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Patrick Gushing and Gerald Klingaman

Four bulb sizes of Hippeastrum hybridum `Appleblossom' were twin-scale propagated, soaked in 0, 0.01, 0.1, and 0.5 g·liter–1 of benzyladenine (BA), and incubated at 15, 20, 25C and a fluctuating temperature of 31C day, 21C night. Bulbil numbers were recorded following incubation and leaf emergence after bulbils were planted. Eight weeks after bulbils were planted, bulb diameter and leaf numbers were observed. BA application had no effect on bulbil initiation. However, bulbil formation per twin-scale cutting increased as temperature (up to 25C) and mother bulb diameter increased. Bulbil diameter and survival of bulbils increased as incubation temperature increased up to 20C. After planting bulbils, leaf emergence was hastened as bulb size decreased.

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Debbie Dillion and Gerald Klingaman

Rooting experiments have been conducted with a pink flowered redbud (Cercis canadensis) in anticipation of its release to the nursery trade. Cuttings taken in May, June and August were treated with NAA or IBA at 0, 1,000, 10,000 and 20,000 ppm and rooted under mist. Rooting percentages as high as 94% have been obtained by using IBA at 20,000 ppm on cuttings taken 3 weeks after growth began. Fifty percent of cuttings taken in June rooted when treated with the highest IBA rates. Cuttings taken later than June did not root. In a separate test, terminal (semi-hardwood) cuttings making active growth were compared to sub-terminal (hardwood) cuttings. IBA and NAA application at 20,000 ppm resulted in 57% rooting for terminal cuttings while producing only 14% rooting for sub-terminal cuttings. Data will be presented on the comparison of the rooting ability of this clone as compared to seedling trees.

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Gloria McIntosh and Gerald Klingaman

Several cut flower species were studied to determine their feasibility for cut flower production. Three fertilizer treatments (0.5, .1, and .15kg/m2 respectively) were used and their effect on number of stems, stem length and fresh weight were determined. Celosia cristata and Ageratum houstonianum `Blue Horizon' proved to respond best to fertilizer treatments. Celosia fertilized at a rate of .15kg/m2 will produce approximately 200 stems/m2. Ageratum will produce appoximately 400 stems/m2 when fertilized at a rate of .10kg/m2. Fertlizer rates of .10 and .15 kg/m2 for Eustoma culture yielded 86 stems/m2, which was lower than other species used in this test. Extended vase life and consumer response could possibly justify using this species in cut flower production. An economic break-even analysis will be presented to show what price will have to be received per stem to cover costs.

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Gloria McIntosh and Gerald Klingaman

Spunbonded polyester or polystyrene row covers were used as additional cold protection for spinach (Spinacia oleracea), kale (Brassica oleracea), pak choi (Brassica rapa) and P-types of lettuce (Lactuca savita) grown in ground beds under unheated polyethylene tunnels during the fall and winter of 1991 and 1992 in climatic zone 6. Temperatures inside poly tunnels averaged 2.4C warmer than outside. Average temperatures were 1.9C warmer than control under polystyrene and 1.5C warmer under spunbonded polyester. Average hourly temperatures showed both row covers offered significantly more cold protection than the greenhouse covering alone; but the two row covers offered similar protection from the cold. Row covers did not result in fresh weight differences in most of the species tested, except kale which had greater fresh weight in control. It may be concluded that during a similar mild winter, these cool season vegetables could be grown under unheated polyethylene tunnels with no additional protection necessary. When temperatures are lower, row covers could provide the protection required to produce these crops.

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Gerald L. Klingaman and Troy Henderson

Amaryllis bulb production is conducted in Africa, and to a lesser extent in Central America, Holland and Israel. Preliminary studies have shown bulb production is feasible in zone 6b using unheated greenhouses and thermal blankets during cold periods. Spun bound polyester (Reemay) and polystyrene foam (Sentinel) provided a maximum of 9C protection over outside conditions. Amaryllis bulbs have been uninjured during two successive winters. A twin scale propagation experiment was conducted on the cultivar Appleblossom. Cuttings 15mm wide that were placed in closed, vermiculite-filled plastic bags or uncovered, vermiculite-filled plastic trays produced 1.5 bulbs per cutting. Cuttings 7.5mm wide that were placed in soil in plastic bags or open flats averaged .34 bulbs per cutting. From 75 to 80 bulblets were produced per mother bulb using wide cuttings in soil or vermiculite or narrow cuttings in vermiculite.

