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  • Author or Editor: Edward W. Bush x
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Lantana camara `New Gold', `Irene', and `Patriot Dove Wings' were planted in five pine bark-based media containing 0%, 12.5%, 25%, 37.5%, and 50% crumb rubber. Each medium was amended with 7.14 kg·m-3 dolomite lime, 0.892 kg·m-3 of Micromax, and 4.76 kg·m-3 of 17-6-12 Nutricote fertilizer. Height and visual quality ratings were taken at 4 and 8 weeks. Dry weights were taken when the experiment was terminated. There were no significant differences in height, visual quality, and dry weight of `New Gold' lantana for all crumb rubber rates. `Irene' grew taller and had higher visual quality rating in the 4th week with 12.5% and 25% crumb rubber. This trend continued in the 8th week with taller plants grown in 25% crumb rubber. However, there were no differences in plant quality. Dry weight of plants grown in 37.5% and 50% crumb rubber was reduced when compared to the control. There were no differences in growth or quality of `Patriot Dove Wings' at week four. At week eight a reduction in both height and visual quality occurred with 37.5% and 50% crumb rubber. Plant dry weights were also significantly reduced at >37.5% crumb rubber.

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Irrigation management is essential in producing quality woody ornamentals and minimizing off-site runoff. The closed-capture effluent device provided an inexpensive method of monitoring effluent in large containers throughout the year with minimal effort. Daily irrigation requirements for `Little Gem' southern magnolia (Magnolia grandifolia) were established throughout an entire growing season. The maximum daily water requirement was approximately 3 gal (11.4 L).

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A closed capture irrigation apparatus was designed and constructed for the purpose of monitoring irrigation effluent volume and nutrient analysis from 121-L redwood tree boxes. Measurements were taken monthly from Apr. 1997 to Oct. 1998. Tree boxes were filled with either a 3 pine bark: 1 sand: 1 peat or 3 pine bark: 1 soil media and planted with `Little Gem' magnolia [Magnolia grandiflora (L.) `Little Gem'] or Southern live oak (Quercus virginiana var. virginiana Mill.). In-line, pressure-compensated drip emitters provided irrigation water at the rate of 2 L/h. Daily irrigation volume ranged from 8 L in the fall and spring to 16 L during the summer months. The collection apparatus was constructed from 1-cm angle iron, neoprene rubber, a small drain assembly, and a 22-L plastic container. A square metal frame (43 × 43 cm) was supported by 31-cm legs and draped by a neoprene rubber mat with a drain assembly installed in the center. The drain was positioned into the plastic container creating a closed system to reduce effluent evaporation. The container capacity was adequate to store at least 24 h of collected effluent. This apparatus proved to be an efficient method of collecting irrigation effluent from large containers.

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Home gardeners living in areas with alkaline water sources do not have easy or economically affordable means of acidifying irrigation water for vegetable production. One solution for achieving optimal vegetable yields using alkaline irrigation water is to grow the vegetables in a modified medium. To date, no medium on the retail market suits such growing needs. Therefore, medium recipes with varied levels (0, 4, or 8 lb/yard3) and sources of calcium [dolomitic lime, calcium sulfate (CaSO4)] and magnesium [dolomitic lime, magnesium sulfate (MgSO4)] were tested using an alkaline irrigation on ‘Oakleaf’ lettuce (Lactuca sativa), ‘Earliana’ and ‘Salad Delight’ cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata), and ‘Snow Crown’ cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis) crops. Additionally, crops were grown in two environments, under a high tunnel and on a nursery yard. High tunnel and nursery yard sites were used to test media performances in the presence of, and eliminating, rainwater to simulate container-grown vegetables growing in both a home garden situation and a commercial greenhouse production situation. The base mix of all media treatments in the study was 80 bark : 20 peat and fertilized with 12 lb/yard3 slow-release fertilizer at a rate of 1.8 lb/yard3 nitrogen (N), 0.5 lb/yard3 phosphorus (P), and 1 lb/yard3 potassium (K). This initial fertilizer application was incorporated to each medium before filling containers. Four treatments were tested against a commercially available medium, industry standard (IS) treatment (a commercially available bagged medium), and a control medium [treatment C (no supplemental calcium or magnesium fertilizer)] by supplementing the base mix with the following fertilizer levels: 4 lb/yard3 each of CaSO4 and MgSO4 (treatment 1); 4 lb/yard3 dolomitic lime (treatment 2); 4 lb/yard3 each of dolomitic lime, CaSO4, and MgSO4 (treatment 3); 8 lb/yard3 dolomitic lime (treatment 4). Media treatments 1 through 4 outperformed the IS and C media treatments in nearly all crops. All crops grown on the nursery yard, and cabbage grown under the high tunnel, had greater yields when grown in medium treatment 3, compared with the IS and C media treatments (P ≤ 0.05). All crops grown in medium treatment 2 on the nursery yard produced greater yields than the IS and C media treatments (P ≤ 0.05).

