Ornamental nurseries produce a large number of plants in a concentrated area, and aesthetics are a key component of the product. To produce crops in this manner, high inputs of water, nutrients, and pesticides are typically used. Container nursery production further increases the inputs, especially water, because container substrates are designed to quickly drain, and the most effective method of irrigating large numbers of plants in containers (up to a certain size) is the use of overhead irrigation. Because irrigation and pesticides are broadcast over the crop, and because the crop is limited to the container, a large proportion of water or pesticides may land on nontarget areas, creating runoff contaminant issues. Water is the primary means of pesticide movement in nursery production. This review discusses water and pesticide dynamics and management strategies to conserve water and reduce pesticide and water movement during container nursery production.
Mulching landscape beds is a common task for landscapers seeking to affect soil conditions and reduce weed pressure. This study investigated the effects of three pine (Pinus sp.) straw mulch depths (5, 10, and 15 cm) on soil moisture/temperature modulation during late winter/spring. No differences in soil volumetric water content were observed; however, increasing mulch depth to ≥10 cm decreased fluctuations in temperature. This research provides a better understanding of the effect of mulch depth and potential environmental benefits so that landscape contractors can determine cost-benefits of mulching applications.