 5 cm prior to the start of the experiment. Water stress treatments consisted of a control (field capacity), waterlogged, and flooded treatments. Waterlogging and flood treatments were imposed for a period of 90 days. The effects of water stress was dependent on grass species. Bermudagrass vegetative growth and turf quality were significantly reduced when flooded. Carpetgrass, St. Augustingrass, and zoysiagrass quality and vegetative growth were also reduced by flooding. St. Augustinegrass and zoysiagrass root dry weight was significantly decreased. Zoysiagrass plants did not survive 90 days of flooding. Leaf tissue analysis for common carpetgrass, common bermudagrass, St. Augustinegrass, and zoysiagrass indicated that plants subjected to waterlogging and flooding had significantly elevated Zn concentrations.

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Priming or presoaking seed of common carpetgrass (Axonopus affinis Chase) and centipedegrass [Eremochloa ophiuroides Munro. (Kunz)] increased germination percentage and decreased mean time of germination (MTG) at 20, 25, and 30 °C. The effect of presoaking and priming was dependent on grass species and temperature. The optimum seed germination temperature for both of these warm-season species was 30 °C. Maximum effect on common carpetgrass or centipedegrass seeds was achieved by priming in 2% KNO3; higher concentrations did not improve germination percentage or MTG, and 4% was in some cases detrimental. Germination was higher and MTG lower at 20 and 30 °C than at 15 °C. Presoaking common carpetgrass and centipedegrass seeds was the most efficient seed enhancement treatment for germination at 30 °C.

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A study was initiated to determine the effects of fall fertilization, specifically N application rate and additions of supplemental K on the production of woody ornamental shrub species. The influence of two slow-release sources of K (4- and 8-month) in the form of K2SO4, three K application rates (0, 1, 2 lb/yd3), and four incorporated application rates of N (0, 1, 2, and 3 lb/yd3) from Osmocote Plus+ 15-9-11 were evaluated on the growth of `Fisher Pink' Indian azalea, glossy abelia, and `Tuscarora' crape myrtle. Growth of `Fisher Pink' azalea, as determined by shoot height and shoot width, increased as N rate increased from 1 to 3 lb/yd3 when compared to the control. The resulting growth index improved at the 2 and 3 lb/yd3 N rate when compared to the 0 and 1 lb/yd3 N rates. Height and width of glossy abelia at the 1 lb N rate with or without supplemental K applications increased when compared to some glossy abelia at the 3 lb N rate (primarily those with supplemental K). Glossy abelia at the 2 lb/yd3 N rate with 2 lb/yd3 N from 4-month 0-0-46 had significantly greater shoot dry weight when compared to the 3 lb/yd3 N rate with 2 lb/yd3 N from 8-month 0-0-46. The 1 to 3 lb/yd3 N application rate had more of a response on growth index, visual quality, and visual color on `Tuscarora' crape myrtle as compared to the 0 lb/yd3 N rate. In this study, the potential influence of supplemental K applications on plant growth was mostly evident for glossy abelia at the 2 lb/yd3 N rate and was not evident on azalea or crape myrtle.

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Previous research has shown the effectiveness of prodiamine (FactorÆ)as a preemergent herbicide. The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the efficacy and phytotoxicity of prodiamine applied to several woody ornamental and weed species. Phytotoxicity effects were evaluated on eight ornamental species: azalea (Rhododendron indicum `Mrs. G.G. Gerbing'), dwarf yaupon (Ilex vomitoria `Nana'), dwarf mondograss (Ophiopogon japonicus `Nana'), ixora (Ixora coccinea), lantana (Lantana camara `New Gold'), Southern live oak (Quercus virginiana), weeping fig (Ficus benjamina), and daylily (Hemerocallis fulva). Preemergent herbicide treatments (control-nontreated, 2 lbs aia Factor®, and 4 lbs aia Factor®) were applied to ornamentals twice during the experiment at twelve week intervals. There was a reduction in top dry weight for azalea and dwarf mondograss for both 2 and 4 lbs aia treatments. No significant growth reductions were measured for daylily, dwarf yaupon, ixora, lantana, live oak, and weeping fig. The efficacy experiment consisted of four weed species: barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crusgali), crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis), coffeeweed (Sesbania exaltata), and pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) and five preemergence herbicide treatments (control-nontreated, control-Rout® at 100 lbs/A, Factor® 1 lb aia, Factor® 2 lbs aia, and a tank mixture of Factor® 1 lb aia plus Gallery® 1 lb aia) applied to bark-filled containers. Twenty-five weed seeds of each species were broadcast over each container following herbicide applications. The high rate of Factor®, Rout®, and the combination of Factor®+Gallery® significantly reduced weed dry weight compared to the control. All preemergence herbicides significantly reduced weed counts and height in a similar manner.

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Leachates were collected at 3-month intervals over 12 months to determine the influence of bark, controlled-release fertilizer, and dolomitic lime sources and dolomitic lime application rates on pH of nursery media. The randomized complete-block design was arranged as a factorial and included three bark sources (pinebark, hardwood, and pinebark + hardwood), two fertilizer sources (Nutricote 17-7-8 and SierraBlen 18-7-10), and two dolomitic lime sources (microencapsulated granular and pulverized). Dolomitic lime application rates were 0, 5, 10, and 15 pounds per cubic yard. Leachate pH was influenced over the one-year evaluation period by fertilizer source, bark source, and application rate of dolomitic lime. Dolomitic lime source was not a significant factor in adjustment of leachate pH. Pinebark medium had lower leachate pHs than hardwood medium and the medium containing hardwood and pinebark. Dolomitic lime influenced leachate pH of pinebark medium more than the other bark sources. SierraBlen was more acid-forming than Nutricote.