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Field studies were performed on established carpetgrass (Axonopus affinis Chase) in 1994 and 1995 to evaluate plant growth regulators (PGRs) and application rates. Trinexapac-ethyl (0.48 kg·ha-1) improved turf quality and reduced cumulative vegetative growth (CVG) of unmowed and mowed plots by 38% and 46%, respectively, in 1995, and suppressed seedhead height in unmowed turf by >31% 6 weeks after treatment (WAT) both years. Mefluidide (0.14 and 0.28 kg·ha-1) had little effect on carpetgrass. Sulfometuron resulted in unacceptable phytotoxicity (>20%) 2 WAT in 1994 and 18% phytotoxicity in 1995. In 1995, sulfometuron reduced mowed carpetgrass CVG 21%, seedhead number 47%, seedhead height 36%, clipping yield 24%, and reduced the number of mowings required. It also improved unmowed carpetgrass quality at 6 WAT. Sethoxydim (0.11 kg·ha-1) suppressed seedhead formation by 60% and seedhead height by 20%, and caused moderate phytotoxicity (13%) in 1995. Sethoxydim (0.22 kg·ha-1) was unacceptably phytotoxic (38%) in 1994, but only slightly phytotoxic (7%) in 1995, reduced clipping yields (>24%), and increased quality of mowed carpetgrass both years. Fluazasulfuron (0.027 and 0.054 kg·ha-1) phytotoxicity ratings were unacceptable at 2 WAT in 1994, but not in 1995. Fluazasulfuron (0.054 kg·ha-1) reduced seedhead height by 23% to 26% in both years. Early seedhead formation was suppressed >70% when applied 2 WAT in 1994, and 43% when applied 6 WAT in 1995. The effects of the chemicals varied with mowing treatment and evaluation year. Chemical names used: 4-(cyclopropyl-x-hydroxy-methylene)-3,5 dioxo-cyclohexane-carboxylic acid ethyl ester (trinexapac-ethyl); N-2,4-dimethyl-5-[[(trifluoro-methyl)sulfonyl]amino]phenyl]acetamide] (mefluidide); [methyl 2-[[[[(4,6-dimethyl-2-pyrimidinyl) amino]carbonyl] amino] sulfonyl]benzoate)] (sulfometuron); (2-[1-(ethoxyimino)butyl-5-[(2-ethylthio)propyl]-3-hydroxy-2-cyclohexen-1-one) (sethoxydim); 1-(4,6-dimethoxypyrimidin-2yl)-3-[(3-trifluoromethyl-pyridin 2-yl) sulphonyl] urea (fluazasulfuron).

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Production of disease-free sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] transplants is of major importance to certified and foundation seed programs and producers. Sweetpotato roots are traditionally planted and cuttings are harvested from propagation beds. The objective of this study was to investigate the efficiency of producing cuttings in nursery containers. Virus-tested and virus-infected `Beauregard' sweetpotato transplants were harvested from planting beds for the purpose of producing cuttings for transplants. Cuttings were established in 3.7-L plastic nursery containers filled with 100% pine bark amended with either low, medium, or high rates of Osmocote 14-14-14 and dolomitic lime. Resulting transplants produced a greater number of cuttings and greater plant biomass with higher fertilizer rates. Increasing fertilizer rates also had a positive effect on cutting production and biomass. Dry weight and stem growth were similar for both virus-infected and virus-tested transplants following first and second harvests. Producing foundation cuttings in nursery containers filled with a pine bark medium proved to be an efficient method of increasing virus-tested sweetpotato cuttings.

