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K.S. Reddy and H.A. Mills

Responses of two hydroponically grown marigold species, Tagetes erects L. `pumpkin Crush' and T. patula L. `Janie Yellow', to Mn concentrations of 0.5 mg·liter-1 or 10 mg·liter-1 with KNO3 and Ca(NO3)2 (NO3 source) or NH4N O3 as the N source were investigated. In both species, Mn uptake was enhanced with the NO3 source while reduced with NH4NO3. With Mn supplied at 0.5 mg·liter-1 and NO3 as the N source, T. erects absorbed twice the Mn per gram of dry matter as T. patula. T. erecta accumulated higher concentration of Mn in the shoot than in the root irrespective of the N source. T. patula accumulated higher concentration of Mn in the roots with the NO3 source while NH4NO3 shifted the Mn accumulation to the shoot. Growth of both species was suppressed with 10 mg Mn/liter and the suppression was greater with the NO3 source than with the NH4NO3. These results indicate an interspecific response to Mn concentration as well as an N source influence on the uptake of Mn in marigold grown under hydroponic conditions.

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Eric H. Simonne, Doyle A. Smittle and Harry A. Mills

An irrigation scheduling model for turnip (Brassica rapa L.) was validated using a line-source irrigation system in a 2-year field trial. The model used a water balance, a variable root length, and a crop factor function of plant age (i). Evapotranspiration was computed daily as class A pan evaporation times a crop factor [CF(i) = 0.365 + 0.0154i-0.00011i2]. Irrigation according to the model maintained soil water tension at <25 kPa at a 30-cm depth. When rainfall amounts were less than water use, leaf yields responded quadratically to irrigation rates, from 0% to 160% of the model rate, and the highest leaf yield with the lowest water applications corresponded to the model rate. Therefore, this model could replace the “feel or see” methods commonly used for scheduling irrigation of leafy vegetables grown in the southeastern United States.

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E.H. Simonne, J.N. McCrimmon, H.L. Scoggins-Mantero and H.A. Mills

With recent advances in N analyzers, the Dumas method becomes more attractive as a replacement for Kjeldahl N. Kjeldahl N (K_N):Dumas N (D_N) ratios were determined for anthurium (A), orchid (O), fern (F) and turf (T). Dry tissues were ground to pass a 20-mesh seive. D_N was determined using 0.2 g of sample and a Leco FP-428. K_N was determined by digesting 0.4 g tissue with a CuO/TiO/K2SO4 catalyst and 10 mL H2SO4 at 450°C for 2 hr. Ammonium in the digest was assayed by colorimetry (Lachat analyzer). Overall (n=397 obs.), D_N was a good estimator of K_N: K_N = 0.90(p<0.01) D_N + 0.09(p=0.03), R2=0.93, over the 0.4-6.6 N range. K_N:D_N ratio was significantly (p<0.01) affected by plant type. Ratios of 0.85 for A, 0.92 for T, 0.99 for O, and 1.00 for F may be used to estimate K-N from D-N for the diagnosis of N nutrition, along with existing interpretative data.

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M.W. van Iersel, R.B. Beverly, P.A. Thomas, J.G. Latimer and H.A. Mills

Good fertilizer management is important in plug seedling production of bedding plants to prevent nutrient deficiencies and toxicities. We determined the effect of N, P, and K nutrition on the growth of plugs of impatiens (Impatiens wallerana Hook. f.), petunia (Petunia ×hybrida Hort. Vilm.-Andr.), salvia (Salvia splendens F. Sellow ex Roem.& Schult.), and vinca (Catharanthus roseus L.). For all four species, shoot N concentration was correlated linearly with shoot dry mass of the seedlings at transplant. Phosphorus or K concentration in the nutrient solution or shoot tissue had little or no effect on the shoot growth of seedlings, but shoot P levels increased with P concentrations in the fertilizer solution (luxury consumption). Salvia was the only species that also exhibited luxury consumption of K. Results of this study indicate that seedling growth of these species is mainly determined by N and this should probably be the main focus of fertility programs in the plug industry, while P and K applications can be reduced.

