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- Author or Editor: Brian E. Whipker x
Ornamental cabbage and kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala L.) plants of cultivars `Osaka White' and `Nagoya Red' were treated with paclobutrazol and uniconazole as foliar sprays or soil drenches. These treatments were compared to the industry standard of daminozide foliar sprays. Ten plant growth regulator (PGR) drench treatments (in mg a.i./pot) were applied 22 days after potting: paclobutrazol at 1 to 16 and uniconazole at 0.125 to 2. Thirteen PGR foliar sprays (in mg/L) were also applied: paclobutrazol at 5 to 80, uniconazole at 2 to 32, daminozide at 2500, 2500 (twice, with the second application occurring 14 days later), or 5000, and an untreated control. Applying drenches of paclobutrazol at 4 mg or uniconazole at 0.5 mg controlled height by 16 to 25%, but at the cost of $0.11 per pot would not be economically feasible for growers to use. Paclobutrazol foliar sprays at concentrations of up to 80 mg/L were ineffective in controlling plant height and diameter of either `Osaka White' or `Nagoya Red'. Uniconazole foliar sprays between 2 and 8 mg/L were effective in controlling height (by 19%) and diameter (by 15%) as daminozide foliar sprays of 2500 mg/L, sprayed twice, with a cost to the grower of $0.02 per pot.
Current fertilizer recommendations for ornamental cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. acephala DC.) suggest applying 150 to 300 mg·L-1 N until the initiation of color development, after which fertilization should be reduced or discontinued. Because these plants are actively growing during cool weather when coloration is initiated, nutrient deficiencies may reduce overall plant quality. The objectives of this study were to investigate N to K ratios for plant growth of ornamental cabbage and the effects of continual and discontinued fertilization during the period of coloration. Fertilizing with 150 to 200 mg·L-1 N and 150 to 200 mg·L-1 K produced high-quality plants and provided sufficient tissue concentrations of N and K. Center-head coloration was not inhibited by N concentrations as high as 250 mg·L-1. Ceasing fertilization prior to center-head coloration resulted in the rapid depletion of N, P, and K concentrations in the lower foliage, leading to the appearance of deficiency symptoms and lower leaf loss. Plants were still actively growing as measured by increased shoot mass during the early stages of coloration; therefore, growers should continue to provide a complete analysis fertilizer at N concentrations ≥150 mg·L-1 until market date.
Pot sunflowers (Helianthus annuus cv. `Pacino') were fertigated on ebband-fl ow benches with 100 or 200 mg·liter–1 of N to determine the influence of fertility level on plant growth and postharvest quality in interior conditions. The fertilization rates were held constant from potting until day 45, then the fertilization rates were continued, decreased, or ceased on day 45 and day 55, giving a combination of nine fertilization subtreatments. At bloom, the number of days from potting to flowering, plant height, plant diameter, flower diameter were recorded, and the root medium of five replicates per treatment were analyzed to determine the nutrient status. Five replicates of each treatments also were moved into interior conditions with artificial lighting and were graded 5, 10, and 15 days after moving to evaluate the postharvest quality. There was no significant difference among fertilizer treatments for the number of days to flower, plant height, or flower diameter. Plants fertilized with 100 mg·liter–1 N from potting until day 45, in combination with a ceasing of fertilization on day 55, had significantly better plant grades when compared to plants grown with 200 mg·liter–1 N. Plants fertigated with 100 mg·liter–1 N also had a longer postharvest life and the number of days before the flowers wilted were significantly longer. Good-quality plants with longer postharvest life were produced with 100 mg·liter–1 N and by terminating fertilization 55 days after potting.
