Experiments were conducted to determine the effects of selected biostimulants on St. Augustine turfgrass exposed to short-term periods of freezing temperatures, which are common in north-central Florida during March and April. Aqueous solutions of a triterpenic acid-rich extract from Siberian fir (Abiessibirica) [(TTA), 0 and 300 mg·L-1
a.i.], a seaweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) extract [(CSE), 30 mg·L-1
a.i.], acetylthioproline [(AP), 250 mg·L-1 a.i.], and amino levulinic acid [(5-ALA), 15 mg·L-1 a.i.] were sprayed on residential St. Augustine turfgrass about 50 hours prior to the forecasted freezing event. After freezing, the aesthetic quality of AP-treated St. Augustine turfgrass was the same as in untreated turfgrass plots, but it was drastically reduced in turfgrass treated with 5-ALA. In contrast, St. Augustine tufgrass aesthetic quality was higher in CSE- and TTA-treated plots than in untreated plots. These results indicate that CSE and TTA may help alleviate the negative effects of short-term exposure to freezing temperatures in St. Augustine turfgrass.
Experiments were conducted to determine the effects of a Siberian fir (Abies sibirica) extract rich in triterpenic acid (TTA), a seaweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) extract with cytokinin-like activity (CSE), and a mixture of amino acids and short-chain peptides from fermented animal tissue (APC) on broadleaf cilantro (Eryngiumfoetidum) shoot weight and leaf area. Aqueous solutions of CSE, TTA, and APC at various rates were applied individually on the broadleaf cilantro leaves 15 and 30 days after transplanting. Broadleaf cilantro leaf area and shoot fresh and dry weights were determined after harvest (60 days after transplanting). APC, TTA, and CSE significantly increased broadleaf cilantro shoot weights and leaf area as compared to control plants. Aqueous solutions of APC at the rate of 900 g·L-1, CSE at the rate of 50 mg·L-1, and TTA at the rate of 300 mg·L-1 resulted in the highest broadleaf cilantro shoot weights.
A field study was conducted in the Constanza Valley [1234 m (4048.6 ft) above sea level, loam soil, average temperature 14.7 to 25.0 °C (58.46 to 77.00 °F), photoperiod 11.2 to 12.6 hours] in the Dominican Republic, to compare the head characteristics, damage caused by diamondback moth larvae (Plutella xylostella), yield, and earliness of cabbage (Brassica oleracea Group Capitata) hybrids `Bravo', `Blue Vantage', `Express', `Genesis', `Green Cup', `Head Start', SW 2007, `Hildur' (SW 2008), `Gretania' (SW 2010), `Hampus' (SW 2011), and XPH 847, to the industry standard `Izalco'. `Genesis' had the highest yield among all the hybrids tested, including `Izalco'. The yield of `Izalco' did not significantly differ from the yield of `Blue Vantage', `Green Cup', `Express', XPH 847, SW 2007, and `Bravo'. However, `Bravo' and `Express' were more damaged by diamondback moth larvae. `Head Start', XPH 847, SW 2007, `Gretania', `Hildur', and `Hampus' were either significantly less productive or more susceptible to damage by the diamondback moth larvae than `Izalco'. In terms of yield, earliness, head shape, and losses due to the diamondback moth larvae, `Green Cup', `Blue Vantage' and `Genesis' were comparable or superior to `Izalco'.
Successful fruit set in triploid watermelons [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai] requires a diploid watermelon cultivar, or pollenizer, to be planted nearby as a pollen source. Pollenizer cultivars have been developed to be planted in-row with triploid plants without spacing change, which decreases area per plant. These cultivars have different growth habits, from highly reduced foliage to standard foliage, and it is uncertain how pollenizer growth habit may affect triploid plant growth and yield. Two diploid watermelon pollenizers, ‘Mickylee’ and ‘SP-1’, with markedly different growth habits were planted at five in-row spacings from triploid plants to determine the effect of plant competition on triploid watermelon yield. All treatments used a 1:1 pollenizer to triploid ratio to measure the direct effect of pollenizer growth on associated triploid yields. Experiments were conducted at two locations during Spring 2006 (Quincy and Citra, FL) and one during Fall 2006 (Quincy). Triploid plants paired with ‘Mickylee’ yielded 11.4% (Citra) and 22.4% (Quincy) less weight in the spring and 8.5% less in the fall than plants paired with ‘SP-1’ and also produced fewer fruits per plant. However, the results from the fall trial were not significant. Pollenizer to triploid spacing had a linear effect on yield per plant and fruits per plant, and there was no interaction between pollenizer cultivar and spacing. The use of ‘Mickylee’ as a pollenizer may be an attractive option because of lower seed costs compared with other pollenizers, but these results indicated lower triploid watermelon yields from plants paired with ‘Mickylee’, which is most likely a result of increased plant competition.
