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Bradford Bearce

Rooted cuttings of Rhododedron catawbiense `Roseum Elegans' were potted on February 27, 1992, in 1 liter pots containing sphagnum peat moss:composted pine bark:sand:pinewood peelings:coal bottom ash mixed at ratios of 15:70:15:0:0, 15:70:0:0:15, 15:35:15:35:0, 15:35:0:35:15, 15:0:15:70:0 or 15:0:0:70:15 percent volume. Irrigation and fertilization frequencies were recorded from March 18-September 18, 1992. Moisture retention data showed that the high pinewood peeling mixes retained less moisture but that coal bottom ash improved moisture retention when substituted for sand in all mixes. The highest pinewood peeling:ash medium required less irrigation than the other mixes but a higher frequency of acid fertilization. The highest pine bark:sand medium required more. neutral fertilization than the other mixes. Numbers of new shoots per plant in the 15:35:15:35:0, 15:0:15:70:0 and 15:0:0:70:15 media were lower than those in the high pine bark:ash mix. Plant heights were lower in the 15:0:15:70:0 mix. Flower buds per plant were higher in the 15:35:15:35:0 medium than in the 15:70:15:0:0, 15:0:15:70:0 or the 15:0:0:70:15 plants. Leaf tissue analysis showed K and Cu to be at deficiency levels in all plants. Boron was higher in all plants grown in ash containing media. Zinc was low in plants grown in high pinewood peelings media.

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Bradford C. Bearce and Suman Singha

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Susan H. Butler and Bradford Bearce

Rosa × hybrida 'Samantha' plants were planted in pots of three soilless and two soil-containing media. Soilless media consisted of coal bottom ash and composted hardwood bark in 1:1, 2:1, and 3:1 ratios. Soil-containing media were equal parts soil, peat, and coal bottom ash; and a control of equal parts soil, peat, and sand. Half the pots of each media were treated with a cover crop of Hordeum vulgare L. 'Barsoy' to simulate weathering and incorporate additional organic matter prior to planting the roses. Physical and chemical properties of all five original media were examined, and production indices of two harvests were measured; including stem length, flower bud diameter, fresh weight, days to harvest and average number of blooms per plant. Results to date indicate satisfactory growth in all treatments. The three soilless treatments have produced more stems with larger flower bud diameters and shorter days-to-harvest than the soil-containing treatments. However, the fertilization, and electrical conductivity of all treatments remains below normal. Moisture retention data also show the soil-containing treatments to have higher container capacity and easily available water. Cover-cropped plants also had shorter days-to-harvest, but in one of two harvests produced flower buds of smaller diameter.

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Susan S. Myers and Bradford Bearce

Rooted cuttings of Euphorbia pulcherrima 'Brilliant Diamond' were planted on July 27, 1992, in 15 cm standard pots containing peat:vermiculite (1:1, v/v) mixed with coal bottom ash (CBA) at 0, 25, 50, 75 and 100 percent of volume. Lime sufficient to adjust pH to an entitled range-of 5.6-6.8 was added to each medium. A 1500 mg/liter Cycocel spray was applied weekly to all plants from August 25 (pinch date) until Sept 28.) Irrigation and fertilization frequencies were recorded. At anthesis (Nov 17). plants were measured and harvested. The 100 percent CBA medium required less irrigation but more fertilization than the 0 percent CBA medium. Heights of plants in the 50, 75 and 100 percent CBA media were less than those in the 0 percent CBA medium. Bract diameters and dry weights of the 100 percent CBA plants were less than those of the 0 percent CBA plants. A quality rating placed the 75 and 100 percent CBA plants below plants in 0, 25, and 50 percent CBA. A yellowing of top leaves occurred beginning in early November and was more noticeable with increase in percent CBA.

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Bradford C. Bearce and Lenka Smuta

Easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum Thunb. `Nellie White') were forced in root media composed of 1 peat: 1 vermiculite (v/v) mixed with coal bottom ash (CBA) at rates of 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100% CBA. Lilies in all levels of CBA were equal in mean per plant flower bud numbers, fresh and dry weights, and numbers of yellow or brown lower stem leaves. Lilies in 100% CBA were significantly lower in mean stem length than plants in 0% or 50% CBA. Plants in 100% CBA required more frequent irrigation than plants in all other media. Media pH and solution electrical conductivity increased with increase in percent CBA. Analysis of leaf tissue showed no difference in nutrient levels between plants in 0% or 100% CBA.