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Common carpetgrass (Axonopus affinis Chase), mowed at 3.8 or 7.6 cm and fertilized with at least 98 kg·ha–1 N, maintained acceptable lawngrass quality during the 1993 and 1994 growing seasons. Cumulative vegetative growth (CVG) quality and coverage were increased in mowed plots fertilized with 98, 147, or 196 kg·ha–1 N. Unsightly seedheads were a problem in nonmowed plots 3 weeks after the start of the experiment, but did not appear in the mowed plots. Our results indicate that mowing common carpetgrass at 3.8 or 7.6 cm and fertilizing with 98, 147, or 196 kg·ha–1 N will provide acceptable turfgrass quality.

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Performance evaluations of numerous annual and perennial herbaceous ornamentals were conducted in landscape settings in 2004 at the LSU AgCenter in Baton Rouge. A mid-summer through fall evaluation of Kong coleus found no difference in flowering performance and visual quality ratings of the five available cultivars. In a sun/shade study, Kong coleus cultivars in 60% shade were about 50% shorter than those in sun. Other impressive coleus have been Aurora Black Cherry and Mississippi Summer Sun. The Stained Glassworks series of coleus have been average performers. The Son series of lantanas (Sonrise, Sonset, Samson, Sonshine) have been top performers in terms of visual quality and continual bloom. All-America daylilies most prevalent to rust symptoms have included Judith, Leebea Orange Crush, Starstruck, Lady Lucille, and Chorus Line. Some rust has also been noted on Plum Perfect and Frankly Scarlet. Profusion Apricot and Profusion White have been less susceptible to Xanthomonas bacterial petal blight than Profusion Fire, Profusion Cherry, and Profusion Orange. Earth Kind roses, being promoted by Texas A&M, are being evaluated for landscape performance along with black spot and powdery mildew susceptibility. Most problematic cultivars thus far have included Georgetown Tea, Clotilde Soupert, Nacogdoches, Reve d'Or, New Dawn, Souvenir de St. Anne's, Spice, Lamarque, Puerto Rico, Sarah Jones, Ducher, and Louis Philippe. Lady Bird cosmos have been good late summer/early fall landscape performers.

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All-American daylily cultivars named from 1994-2004 were evaluated for landscape performance and daylily rust (Puccinia hemerocallidis) 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. to 25 Oct. 2003 and 15 Mar. to 20 Sept. 2004. Included in the visual quality ratings were growth habit and flowering with favorable growth habit being compactness, foliage color, uniformity, and overall aesthetics, and favorable flowering being longevity and visual appeal. Flower observations were made in regard to time in bud and peak blooming periods over the same time frames. Daylily rust ratings were taken in September and November 2003 and in August and November 2004. 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 to 3 weeks compared to 4 to 5 weeks of bloom for other cultivars. Rust was most prevalent on Judith, Leebea Orange Crush, Starstruck and Lady Lucille. Judith and Leebea Orange Crush have 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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Louisiana requires schools to address designated educational standards at specific grade levels. Science is a challenging subject at the middle school level. A hands-on approach has been proven more effective than traditional classroom teaching. A program was developed by a cooperative effort between Louisiana Sea Grant and the LSU AgCenter Dept. of Horticulture within the Coastal Roots Nursery Program. Eight lesson plans were designed to meet 16 standards and 275 students in four schools. Pre- and post-test were given to each grade in addition to the Children's Attitude Toward Environment Scale (CATES). Additional pre- and post-test were given to classes not participating in the program. The evaluations tested both short and long term memory on material contained in the lesson plans. The data was analyzed by school, sex, and grade level.

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