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Michael A. Fidanza and Peter H. Dernoeden

Rhizoctonia blight (RB), incited by Rhizoctonia solani Kühn, is a common disease of cool-season turfgrasses. This 2-year field study was conducted to determine the influence of N source, N application timing, and fungicide treatment on RB severity in `Caravelle' perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). Ringer Lawn Restore (Ringer), a slow-release N source, was compared to water-soluble urea. Nitrogen was applied according to either a spring (March, May, June, and September) or fall (September, October, November, and May) schedule. Plots received either N only or N plus the fungicide iprodione (3.1 kg a.i./ha applied at 21-day intervals). RB was reduced with fall-applied Ringer compared to spring-applied urea in both years in fungicide-free plots. Nitrogen generally enhanced foliar mycelium growth and RB during the initial infection periods (i.e., late June to late July). By mid- to late August there were extremely high levels of blighting among all fungicide-free treatments. Nitrogen source and N application time had no effect on the level of blighting in iprodione-treated plots. During early disease outbreaks, iprodione did not always prevent foliar mycelium from appearing, but it did protect turf from severe RB. Iprodione reduced blighting, but the level of disease suppression and resulting turfgrass quality provided on the extended spray interval was not acceptable for high-quality golf course fairways. Chemical name used: 3-(3,5-dichlorophenyl)-N-(1-methylethyl)-2,4-dioxo-1-imidazolidine carboxamide (iprodione).

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Michael A. Fidanza and Peter H. Dernoeden

A field investigation was conducted during 1991 and 1992 to determine the effectiveness of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to predict brown patch (Rhizoctonia solani Kühn) infection events in `Caravelle' perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). Turfgrass samples were collected either between 7:00 and 8:00 am or 4:00 and 5:00 pm, and from plots mowed to a height of either 1.7 or 4.5 cm. Pathogen detection levels were generally higher in am-sampled turf and in plots mowed to a height of 4.5 cm. During 2 years, only 7 of 15 infection events were predicted from samples collected from high-cut turf and only three from samples collected from low-cut turf. While this technology is useful for confirming the presence of R. solani, it was unreliable for predicting infection events.

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Jeffrey H. Gillman, Michael A. Dirr and S. Kristine Braman

Buddleia taxa were assessed for two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch) resistance using a leaf disk bioassay, a novel shell vial bioassay and a field trial. Leaf pubescence and chemistry were examined for their role in two-spotted spider mite resistance. Results from bioassays and field sampling identified highly resistant taxa including B. fallowiana Balif. `Alba' and B. davidii × B. fallowiana Franch. `Cornwall Blue' as well as susceptible taxa including B. davidii Franch. `African Queen' and B. lindleyana Fort. ex Lindl. `Gloster'. The shell vial bioassay was an accurate predictor of field resistance to spider mite. Leaf pubescence was quantified by calculating the collective length of trichome branches per square millimeter of leaf surface area [effective branch length (EBL)]. EBL values ranged from 39 to 162 mm·mm-2 of leaf surface area among Buddleia taxa. Resistance was positively correlated with increased pubescence. Removal of pubescence by peeling resulted in increased oviposition of two-spotted spider mites. Exposing female two-spotted spider mites to a methylene chloride extract of B. davidii × B. fallowiana `Cornwall Blue' using a modified shell vial bioassay resulted in reduced oviposition and a methylene chloride extract of B. davidii `African Queen' resulted in no difference in oviposition when compared with a control. While pubescence is the best indicator of resistance to the two-spotted spider mite in Buddleia taxa, it is possible that defensive compounds are involved.

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Michael W. Olszewski, Marion H. Holmes and Courtney A. Young