Three field studies on high-organic-matter soils were conducted to determine the zone of influence of spiny amaranth on lettuce head quality. Spiny amaranth reduced lettuce head firmness at all distances from the weed, ≤105 cm. Lettuce ribbiness increased at 15 and 45 cm compared with the weed-free control. Untrimmed lettuce head weight was not affected by spiny amaranth presence beyond 45 cm. Trimmed lettuce head weight was reduced at all distances compared with the control. Stem diameter and core length were not affected by spiny amaranth competition. The presence of a single spiny amaranth plant significantly influenced some lettuce quality traits at ≤105 cm.
The effects of different smooth pigweed and common purslane removal times and two phosphorus (P) fertility regimes were studied under field conditions. Head lettuce (cv. South Bay) in organic soils low in P fertility. Smooth pigweed and common purslane were grown at a density of 16 plants per 6 m of row (5.4 m2) and five removal times (0, 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks) after lettuce emergence. Phosphorus (P) was applied broadcast (1200 kg P/ha) and banded 2 inches below each lettuce row (600 kg P/ha). Lettuce fresh weights were collected 8 weeks after emergence. When smooth pigweed was removed after 4 weeks, significant reductions (–17%) were observed for P banding. However, these reductions occurred after 2 weeks if P was broadcast. No significant differences were observed if removal was imposed later for P broadcast, whereas lettuce yields gradually decreased as removal time was delayed. These findings indicate that P banding can counteract the negative impact of smooth pigweed on lettuce and may allow farmers to delay weed control (if necessary) for another 2 weeks without significant yield reductions. Common purslane interference did not cause significant lettuce yield reductions as compared to the weed-free control for 6 weeks when P was banded, whereas this was true for P broadcast up to 4 weeks. Phosphorus fertility regime significantly influenced the period of weed interference of common purslane with lettuce, reducing its impact when P was banded.
The effects of different populations densities of smooth pigweed and common purslane were determined in field trials conducted in organic soils. `South Bay' lettuce was planted in twin rows on 90-cm planting beds. Weed densities used were 0, 2, 4, 8, and 16 weeds per 6 m of row (5.4 m2). Phosphorus (P) was applied broadcast (1200 kg P/ha) and banded 2 inches below each lettuce row (600 kg P/ha). Lettuce fresh weights were collected 8 weeks after emergence. Data collected indicated that P regime and density had significant effects on lettuce yield and quality. For both weeds, yield decreased as density increased. In all cases, lettuce showed greater yields at a given density when grown with P banded than when P was applied broadcast. Critical density for smooth pigweed for P broadcast was between 2 and 4 plants per 5.4 m2, whereas this critical density occurred between 8 and 16 plants per 5.4 m2 when P was banded. Yield reductions of up to 24.4% and 20.1% occurred at the highest smooth pigweed density for broadcast and banded P, respectively. Two common purslane plants per 5.4 m2 were enough to reduce lettuce yields. Banding P helped lettuce to produce significantly more within each common purslane density. Yield reductions of 47.8% and 44.3% occurred at the highest common purslane density for broadcast and banded P, respectively. Apparently, banding P gives an additional advantage to the crop against smooth pigweed and common purslane.