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Science is a challenging subject to teach at the middle school level. The state of Louisiana requires public school teachers to plan their curriculum around Grade-Level Expectations or state mandated educational benchmarks. A program titled Horticulture in a Can has been designed to teach horticulture lessons to middle school students while targeting the state regulated grade-level expectations. All lessons use a hands-on approach as it has been proven more effective than traditional classroom teaching. Horticulture in a Can was developed by a cooperative effort between the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program and the LSU AgCenter's Department of Horticulture within the Coastal Roots Nursery Program. Eight lesson plans have been created to meet twenty-six Grade-Level Expectations for 463 students in 4 schools. Pre- and PostHorticulture tests were given to each class in addition to pre- and postChildren's Attitude Towards the Environment Scale (CATES). All tests were given to both treatment and control classes within each school. The evaluations tested both short and long-term memory on material contained in the lesson plans. The data was analyzed by school, treatment, sex, and grade-level.

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A simplified design for measuring the height of turfgrass (or forage) was developed and used by the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station (LAES). The device is similar to the common “disc meter” devices used for turfgrass and forage height measurement, but it uses a constant-force spring to simplify construction and operation. Use-of a constant-force spring allows a steady operating force on the sliding member of the device and eliminates the need for machining slots, thus greatly simplifying construction and reducing cost. The simplified device has worked well in the turfgrass research program of the LAES.

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Agriculture is fundamental to meeting Americans’ basic needs—clothing, housing, and food. As the average farmer’s age increases, there is a need to develop programs to encourage youth to pursue careers in agriculture and become the next generation of farmers. This study developed and implemented a horticultural curriculum focusing on vegetable production at a summer camp setting. Targeted participants were aged 9 to 12 years. Pre- and posttests were given to both the treatment group (campers participating in the victory garden track) and the control group (campers participating in a Wetlands track). The pre- and posttest evaluated campers’ science-based knowledge and confidence. The study was replicated 16 times (weeks) over a 2-year study. Lesson topics included propagation, victory gardens, soil, recycling, plant parts, pollination, photosynthesis, and insects. Campers in the treatment group had improvement of general horticulture knowledge from pretest to posttest responses 18% improvement in 2010 and 11% improvement in 2011. Posttest scores of treatment campers were greater 20% in 2010 and 16% greater in 2011 (P ≤ 0.05) than control campers in both years of the study. Treatment campers were more confident (P ≤ 0.05) in explaining to others how to grow a plant and in their ability to grow more than one type of plant. Analysis of the 2nd year of data-indicated treatment campers were more likely (P ≤ 0.05) to feel confident in their ability to plant a seed that would later grow into a plant.

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Bifenthrin and fipronil are important pesticides used in the nursery industry for the control of imported fire ants. Our research measured the influence of irrigation frequency and time on the degradation of bifenthrin and fipronil in pine bark nursery medium. Pine bark media leachates were collected over a 180-d period. Levels of bifenthrin, fipronil, and metabolites of fipronil (MB 46513, MB 45950, MB 46136) were measured using gas chromatography and mass spectrophotometery. Bifenthrin leachate concentrations decreased from 60 ppb on day 1 to ≈1 ppb after 120 d. Fipronil leachate concentrations decreased from 40 ppb on day one to a low of 15 ppb after 120 d. In contrast, metabolites MB 45950 and MB 46136 gradually increased over the 180-d period. Metabolite MB 46513 was not detected during the experiment. Pine bark medium leachate concentrations of bifenthrin and fipronil were greater than previously reported levels in pure water. We theorize that organic compounds present in pine bark may have increased the solubility of these chemicals.

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All-American daylily cultivars named from 1994–2004 were evaluated for landscape performance and daylily rust (Pucciniahemerocallidis) susceptibility during 2003 and 2004. Cultivars included `Black-Eyed Stella', `Bitsy, `Leebea Orange Crush', `Plum Perfect', `Judith', `Starstruck', `Frankly Scarlet', `Lullaby Baby', `Lady Lucille', and `Chorus Line'. Bareroot plants were planted in raised beds composed of an Olivier silt loam soil in full sun and received irrigation as needed to prevent stress. Visual quality ratings were made weekly from 19 Apr.–25 Oct. 2003 and 15 Mar.–20 Sept. 2004. Visual quality ratings included growth habit, based on compactness, foliage color, uniformity, and overall aesthetics, and flowering, based on longevity and visual appeal. Other flower observations were made in regard to time in bud and peak blooming periods over the same time frames. Flowering observations indicated that `Black Eyed Stella' and `Bitsy' were the only cultivars showing reliable repeat bloom potential. Among the other cultivars, `Judith' was the earliest to bud and bloom, but also had a blooming period of only 2–3 weeks compared to 4–5 weeks of bloom for other cultivars. Daylily rust ratings were taken in Sept. and Nov. 2003 and in Aug. and Nov. 2004. Rust was most severe on `Judith', `Leebea Orange Crush', `Starstruck', and `Lady Lucille'. `Judith' and `Leebea Orange Crush' showed rust symptoms earlier than other cultivars. `Plum Perfect', `Frankly Scarlet', `Bitsy', `Black Eyed Stella', and `Lullaby Baby' were least susceptible to daylily rust.

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