There is a lack of quantifiable data concerning physical analyses specific to shallow-depth green roof substrates and their effects on initial plant growth. Physical properties were determined for green roof substrates containing (by volume) 50%, 60%, or 70% heat-expanded coarse slate and 30% heat-expanded fine slate amended with 20%, 10%, or 0% landscape and greenhouse waste compost. Each substrate also was amended with hydrogel at 0, 0.75, 1.50, or 3.75 lb/yard3. There were no differences in total porosity among substrates containing 0%, 10%, or 20% compost, although total porosity increased for all substrates amended with hydrogel at 3.75 lb/yard3. Container capacity increased in substrates containing 3.75 lb/yard3 hydrogel, except for substrates containing 10% compost where hydrogel had no effect. Aeration porosity decreased when 10% or 20% compost was added to substrates. Determination of aeration porosity at an applied suction pressure of 6.3 kPa (AP-6.3 kPa), indicated that AP-6.3 kPa was higher in substrates containing 0% compost than substrates containing 20% compost. Shoot dry weight and coverage area measurements of ‘Weihenstephaner Gold’ stonecrop (Sedum floriferum) and ‘Summer Glory’ stonecrop (Sedum spurium) were determined 9 weeks after plug transplantation into substrates. Both stonecrop species responded similarly to substrate amendments. Initial plant growth was greater in substrate containing 20% compost and 3.75 lb/yard3 hydrogel than nonamended substrate resulting in 198% and 161% higher shoot dry weight and coverage area, respectively. Alkaline heat-expanded slate and acidic compost components affected initial pH of substrates, but there was less variation among final substrate pH values. We conclude that compost and/or hydrogel amendments affected physiochemical properties following incorporation into slate-based green roof substrates, resulting in greater initial plant growth, and that these amendments may have practical applications for improving growing conditions on green roofs.

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R.D. Berghage, E.J. Holcomb and A.H. Michael

The New Guinea Impatiens (I. hawkeri Bull.) has become one of the most important spring crops for many growers. Rapid and continuous development of new and improved cultivars have lead to tremendous diversity in flower color, leaf color, plant size, and growth rate. Penn State has conducted large-scale garden evaluations of New Guinea Impatiens since the mid-1990s. Each cultivar is evaluated in both the sun and shade for uniformity, flowering, foliage, and overall growth and form. Ratings use a 1 to 5 scale with 1 being unacceptable, 2 = poor, 3 = fair, 4 = good, and 5 = excellent. Height, width, and flower size are measured in August. One hundred fourteen cultivars in 15 commercial series have been in the trials for two or more seasons. There are significant differences in the performance of cultivars and series in the trials. `Celebrette', `Paradise', `Pure Beauty', `Celebration', and `Riviera' were the top-performing series. Within each series there were outstanding cultivars and others that did not perform as well. Plants performed better in the shade than in the sun. The average rating for plants grown in the sun was 3.3 while the rating for shade grown plants was 3.8. New Guinea impatiens were shorter (11 vs. 12.3 cm), spread less (18.9 vs. 22.1 cm), and had smaller flowers (4.8 vs. 5.3 cm wide) in the sun than in the shade, respectively. There were no significant interactions between sun vs. shade, and cultivar or series.

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Joshua H. Kardos, Carol D. Robacker, Michael A. Dirr and Timothy A. Rinehart

The genetic diversity among H. macrophylla (Thunberg) Seringe taxa is limited as a result of the restricted native distribution and multiple breeding programs that used the same taxa and targeted similar breeding goals. This study assessed the compatibility of interspecific crosses between Hydrangea macrophylla and H. angustipetala Hayata as a source of genetic diversity. Two lacecap cultivars of H. macrophylla, ‘Lady in Red’ and Midnight Duchess® (‘HYMMAD II’), were compatible with H. angustipetala. Hybridity of progeny was confirmed by simple sequence repeat markers and morphological comparisons. Some hybrids had red- or purple-pigmented stems, which are characteristic of ‘Lady in Red’ or Midnight Duchess®, respectively. All hybrids had white lacecap inflorescences. Some of the hybrid flowers were fragrant. Winter leaf retention of the hybrids ranged from deciduous to semievergreen. Male fertility of progeny was evaluated by fluorescein diacetate staining of pollen. ‘Lady in Red’, Midnight Duchess®, and H. angustipetala had 62%, 58%, and 79% stainable pollen, respectively, whereas the ‘Lady in Red’ × H. angustipetala and Midnight Duchess® × H. angustipetala hybrids had means of 48% and 47% stainable pollen, respectively. Selected progeny were used to develop F2 and BC1 populations. The interspecific hybrids produced in this study were attractive, fertile plants that are being used in further breeding to develop new cultivars.

