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  • Author or Editor: Leslie A. Weston x
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Abstract

‘Yolo Wonder L’ pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) transplants produced in two locations (Florida and Kentucky) and in flats of five cell sizes were compared for fruit productivity in Kentucky. Transplants grown in large cells in both locations produced greater early yields than those from small cells, but did not produce greater total yields. Transplants grown in Speedling cell size 175 (39.5 cm3) possessed greater height, leaf area, and dry weight at field-setting and produced greater early fruit yields than did plants grown in smaller cells. Transplants grown in Speedling trays in Kentucky, but fertilized differently than those grown in Florida, produced greater early and total yields than Speedling transplants grown in Florida. Sixty-day-old seedlings transplanted into the field produced significantly larger early yields than did those that were 30, 40, or 50 days old.

Open Access

For the past 5 years, we have evaluated more than 100 herbaceous perennial groundcovers, including both grasses and grass mixtures, as well as ornamental broadleaf materials, for their ability to establish, suppress weeds, provide aesthetic appeal, and resist pests in various landscape and roadside settings across New York State. By working in cooperation with the NYSDOT, we have developed recommendations for materials that have performed well in difficult, potentially stressful, roadside and landscape settings. We have performed replicated research and demonstration trials that have clearly shown that certain species and cultivars provide effective weed suppression; great aesthetic appeal due to foliar texture, color, or flowering, resist pests and diseases; and require low maintenance over time. In addition, certain materials tolerate high levels of salt (NaCl), simulating roadside salt application exposure, in supplemental greenhouse studies. Materials generally suppressed weeds effectively by forming a dense canopy in a short period of time, and reducing light interception at the soil surface under this dense canopy. Certain groundcovers also appeared to exhibit strong potential allelopathic properties when grown either in field or laboratory settings. The selection of new plant materials for use in low-maintenance landscape settings offers potential to reduce time and maintenance inputs in difficult landscape or roadside settings, with the added benefit of reducing pesticide application in these settings for weed management. Additional studies are currently underway to develop further recommendations for use of warm- and cool-season turfgrasses in these settings.

Free access

`Buttercrunch', `Grand Rapids', and `Summer Bibb' lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) seedlings were grown with the nutrient film technique (NIT). The influence of two K concentrations (150 and 225 mg·liter-1) and four solution pH levels (5.0, 5.5, 6.0, and 6.5) on lettuce tipburn was investigated in four experiments. Additionally, the influence of pH on foliar nutrient concentration was examined. Even though tipburn was observed in `Buttercrunch' and `Summer Bibb' lettuce, neither K nor pH level consistently affected tipburn incidence. No tipburn was observed in `Grand Rapids'. Solution pH generally did not affect concentration of total N and NO3-N in lettuce tissue. Increasing the pH increased K concentration and resulted in increased proportions of K compared to Mg or Ca. Although the influence of solution pH on P, Ca, and Mg concentration was significant, nutrient accumulation differences were not reflected in lettuce fresh-weight differences. The influence of K solution concentration and pH on lettuce yield was not significant. Tipburn incidence in NIT-produced lettuce appears to be primarily affected by environmental conditions maintained during greenhouse growth.

Free access

Experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of incorporated hydrogel amendments to a soilless growth medium on ammonium, nitrate, and water retention and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) seedling growth. HydroSource and Agri-gel were incorporated into a 1 peat: 1 perlite: 1 vermiculite soilless medium at rates of 1, 2, or 3 g·liter-1 with 0.88 g of ammonium nitrate fertilizer. Water retention by the growth medium increased linearly with gel application; HydroSource generally was more effective than Agri-gel. Between 90% and 96% of the applied nitrate-N was recovered in the resulting leachate of the gel-amended media, while 33% to 55% of the ammonium-N was recovered. Nitrate-N and ammonium-N retention was higher when 3 g·liter-1 of either gel was added to the growth medium than when lower amounts or no gel was added. Gel amendment did not affect tomato seedling growth. Total foliar N concentration in tomato leaves was significantly higher in the HydroSource treatments than in the control or Agri-gel treatments.

Free access

Sorgoleone, the oxidized quinone form of a hydrophobic p-benzoquinone was first isolated from Sorghum root exudates. Sorgoleone is a potent inhibitor of growth in several annual weed species and causes tissue bleaching at concentrations of <25 μ M. These investigations were designed to determine if soreoleone's allelopathic activity was related to an inhibition of photosynthetic electron transport. The effect of sorgoleone versus DCMU (diuron) on inhibition of O2 evolution by broken wheat thylakoids, and in oxygenevolving PSII membranes containing QA and QB primary and secondary electron acceptors in PSII was determined. Sorgoleone was a potent inhibitor of O2 evolution in this system with ∼ 0.04 and 0.78 μ M concentrations required for 50 and 100% inhibition as compared to -0.11 and 2.0 μ M DCMU, respectively. Sorgoleone caused no significant inhibition of PSI mediated photooxidation of ascorbate/dichlorophenolindophenol, establishing that the locus of inhibition by sorgoleone was within the PSII complex. The effect of trypsin treatment of chloroplasts and PSII membranes on sensitivity to inhibition by DCMU and sorgoleone was examined. The comparison of DCMU and sorgoleone upon the formation and decay of flash-induced chlorophyll a variable fluorescence indicates that sorgoleone specifically inhibited the oxidation of QA by QB.

