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  • Author or Editor: David J. Beattie x
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An interactive spreadsheet program was developed to demonstrate how a landscape bid is estimated. Information from a profit and loss statement, entered periodically, is retained for succeeding bids. Machine and labor costs are determined separately. For an individual bid, inputs include cost of materials, overhead, labor and machine times, contingency, and profit. Labor costs are automatically modified to reflect crew efficiency, and materials costs reflect storage, freight, and other charges. Overhead is based on the relationship between annual direct and indirect costs. The calculations section displays intermediate steps of the final bid estimate. Summaries from calculations include a final bid estimate. A printing option allows the user to selectively print any of the sections, a customer's copy, or the entire bid. The program uses an Apple Macintosh computer, was written for Microsoft Excel software, and uses macro programs. Its concept can be adapted to any electronic spreadsheet and can be protected to allow entry of only certain input data. The program can be used for small landscape businesses, classroom instruction, and/or extension instruction in which higher-order thinking skills are emphasized.

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A study of applying growth retardants under overhead and subsurface irrigation systems was conducted on bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L. cv. Tifway) grown from rhizomes in 15-cm pots containing sand medium. Paclobutrazol (50%) at 2 mg/pot was used as foliar spray or charged-hydrophilic polymers (Super Sorb C) and either incorporated or put below medium surface. Mefluidide (28%) at 0.01% ml/pot was used only as foliar spray. Before spray treatments, grasses were cut at 2 cm from medium surface, and the second cut was made at the 6th week from treatment. All growth retardant treatments reduced grass height compared to non-treated plants. The lowest grass height was produced by paclobutrazol as foliar spray under overhead irrigation in the 6th and 9th week. By the 9th week, all hormonal treatments under the two irrigation systems had no effect on grass quality, color, and establishment rate. Both paclobutrazol foliar spray and below medium surface charged-polymer treatments under subsurface irrigation had the lowest water loss and dry weight by the 6th and 9th week. The paclobutrazol charged-polymer treatment under subsurface irrigation had also the the lowest root dry weight among all treatments. Although mefluidide foliar spray was less effective on grass height than paclobutrazol, they had similar effect on water loss and shoot dry weight.

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Commercially cooled bulbs of five genetically dwarf Asiatic hybrid lilies were stored frozen at -2 C. Every 4 weeks for a total of 40 weeks, they were potted and forced in controlled environment chambers at 10, 15, 20, or 25 C. For each temperature, days from the time of potting to shoot emergence, visible bud appearance, and anthesis generally decreased as storage time increased. The number of flowers per plant and plant height were not significantly affected by storage time. Compared with those at 15, 20, or 25 C, plants at 10 C required significantly more time from potting to shoot emergence, visible bud, and anthesis. However, the temperature effects on forcing time were not linear. There was a 30-50 day decrease from potting to anthesis when temperature was increased from 10 to 15 C, but there was only a decrease of about 10 days when temperature was increased from 15 to 20 C. In contrast, there was no significant difference in forcing time between plants at 20 and 25 C. This indicates there is no need to force these lilies above 20 C. Plants at 25 C had more aborted flower buds than those at 10, 15, or 20 C. Plants at 10 C were taller then those at 15, 20, or 25 C.

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A characteristic problem with peat moss is its difficulty in initial wetting and rewetting, especially in a subirrigation system. Wetting agents improve wetting characteristics primarily by reducing the surface tension of water. This results in a rapid, uniform movement of water by capillary rise through the growing medium.

Two methods were used to compare the effectiveness of different wetting agents: gravimetric and electrical. Ten cm pots containing peat moss were placed in a subirrigation system. The gravimetric method used a laboratory scale where pots were periodically weighed to determine the amount of water absorbed. The electrical method utilized thin beam load cells, which have strain gages bound to the surface, to determine the weight of a suspended object. Load cells were coupled with a Campbell Scientific datalogger to collect data every minute without removing the pot from subirrigation. Because the effect of buoyancy altered the true weights, equations were generated to adjust the water uptake values. Corrected weights were used to create absorption curves for comparison of the slopes to determine which wetting agent has the fastest rate of absorption. The load cell reliably and accurately described the wetting characteristics of Peat moss and we found good agreement with the gravimetric method.

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A plantless system using subirrigation was developed to measure water absorption and loss in soilless media amended with hydrophilic polymers, a wetting agent, or combinations of these amendments. Peat-perlite-vermiculite and bark-peat-perlite controls achieved 67% and 52% of container capacity, respectively, after 20 daily irrigation cycles. Maximum water content of amended media was 78% of container capacity. Adding only a hydrophilic polymer did not increase total water content significantly. Adding a wetting agent increased water absorption in both media. However, when hydrophilic polymer and wetting agent were present, the medium absorbed more water than with wetting agent alone. More extractable water was removed from media containing wetting agent. Water loss rate by evaporation was not affected significantly by medium, hydrophilic polymer, wetting agent, or any combination of these variables.

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