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A.G. Snelgrove, J.H. Michael, T.M. Waliczek and J.M. Zajicek

A geographic information system (GIS) was used to create an interface to evaluate the relationship between the amount of greenness and the crime level within the city of Austin, Texas. Results indicated a statistically significant negative correlation between the incidence of crime committed in the Austin greater metropolitan area for the year 1995 and the amount of vegetation within the area in which those crimes occurred. Areas with less than the average mean greenness level in Austin had an increased amount of crime. Results indicated no statistically significant relationship between the level of greenness of the crime sites and the severity of the crimes committed, and income level appeared to have no statistically significant effect on the severity of crimes committed.

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Jeffrey H. Gillman, Mark W. Rieger, Michael A. Dirr and S. Kristine Braman

Two experiments were conducted to determine the effect of drought stress on the susceptibility of Buddleia davidii Franch. `Pink Delight' to the two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch). In the first experiment, drought stress was imposed by withholding water until predawn xylem pressure potential fell below -1 MPa. Shoot growth was 75% less in drought-stressed than in nonstressed plants. Mite population densities were not affected, but noninfested leaf area was 14% higher, and degree of mite damage was lower, in nonstressed plants. Evidently, the greater amount of new growth in nonstressed plants leads to lower spider mite densities by diluting populations. In a second experiment, nonstressed B. davidii `Pink Delight' plants were watered every 1 to 2 days and drought-stressed plants were watered every 3 days. Spider mite populations were monitored by sampling newly expanded and mature foliage. Mite populations on mature foliage were not affected by stress, but stressed plants grew less and had larger spider mite populations on their newly expanded foliage than did nonstressed plants.

Open access

Michael A. Arnold, Mary H. Meyer, Tim Rhodus and Susan S. Barton

Based on a survey of the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS), membership need was identified for an online peer review system to validate innovation and recognize excellence in science-based teaching and extension scholarship for promotion and tenure purposes. This system would also provide a clearinghouse for instructional materials of merit for use in classrooms, laboratories, and outreach education, which fall outside the parameters of the three academic journals of ASHS. It was determined HortTechnology already provided a valued outlet for peer review of manuscript style teaching and extension scholarship; however, a need was identified for a mechanism to provide peer review of instructional materials which did not conform to a traditional manuscript format. Herein we describe the process that led to the development and launch of HortIM™, a new peer review system for teaching and extension instructional materials. An online peer review process for juried assessment of instructional materials such as articles, bulletins, case studies, fact sheets, instructional videos, teaching modules, and laboratory exercises was developed. A beta test of initial solicited materials in each category was piloted resulting in an initial database of these scholarly materials. This activity culminated in an initial opening of the system for submissions in Fall 2016. This article documents the development of HortIM™, including the submission and review process.

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Marco Schiavon, Brent D. Barnes, David A. Shaw, J. Michael Henry and James H. Baird

Replacing cool-season turf with more drought and heat tolerant warm-season turfgrass species is a viable water conservation strategy in climates where water resources and precipitation are limited. Field studies were conducted in Riverside and Irvine, CA, to investigate three methods (scalping, eradication with a nonselective herbicide, planting into existing turf) of converting an existing tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) sward to warm-season turf. Cultivars established vegetatively by plugging were ‘De Anza’ hybrid zoysiagrass [Zoysia matrella × (Z. japonica × Z. tenuifolia)], ‘Palmetto’ st. augustinegrass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), ‘Tifsport’ hybrid bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon × C. transvaalensis), ‘Sea Spray’ seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum), and ‘UC Verde’ buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides). Cultivars established from seeds were ‘Princess-77’ bermudagrass (C. dactylon) and ‘Sea Spray’ seashore paspalum. Neither scalping nor planting into existing tall fescue were effective conversion strategies, as none of the warm-season turfgrasses reached 50% groundcover within 1 year of planting. All of the species except for st. augustinegrass reached a higher percentage of groundcover at the end of the study when glyphosate herbicide was applied to tall fescue before propagation compared with the other conversion strategies. Bermudagrass and seashore paspalum established from seeds and hybrid bermudagrass from plugs provided the best overall establishment with 97%, 93%, and 85% groundcover, respectively, when glyphosate was used before establishment. Quality of seeded cultivars matched or exceeded that of cultivars established vegetatively by plugging. These results suggest that eradication of tall fescue turf followed by establishment of warm-season turf from seeds is the best and easiest turf conversion strategy.