Cupric hydroxide, copper ammonium carbonate, basic copper sulfate, mancozeb, and a combination of cupric hydroxide and mancozeb were applied to American black nightshade (Solanum americanum Mill) before treatment with paraquat at 0.6 kg a.i./ha. Paraquat efficacy was reduced by all fungicides/bactericides, except a flowable formulation of basic copper sulfate, when compared to the herbicide only control. Compared to a surfactant only control, efficacy 1 week after paraquat application ranged from 86% with paraquat only to 42% with a combination of mancozeb and cupric hydroxide. Mancozeb and mancozeb in combination with cupric hydroxide resulted in greater shoot dry weight than the paraquat only control when measured 2 weeks after herbicide application. Chemical names used: 1,1'-dimethyl-4-4'-bipyridinium ion (paraquat); Mn, Zn ethylene bis diethyldithiocarbamate (mancozeb).
Studies were conducted to determine the critical period of smooth amaranth interference in watermelon (Citrullus lunatus L.) and muskmelon (Cucumis melo L. var. reticulatus). Best-fit linear or exponential regression models were used to predict the maximum period of competition and the minimum weed-free period for 10% yield loss. The maximum period of competition and minimum weed-free period was 0.50 and 2.97 weeks after watermelon emergence, respectively, and 1.0 and 3.9 weeks after muskmelon emergence, respectively. The critical periods of smooth amaranth interference for the crops were between those intervals. In both crops, late emerging smooth amaranth had little effect on total yield. Smooth amaranth introduced at crop emergence reduced total yield. The effect of competition on yield components, i.e., fruit number per hectare and fruit mass, varied by crop. Muskmelon fruit count was more sensitive to smooth amaranth competition than was watermelon fruit count. Conversely, mass per fruit of muskmelon was less sensitive to this competition than was mass per fruit of watermelon.
An evaluation of the effect of bed width (24, 28, 32, and 36 inches) on the control of a mixed population of nutsedge [yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) and purple nutsedge (C. rotundus)] was conducted with an emulsifiable concentrate formulation of a 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) and chloropicrin (CP) mixture (1,3-DCP) for application through drip irrigation systems. Beds were mulched with either 1.4-mil-thick virtually impermeable film (VIF) or 0.75-mil-thick high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and 1,3-DCP was applied at 35 gal/acre by surface chemigation or via subsurface chemigation 6 inches deep within the bed. HDPE was more permeable to gaseous 1,3-D than VIF so that 1 day after treatment (DAT), 1,3-D gas concentration at the bed centers under VIF was significantly higher than under HDPE. Dissipation of 1,3-D gas with HDPE occurred within 7 DAT, but dissipation with VIF took ∼10 days. In bed centers, 1,3-D concentrations 1 DAT were in the range of 2.3 to 2.9 mg·L–1 whereas in bed shoulders concentrations ranged from 0.1 to 0.55 mg·L–1. In 2002 and 2003, 1,3-D concentration in shoulders of narrower beds was significantly higher than in the wider beds, but dissipated more rapidly than in wider beds. Lower initial 1,3-D concentrations were observed with HDPE film in shoulders than with VIF and the rate of dissipation was lower with VIF. At 14 DAT, nutsedge plants were densely distributed along bed shoulders (19 to 27 plants/m2) with little or no emergence in the centers of beds (fewer than 5 plants/m2), but with no response to bed width. Nutsedge density increased with time, but the nature of the increase differed with bed width. The most effective nutsedge suppression was achieved with 36-inch beds, which had densities of 11–13 plants/m2 on bed centers and 53 plants/m2 on bed shoulders by 90 DAT. Nutsedge suppression was initially more effective with VIF than with HDPE film, so that no nutsedge emerged in the centers of beds mulched with VIF compared with 2–7 plants/ m2 with HDPE by 14 DAT. On bed shoulders there were 2–7 plants/m2 with VIF and 32–57 plants/m2 with HDPE. Increase in nutsedge density with time was greater with VIF so that by 90 DAT nutsedge densities on bed centers and shoulders were greater than with HDPE in 2002 and the same as with HDPE in 2003. Subsurface chemigation did not consistently improve suppression of nutsedge when compared with surface chemigation. Concentrations of 1,3-D in bed shoulders irrespective of bed width were nonlethal. Initial superior nutsedge suppression with VIF did not persist. Nutsedge control in a sandy soil with 1,3-DCP chemigation is unsatisfactory with one drip-tape per bed.