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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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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.