Free access

Dithiopyr (Dimension, Monsanto) is a turfgrass herbicide currently under evaluation for use in ornamentals. Granular herbicide depth and seed placement were evaluated in greenhouse studies with tolerant or susceptible weeds. Dithiopyr was applied preemergence to weeds at the rate of 2.24 kg/ha to Maury silt loam soil. Weed seeds were planted routinely at 0.64 cm depth. Dithiopyr placed at the soil surface or 0.64 cm in depth caused the greatest injury to seedlings, followed by dithiopyr at 1.28 cm depth. Dithiopyr at 2.54 and 3.81 cm below the surface had no effect upon seedling growth. When seeding depth was investigated, seed placed at 0.64, 1.28 or 1.91 cm below the surface showed greatest seedling injury when dithiopyr was routinely applied at 0.64 cm depth. Seed placement on the soil surface resulted in the least injury to weeds.

Peat moss was added to Maury silt loam soil and to sand to investigate the influence of organic matter upon activity. Soil with 2% peat resulted in the least injury to selected weed seedlings while sand, and sand plus up to 3% peat showed greatest injury. Sand amended with 5 and 6% peat also resulted in less injury to weed seedlings. Ivy leaf morningglory and KY 31 fescue were most tolerant of dithiopyr while barnyardgrass and large crabgrass were most sensitive. Dithiopyr uptake, translocation and metabolism studies will be conducted with susceptible and tolerant weed and woody ornamental species.

Free access

Abstract

‘Pik-Red’ tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) transplants grown in the greenhouse were fertilized with three levels of N and P. Nitrogen at 400 mg·liter-1 and P at 30 mg·liter-1 had produced the largest transplants at 5 weeks after sowing. Nitrogen at 100 mg·liter-1 produced the largest root : shoot ratio. Phosphorus had no effect on root : shoot ratios. Plants fertilized with moderate and high N levels in the greenhouse produced larger early yields in the field, but there was no effect of N or P level applied in the greenhouse on total yield. Four- and 5-week-old plants produced greatest total yields.

Open Access

Sulfentrazone is a promising new herbicide now under evaluation for use in agronomic and ornamental cropping systems. Sulfentrazone selectively controls yellow nutsedge, morningglories, and other annual grasses and broadleaf weeds. Research was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of sulfentrazone in combination with other labeled products for preemergence weed control in nursery crops. Treatments included sulfentrazone at 0.56 and 1.12 kg a.i./ha and sulfentrazone at 0.37 kg a.i./ha in combination with the following; dithiopyr at 0.37 kg, oxyfluorfen at 0.56 kg, metolachlor at 3.36 kg, isoxaben at 0.56 kg, norfluorazon at 2.64 kg, and isoxaben plus oryzalin at 2.24 kg a.i./ha. Combinations of sulfentrazone with isoxaben or metolachlor provided superior control of morningglory spp., honeyvine milkweed, Carolina horsenettle, and yellow nutsedge. Sulfentrazone plus oxyfluorfen or isoxaben plus oryzalin also provided good control. Poorest overall control was obtained with sulfentrazone plus dithiopyr. Viburnum and deciduous holly were slightly injured 4 WAT with sulfentrazone plus metolachlor. Sulfentrazone plus dithiopyr treatments resulted in serious injury to burning bush 4 WAT and slight injury at 8 WAT.

Free access

Primer design is a critical step in the application of PCR-based technologies in genetic diversity analysis of horticultural plants. As more plant genomes have been sequenced in recent years, the emphasis of primer design strategy has shifted to genome-wide and high-throughput direction. This poster summarizes recent advances in primer design for profiling of DNA polymorphism in higher plants, including new primers for the classical plant DNA marker system such as simple sequence repeat (SSR) and single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs), as well as newly developed DNA marker systems such as sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP), sequence-specific amplification polymorphism (SSAP), target region amplification polymorphism (TRAP), and universal rice primer (URP). Although most of these primers were designed for agronomical crops, they could be applied to horticultural plants because plant genomes are evolutionarily related. Also, these new primer design strategies could help horticultural researchers develop better primers specifically for profiling of polymorphism in a variety of horticultural crops, invasive weeds, or medicinal plants. We will present examples of their utilization in these diverse systems.

Free access

The nursery industry currently has few options for effective season-long weed control, because few soil persistent herbicides are registered for use in ornamentals. An herbicide that provides season-long weed control with minimal injury to ornamentals would be extremely beneficial because it would enable the nurseryman to produce high-quality ornamentals with minimal weed interference Sulfentrazone (F6285), a newly developed herbicide from the FMC Corp., has shown promising results for weed control in field trials with ornamentals. Additional, trials are needed to further evaluate sulfentrazone in hopes that it may be registered for use in ornamentals in the future. Our objectives are 1) to increase long-term weed management in ornamentals, including woody species and groundcover; 2) to evaluate rate structures of sulfentrazone and combinations, including preemergence and postemergence herbicides; 3) to evaluate sulfentrazone selectivity in weed species and in ornamentals; 4) to evaluate sulfentrazone mode of action in weed species; and 5) to measure the soil activity of sulfentrazone. To achieve the first three objectives, a randomized complete block design will be used to evaluate 10 woody species and 17 herbicide combinations. The response variables will be weed control and phytotoxicity ratings taken at 0, 4, 8, and 12 weeks after treatment. The results of this study will be used in ongoing research trials in an attempt to register sulfentrazone (F6285) for use in ornamentals.

Free access