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  • Author or Editor: D. Scott NeSmith x
  • HortTechnology x
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Transplants for both vegetable and floral crops are produced in a number of various sized containers or cells. Varying container size alters the rooting volume of the plants, which can greatly affect plant growth. Container size is important to transplant producers as they seek to optimize production space. Transplant consumers are interested in container size as it relates to optimum post-transplant performance. The following is a comprehensive review of literature on container size, root restriction, and plant growth, along with suggestions for future research and concern.

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Age and cell size can have various effects on subsequent transplant production. The interaction of the two have not been studied in triploid watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum & Nakai]. Seedless watermelon production is costly due to high seed prices, therefore it is necessary to optimize transplant performance in the field, and it is often thought that triploid watermelons are less hardy than their diploid counterparts. A 3 × 3 factorial design was established for 2 years to determine the effects of cell sizes 1.5, 3.4, and 7.9 inch3 (25, 56, and 130 cm3) and transplant age (4, 6, and 8 weeks) on the triploid watermelon `Genesis'. The diploid cultivar `Ferrari' was also planted for comparison. Seedling survival was affected by transplant age in 1997, and by cell size in 1998. Early main vine growth showed significant interaction between transplant age and cell size, with older transplants grown in the largest cells producing the longest vines. Early yield of 6-week-old transplants of `Genesis' was higher than 4- or 8-week-old transplants in 1997. Eight-week-old transplants of `Ferrari' outperformed younger transplants in 1997 and 1998. Results show that `Genesis' triploid watermelon transplants could be handled similarly to the diploid `Ferrari' without consequence.

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This study evaluates the effect of irrigation on the profitability of the muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifilia) operation. Data from a 3-year experiment in which muscadine grapes were grown under four irrigation regimes were used to establish the relationship between yields and irrigation. Assuming a muscadine fruit price of $0.50/lb, harvesting costs of $0.21/lb, and irrigation costs of $16.75/acre-inch, the profit-maximizing level of irrigation was estimated to be 13.1 acre-inches for a season, or 7 gal/day per plant. Water requirements for profit maximization are 9% lower than water requirements for yield maximizing. Moreover, it is concluded that the effect of an adequate use of irrigation in the profitability of the muscadine grape operation can be substantial.

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