Plant growth retardant (PGR) media drench treatments (in mg a.i./pot) of ancymidol at 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 4.0, or 8.0; paclobutrazol at 1.0, 2.0, 4.0, 8.0, or 16.0; uniconazole at 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 4.0, or 8.0 were applied to tuberous-rooted dahlias to compare their effectiveness as a chemical height control. All paclobutrazol, ancymidol, and uniconazole rates applied significantly reduced `Red Pigmy' plant height by 21% or greater compared to the nontreated control. Excessively short plants resulted from uniconazole and ancymidol drench rates ≥1.0 mg. `Red Pigmy', a less vigorous cultivar, were acceptable as potted-plants with paclobutrazol rates of 2.0 to 4.0 mg, 0.25 to 0.5 mg of uniconazole, or 0.5 mg of ancymidol. All paclobutrazol, ancymidol, and uniconazole rates significantly reduced `Golden Emblem' plant height by ≥11% when compared to the nontreated plants. Excessively short plants resulted from paclobutrazol drench rates of 16.0 mg, uniconazole rates of 2.0 mg and for ancymidol drenches ≥4.0 mg. `Golden Emblem', the more vigorous cultivar, were acceptable as potted-plants with paclobutrazol rates of 4.0 to 8.0 mg, 0.5 to 1.0 mg of uniconazole, or 2.0 mg of ancymidol.
Twenty-six ornamental cabbage and kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala L.) cultivars were transplanted into 20.8-cm (8-inch) pots in Fall 1998 to classify their foliage traits and determine their response to the plant growth regulator (PGR) daminozide. Daminozide foliar sprays were applied at 0, 2500, or 5000 mg·L–1 (ppm) 3 weeks after potting. Two cultivars treated with 2500 mg.L-1 and eight cultivars treated with 5000 mg·L–1 were significantly smaller in height when compared to the nontreated plants. Using the Range/lsd formula, the vigor of the cultivars was classified by height. Foliage characteristics were described and cultivars of ornamental cabbage, notched ornamental kale, and curly ornamental kale were selected based on the shortest number of days until a significant center color change and the largest center color diameter. In Fall 1999, recommended cultivars selected in 1998 were treated with daminozide at 5000 mg·L–1 or uniconazole at 5 mg·L–1 14 days after potting, plus a nontreated control. All cultivars responded similarly to the PGRs with greater control being observed with daminozide with a smaller plant height of 13% as compared to 6% for uniconazole. For effective height control, PGR applications to ornamental cabbage and kale should be applied 2 weeks after potting.
Excessive alkalinity in greenhouse irrigation water can increase substrate solution pH, resulting in reduced micronutrient availability for plants. A spreadsheet was designed to offer a quick and practical method for calculating: 1) amount of nitric, phosphoric, and sulfuric acid required to achieve an endpoint alkalinity or pH in irrigation water; 2) the amount of nutrients added by the acid addition; and 3) acid costs. It calculates both pH and alkalinity of irrigation water after acidification, regardless of the endpoint selected. The spreadsheet accounts for the pH-dependent reaction that determines the relative percentage of each of the carbonate species—carbonates (CO 2– 3), bicarbonates (HCO– 3), and carbonic acid (H2CO3)—present in the solution. In addition, the acidification calculations account for the dissociation characteristics of the acid selected to neutralize the alkalinity. The spreadsheet was validated with six water sources from Indiana and North Carolina. Alkalinity neutralization was achieved within an acceptable range (greatest deviation from predicted pH was 0.16 units; greatest deviation from predicted residual alkalinity was 0.21 meq·liter–1) for both target endpoint pHs and endpoint alkalinity concentrations. The mathematical model used in the spreadsheet development provides a chemical basis for acidification and provides results useful for making grower recommendations for acid additions to irrigation water for alkalinity neutralization.