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Gerald Klingaman and G.L. Wheeler

In 1993, the Arkansas poultry industry produced 1.048 billion broilers with a total live weight of 2.54 million metric tons. Depending on the type of processing used, from 30% to 50% of live weight can end up in the waste stream. Three primary waste-stream products are generated by the poultry industry: feather meal, poultry meal, and bone meal. Feather meal contains ≈14% N, poultry meal 11% N, and bone meal 8% N. Byproduct additions were made to tomato, marigold, and impatiens transplants at the rate of 6, 12, 24 and 48 g/10-cm pot. The two highest rates killed plants outright, while the lower rates resulted in some growth reduction when compared to the control. Studies are under way to further evaluate the use of these byproducts in an organic production system for tomatoes and bedding plants.

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Gerald Klingaman and G.L. Wheeler

Eight species of woody nursery stock were grown in 4 liter containers and fertilized with a conventional resin-coated slow release material (at 3.5 g N per container) or composted poultry manure applied as a top dressed or incorporated with nitrogen rates ranging from 1.0 to 11.2 g N per container. In all cases the conventional resin-coated product outperformed composted poultry manure by factors of 2 to 3 times (for height, dry weight and quality score). Although a rate response was observed with the composted, even the highest rate of nitrogen application produced plants with dry weights of 1/2 that of the control. When comparing the sources of composted poultry manure alone, the 4-4-4 product outperformed the 2-2-2 compost, even with equivalent rates of nitrogen, for 3 of the 8 species studied. Incorporation proved superior to topdressing for the 4-4-4 source but topdressing was superior for the 2-2-2 material. These studies are part of a nutrient partitioning experiment being conducted to determine the fate of nitrogen released from composted poultry manure.

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Melinda S. Conner and Gerald Klingaman

Interiorscape conditions were used to compare plant growth and water use between a commercially produced medium with hydrophilic polymer and a traditional peat-lite medium. 15 cm pots of parlor palm and pothos were grown in either the medium with polymer or a peat-lite medium. Fertilizer treatments applied to both media included: 1.2 kg N/m3 Osmocote 14N-6.1P-11.6K and 500 ppm (mg/kg) N of Peter's 20N-8.7P-16.5K. Plant height, width, top fresh and dry weight, quality and foliage color were determined for parlor palm and top fresh and dry weight and quality were determined for pothos. Plants grown in the peat-lite medium receiving either liquid fertilizer or slow-release fertilizer were significantly greater in all parameters measured than those growing in the medium with polymer that received liquid fertilizer. Plants grown in the medium with polymer had greater growth and quality with the slow-release fertilizer than liquid fertilizer treatments. The number of days until watering was not extended in the medium with hydrophilic polymer.

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Melinda S. Conner and Gerald Klingaman

Studies were undertaken to compare plant growth and water use in a new commercially produced media that contained a hydrophilic polymer combined with a traditional peat-lite media. Rooted cuttings of nephytis, spathiphyllum, parlor palm, pothos, corn plant, `Dallas' fern, and gold dust dracaena were planted into 15cm plastic pots containing either a peat-lite media or the media with hydrophilic polymer. Both mediums were amended with 2.4 kg/m3 gypsum and then treatments of 0, 1.5, or 3 kg/m3 of dolomitic limestone were added. Plant height, width, growth index, top fresh weight and dry weight were measured. Preliminary tests indicated that the media with the hydrophilic polymer performed better with slow-release fertilizer than a constant liquid fertilization program. Plant growth appeared to be optimum at the 0 or 1.5 kg/m3 rate of dolomite. Plants grown in the media with the hydrophilic polymer produced plants of comparable quality to those in the peat-lite media.

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Gerald L. Klingaman and G. Laurin Wheeler

Twelve to 15 year old silver maple and wild cherry trees were top pruned severely to a height of 5m and then trunk injected with Prunit 20g/l at 0, 0.1, 0.5 or 1.0 g/inch of trunk diameter or were treated with a trunk pour of Prunit 50W at the rate of 0, 0.5 or 1.0 g/inch of trunk diameter. Treatment effects were not obvious on any trees until 12 months after treatment. After 36 months maples receiving the two highest rates had made less than 50 cm of growth above the pruned top of the tree whereas the untreated control had produced 3 m of new shoot growth. The 0.1 g rate produced less aesthetic disruption to the appearance of the tree and reduced growth to 1.2 m. Wild cherry trees responded similarly but the amount of regrowth following pruning was less. Maple trees receiving the trunk pour treatment exhibited a 50% reduction in new shoot growth 36 months after treatment.