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James Gibson and Bradford C. Bearce

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. Ex Klotsch) cultivars `Dynasty Red', Nutcracker Pink', and `Annette Hegg Topwhite' were planted in 15-cm azalea pots containing peat: vermiculite (1:1, v:v) in which coal bottom ash sieved through 6-mm mesh was mixed in proportions of 0%, 25%, or 50% by volume. Planting date was 23 July 1996, and pinch date was 25 Aug. Harvest date at anthesis was 16 Dec. Plant heights of all cultivars were increased in the ash media. L, a, and b, values measured with a Minolta CR-200 chroma meter differed very slightly among ash levels within cultivars. Mean per plant bract cluster count was very similar among ash levels and cultivars. Mean diameter of largest bract cluster was increased above that of 0% coal ash plants for `Topwhite' plants in 50% coal ash media. Mean per plant dry weights of all three cultivars were increased over those of control plants in both 25% and 50% coal ash media. Media pH increased with increase in ash, while EC tended to decrease. Media available Ca increased with ash increase, while Mg decreased and the same pattern was noted for leaf tissue Ca and Mg. This was probably due to release of Ca from the ash, which contains about 10% Ca oxides. Tissue levels of Ca and Mg were within acceptable ranges; however, K levels also declined in plant tissue to suboptimal levels with plants in ash media.

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Bradford C. Bearce and Suman Singha

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Dharmalingam S. Pitchay and Bradford C. Bearce

Rooting performance was evaluated for three different hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla Thunb. `Blaumeise Lace Cap') cutting types in propagation media containing peat:sand amended with 0%, 25%, 50%, and 100% coal bottom ash (CBA) sieved through 2-mm mesh. Electrical conductivity (EC) values of all media were in acceptably low ranges, whereas pH was suboptimal in all but 100% CBA, ranging from 3.8 to 4.6 vs. 6.0 to 6.75 for 100% CBA. Available Ca was significantly higher at up to 189 mg·kg–1 in the 100% CBA. Rooted cuttings were analyzed for root counts and dry mass. Terminal tip cuttings produced 96.1 mean roots/stem compared to butterfly cuttings (76.4) and single-eye cuttings (60.7), and there was no significant difference in root dry mass among the different cutting types. Propagation media containing 50% CBA produced greater numbers of roots/stem (99.89 and 89.59, respectively). The dry mass of roots/stem was significantly higher in media with 100% CBA. Root numbers per cutting were higher in terminal tip cuttings grown in 50% and 100% CBA and butterfly cuttings in 50% CBA. On the other hand, dry mass per cutting was higher in 100% CBA as compared to the rest, except for the terminal tip and butterfly cuttings in 50% CBA. The higher pH and Ca concentration may be factors causing the better rooting performance in 100% CBA.

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Marlene Cross, Bradford Bearce and Rajeev Arora

The vase life of roses grown in coal bottom ash (CBA)-amended media was evaluated. CBA is enriched in calcium, a nutrient implicated in delaying senescence. Two rose cultivars, Cara Mia and Dakota, were grown (from started eye plants) in four media: a 50% CBA medium and a peat:vermiculite medium amended with calcitic and dolomitic lime (1:1) were used as “high calcium” media, whereas a 25% CBA medium and a peat:vermiculite medium amended with dolomitic lime only were used as “low calcium” media. Vase life of the freshly harvested roses was evaluated. Elemental analysis of the leaves showed that roses grown in the “high calcium” media had greater calcium in the leaf tissue as well as longer vase lives (12.6 and 13.5 days) when compared to those grown in the “low calcium” media (12.1 and 10.9 days). However, petal tissue Ca was not affected by media and was not correlated with vase life. Petal tissue calcium was ≈15 times lower than leaf tissue calcium. Calcium and magnesium increased in the petal tissue over the vase life of the senescing petals. A comparison of `Cara Mia' roses (vase life of 14 days) and `Dakota' roses (vase life of 8.5 days) showed that the longer-lived `Cara Mia' had lower leaf and petal calcium levels. Both varieties followed a similar kinetics of electrolyte leakage (total E.C. and K) during their respective vase lives.

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Kristen B. Engstrom, Susan G. Myers and Bradford C. Bearce

Rooted cuttings of `Dark Red Hegg' poinsettia were potted in root media containing 0, 50, or 100 percent by volume of coal bottom ash in peat::vermiculite (50:50, v/v), one cutting per 1 liter pot. The plants were placed in a closed loop nutriculture system and irrigated with 200 mg N.liter-1 of (N-P-K) 20-8.8-17.8. 15-2.2-22.25. or 20-4.8-21.6 (commercial Hydrosol + Ca(NO3)2). each with soluble trace elements. Fertilizer solutions were maintained at pH=6.0-6.5 and E.C.=1.6-2.5 dS.m-1. Media pH and E.C. tended to increase with amount of ash in the media. The 20-8.8-17.8 fertilizer reduced pH values 0.6-0.8 in all media. Plants were of equal height in all media. Average bract cluster diameters of plants in 100 percent coal ash were reduced compared to those in 0 and 50 percent coal ash by the 15-2.2-22.25 fertilizer. but not by the other two fertilizers. Plant top dry weights in 100 percent ash were reduced below those in 0 and 50 percent ash by the 20-8.8-17.8 and the 15-2.2-22.25 fertilizers.