Chemical plant growth retardant (PGR) treatments (mg·liter–1) were applied as foliar sprays to three zonal geranium cultivars: chlormequat at 1500, applied two, three, and four times, a combination of chlormequat at 750 and daminozide at 1250, applied one and two times, and paclobutrazol applied once at 5, 10, 20, and 30; twice at 5, 10, and 15; and three times at 5, plus an untreated control. Two paclobutrazol drench treatments at 0.1 and 0.25 mg a.i. per pot were also applied. The results of the PGR applications were significant at the cultivar × treatment interaction for leaf canopy height and plant diameter. Paclobutrazol rates of 10 to 15 mg·liter–1 resulted in acceptable height control for `Medallion Dark Red' and `Aurora'. `Pink Satisfaction' is a less vigorous cultivar and lower paclobutrazol rates of 5 to 10 mg·liter–1 were more suitable. When the total concentration of the single and multiple applications were compared, no additional height control was realized with the multiple applications of paclobutrazol.
Eight poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Wind.) cultivars (`Angelika White', `Celebrate 2', `Dark Red Hegg', `Jingle Bells 3', `Pink Peppermint', `Red Sails', `Supjibi', and `V-14 Glory') were grown in root medium amended with six triple superphosphate rates of 0.39,0.78, 1.55,3.11,4.66, and 6.21 kg P/m3. Root medium and foliar samples of `Supjibi' and `Celebrate 2' were sampled every 4 weeks, starting with the beginning of short days. At flowering, all eight cultivars were measured for diameter of the two largest bracts, number of bracts with burn, and plant height. Foliar P levels increased over the growing season for `Supjibi' with a reading of 0.9% at anthesis, but for `Celebrate 2', levels peaked 4 weeks before anthesis (0.8%). At triple superphosphate rates > 3.11 kgP/m3, plant height decreased, and there was a significant cultivar × treatment interaction for descreased bract diameter. The eight cultivars exhibited varying degrees of susceptibilities to bract-edge burn as the amount of P applied to the root medium increased, with `Dark Red Hegg', `V-14 Glory', and `Red Sails' having the highest burn incidence.
Field studies were conducted on the potential of annual statice as an outdoor cut-flower crop for the Midwestern United States. Data was collected on seven cultivars in 1989 and 42 in 1990. In 1989, total fresh stem weight, stem count, and average stem weight differed significantly among cultivars. Yellow cultivars had more stems harvested than the rose, apricot, and blue cultivars, but stems of the yellow cultivars weighed less. The number of stems harvested over time tended to be concentrated in the first 8 weeks after flowering begins. In 1990, the average stem fresh weight was significantly different among the apricot, blue, and rose cultivars, but the number of stems harvested was significantly different only between the blue and rose cultivars.
`Supjibi' poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd.) were grown hydroponically for 15 weeks in nutrient solutions with 100-15-100, 200-30-200, or 300-46-300 (in mg·L-1 of N-P-K) to determine nutrient uptake patterns and accumulation rates. Results indicate that increasing fertilization rates from 100 to 300 mg·L-1 of N and K did not significantly influence the plant dry mass or the nutrient concentration of P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, B, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, and Zn in poinsettias. NH4-N concentration in the leaves, stems, and roots were lowest with the 100-mg·L-1 N fertilization rate and increased as the N application rate increased to 200 and 300 mg·L-1. Leaf P concentration levels from 1 week after potting through anthesis were above 1.3%, which exceeds the recommended level of 0.9%. When the plant tissue dry mass for each fertilizer rate was transformed by the natural log and multiplied by the mean tissue nutrient concentration of each fertilizer rate, there were no significant differences among the three fertilization rates when the total plant nutrient content was modeled for N, P, or K. Increasing the fertilizer application rate above 100 mg·L-1 N and K and 15 mg·L-1 P decreased total plant content of Ca, Mg, Mn, and Zn and increased the total plant Fe content. The results of the weekly nutrient uptake based on the total plant nutrient content in this study suggests that weekly fertilization rates should increase over time from potting until anthesis. Rates (in mg) that increase from 23 to 57 for N (with 33% of the total N supplied in the NH4-N form), 9 to 18.5 for P, 19 to 57 for K, 6 to 15 for Ca, and 3 to 8 for Mg can be applied without leaching to poinsettias and produce adequate growth in the northern United States.