Stem elongation of non-cooled plants of Pelargonium × domesticum L. H. Bailey cv. Grand Slam was restricted by chlormequat but not by daminozide or ancymidol. Neither ancymidol, chlormequat, or daminozide affected stem elongation of cooled plants. GA did not increase elongation of either cooled or non-cooled plants.
Pelargonium peltatum (L.) L’Her, the ivy geranium, has been increasing in popularity during the last 1 0 years, although it has been popular in Germany for many years. Today about 2 0 % of the asexually reproduced geraniums are ivy geraniums (2). There is a need to improve quality and symmetry of ivy geraniums by controlling shoot elongation so that the small pots will be attractive.
Greenhouse substrates are designed to allow maximum aeration. Substrate water holding capacity can be increased by media compaction.
Six inch standard pots, fitted with gas tight openings for removing gas samples, were filled with Metromix 350 and Peatwool at 2 different compaction rates. Half the pots were planted with rooted cuttings of Poinsettia pulcherrima `Glory' and half were left fallow. Air samples were taken at both wet and dry soil moisture conditions at early, mid point and at the end of the cropping cycle. In general, wet substrates had higher CO2 than drier substrates and more compacted substrates had higher CO2 than less compacted.
CO2 decreased with time in all treatments. The highest CO2 levels occurred in wet heavily compacted Peatwool with a plant and the lowest occurred in dry Metromix with no plant.
Easter lily plants (Lilium longiflorum Thunb.), derived from tissue culture and grown continuously, were subjected to various photoperiod and chilling treatments. Lilies grown with daylength extended either with high-intensity discharge (HID) or incandescent lights flowered in the same number of days, but had more flower buds with HID lamps. Flowering was delayed and plants produced more leaves as photoperiod was reduced from 16 to 12 hours. The numbers of leaves, primary, secondary, and tertiary flowers, and the time to flower were all significantly reduced as the duration of extended lighting was increased from 0 to 6 weeks. As the number of weeks of cooling at 5°C increased from 0 to 5, time to flower was significantly reduced.
Coal gasification slag is an ash byproduct remaining after the volatization process. This material is currently under utilized. A series of experiments were conducted to determine the suitability of coal gasification slag as a growing medium or growing medium amendment. Chrysanthemums, lettuce, poinsettias and some bedding plants were grown in slag or slag amended media in an ebb and flow fertigation system. Slag alone has a high pH and initial slag samples had some very small particle sizes. Plant growth in slag alone was poor because of high pH and low aeration. When slag was amended with moss peat, the pH was lowered to an acceptable range and the aeration was better. Plant growth in peat-slag media was equal to plant growth in a peat-perlite mix. Media composed of peat-slag and bark were also successful in producing crop growth equal to peat-perlite. There were no nutritional problems growing in slag amended media except that boron uptake by chrysanthemum was greater than in other media. Eliminating the small particle sizes by washing the slag makes the slag easier to handle, but does not produce crop growth equal to slag amended media.
The objective of this research was to develop a mineral wool based growing medium for the horticultural industry. Two types of hydrophilic mineral wool, clean wool (CW) and unclean wool (UC) were used unamended, as well as both types in combinations with 25, 50, and 75 percent peat moss (PM). A control of 100 percent (PM) was also used. Unamended CW had a low bulk density, excellent water holding capacity, good aeration, but high pH. Once PM was added to CW, bulk density still remained low, water holding capacity and aeration remained good, and the pH dropped to a more suitable level. Unamended UW had a high bulk density, good water holding capacity, poor aeration, and high pH. Once PM was added to UW, bulk density decreased, water holding capacity remained good, aeration increased, and pH decreased to a more optimal level. Impatiens `Violet' and Begonia `Whiskey' were grown in the nine treatments for six and nine weeks respectively. At harvest, plant growth was evaluated by height, diameter, fresh weight, dry weight, and tissue analysis. Plant growth response showed plants grown in unamended CW, UW, and PM were smaller in size and lighter in fresh and dry weights than those in 50 percent wool/50 percent PM. The plants grown in 25 and 75 percent PM were similar to the 50 percent wool/50 percent PM in size and weight.
Primula vulgaris Huds. and Primula X polyantha Hort. seeds were soaked for 24 hours in solutions ranging from 0 to 1000 ppm GA3 and allowed to germinate in a controlled environment. GA3 stimulated germination of P. X polyantha with 250 ppm most effective. P. vulgaris germination was unaffected by GA3.
Experiments were conducted during the summer and fall to evaluate the effects of various concentrations of chlormequat chloride, ancymidol, BAS 106, and SD8339 on the height and plant quality of potted Dianthus cultivars ‘Snowfire’, ‘Indian Carpet’, and ‘Persian Carpet’. The effects of the growth retardants on the height and number of vegetative shoots were extremely diverse. The greatest height reduction was from BAS 106 applied at 3.6 mg a.i. per plant. As a result of this treatment, ‘Snowfire’ height was reduced by 70.0%, ‘Persian Carpet’ by 42.7%, and ‘Indian Carpet’ by 67.3%; however, both BAS 106 and SD8339, applied at concentrations that significantly reduced plant height, resulted in severe foliar damage. Chlormequat chloride and ancymidol reduced the height of ‘Snowfire’ at all treatment levels. ‘Snowfire’ height was reduced by 16.4% with 3000 ppm of chlormequat chloride and 47.5% with 144 ppm of ancymidol. Initial phytotoxic damage on ‘Snowfire’ from chlormequat chloride and ancymidol was not evident at the time of harvest. Chlormequat chloride and ancymidol applied to ‘Persian Carpet’ and ‘Indian Carpet’ in amounts to reduce plant height significantly resulted in severe foliage damage. Chemical names used: 2-chloro-N,N,N-trimethylethanaminium chloride (chlormequat chloride); α-cyclopropyl-α-(4-methoxyphenyl)-5-pyrimidinemethanol (ancymidol); 5-(4-chlorophenyl)-3,4,5,9,10 pentaaza-tetracyclo-5,4,102,6,08,11-dodeca-3-9-diene (BAS 106); and N-(phenylmethyl)-9-(tetrahydro-2H-pyran-2-yl)-9H-purin-6-amine (SD8339).
The use of spent mushroom compost (SMC) as a media amendment for containerized greenhouse and nursery crop production is a promising alternative to disposal of this by-product of mushroom production. Fresh SMC is the compost that is removed from the mushroom house and used without further weathering. The objectives of this study include first, identification of key factors involved its successful use and second demonstration of the effective use of SMC by nurserymen. The plant material used includes both bedding plants and woody perennial species. Results demonstrate that the key factor in the use of SMC for plant production is high soluble salts. Leaching can reduce the high soluble salts. In addition, special consideration should be given to the reduction in potted media volume over time due to composting that continues after the material is removed from mushroom production. SMC as the sole growing media was not as effective as when SMC was amended with a commercial nursery growing mix. Several species were grown in 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% mixtures of SMC and a commercial nursery mix. All species grew well in 50% SMC/50% nursery mix.