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  • Author or Editor: Charles J. Molnar x
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Increasing cell volume or pretransplant nutrient conditioning (PNC) reduced the time to flowering for staminate and pistillate flowers in watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai]. Larger cell volumes increased the number of early harvested watermelons and average watermelon weight in two of three studies. Similarly, larger cell volume increased the early and total yield per area of watermelons harvested in 1995 and 1998, but not in 1997. Effect of transplant cell volume on soluble solids varied seasonally. PNC increased the number of melons and the yield per area harvested early in 1995 and soluble solids in early harvested fruit in 1997, but had no significant effect on total `Jubilee' watermelon size or total production in Louisiana for 1995, 1997, or 1998. PNC offers the transplant grower little advantage, while increasing transplant cell size provides a grower with a better opportunity to produce increased early and total yields.

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Two focus-group sessions were conducted to determine the market potential of a new horticultural product—wildflower sod. One session included homeowners with suburban lots and an interest in wildflowers. Another session included landscape professionals, property managers, and garden center operators. Participants viewed a slide presentation about the uses of wildflowers and wildflower sod, a videotape illustrating wildflower sod installation, and a demonstration plot planted with wildflower sod. The discussion was conducted by an unbiased facilitator. Participants cited the instant effect of wildflower sod as a major advantage. The price was viewed as acceptable for small areas, especially if sod was broken apart and spaced as plugs. Comments from the participants were used to develop an ideal product description and yielded merchandising recommendations.

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