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S. Gamiely, W.M. Randle, H.A. Mills and D.A. Smittle

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S. Gamiely, W.M. Randle, H.A. Mills, D.A. Smittle and G.I. Banna

Nitrogen applied as NH4-N or NO3-N (75 mg·liter-1) affected onion (AIlium cepa L.) plant growth when grown in solution culture. Nitrate alone or in combination with NH4-N increased leaf fresh and dry weight, leaf area, root fresh and dry weight, and bulb dry weight when compared to growth with NH4-N as the sole N source. Bulb fresh weight was highest with an NH4-N: NO3-N ratio between 1:3 and 3:1. Maximum leaf fresh weight was not necessary to produce maximum bulb fresh weight when onions were subjected to different N-form ratios. Precocious bulbing resulted when NH4-N was the sole N source; however, high bulbing ratios early in plant development were not correlated with final bulb fresh weight. Nitrogen form also influenced water uptake and pungency, as measured by enzymatically developed pyruvate concentration, but did not affect bulb sugar concentration.

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Sayed Gamiely, D.A. Smittle, H.A. Mills and G.I. Banna

Yields of `Granex 33' and `Behairy' onions (Allium cepa) closely correlated with the weight of the seeds used to establish the stand. Elemental content was consistently higher in heavier seeds, but elemental concentrations in the seeds were generally negatively related to seed weight, onion growth, and yield. A combined size-aspiration grading was an effective means of eliminating seed with low-yield potential.

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M.W. van Iersel, P.A. Thomas, R.B. Beverly, J.G. Latimer and H.A. Mills

Pre- and posttransplant growth of plug seedlings is affected by the nutrition of the plants. The effects of weekly applications of nutrient solution with different N (8—32 mM) or P and K (0.25—1.0 mM) levels on the growth and nutrient composition of impatiens (Impatiens wallerana Hook. f.) and petunia (Petunia ×hybrida hort. Vilm.-Andr.) plug seedlings were quantified. Impatiens and petunia pretransplant seedling growth was most rapid with a NO3 - concentration of 24 or 32 mM (N at 336 and 448 mg·L-1), while P and K had little effect. Increasing the N concentration in the fertilizer also increased shoot tissue N levels of both impatiens and petunia and decreased shoot P level of impatiens and K level of petunia. Posttransplant growth was most rapid in plants that received N at 16 to 32 mM. Decreasing P and K from 1 to 0.25 mM in the pretransplant fertilizer reduced posttransplant growth. Shoot P level of impatiens 15 d after transplanting decreased from 6.9 to 4.8 mg·g-1 as the pretransplant fertilizer N concentration increased from 8 to 32 mM, while N level increased from 18 to 28 mg·g-1 as P and K fertilizer concentrations increased from 0.25 to 1 mM. Using posttransplant growth as a quantitative norm for plug quality, the sufficiency ranges for tissue N level are 28 to 40 mg·g-1 for impatiens and 30 to 43 mg·g-1 for petunia plugs. These results indicate that fertilization programs for high-quality plug production should focus on N nutrition, and that plugs can be grown with greatly reduced levels of P and K.

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M.W. van Iersel, P.A. Thomas, R.B. Beverly, J.G. Latimer and H.A. Mills

Pre- and posttransplant growth of plug seedlings is affected by the nutrition of the plants. The effects of weekly applications of nutrient solution with different N (8-32 mm) or P and K (0.25-1.0 mm) levels on the growth and nutrient composition of impatiens (Impatiens wallerana Hook. f.) and petunia (Petunia ×hybrida hort. Vilm.-Andr.) plug seedlings were quantified. Impatiens and petunia pretransplant seedling growth was most rapid with a \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{1}\) \end{document} concentration of 24 or 32 mm (N at 336 and 448 mg·L-1), while P and K had little effect. Increasing the N concentration in the fertilizer also increased shoot tissue N levels of both impatiens and petunia and decreased shoot P level of impatiens and K level of petunia. Posttransplant growth was most rapid in plants that received N at 16 to 32 mm. Decreasing P and K from 1 to 0.25 mm in the pretransplant fertilizer reduced posttransplant growth. Shoot P level of impatiens 15 d after transplanting decreased from 6.9 to 4.8 mg·g-1 as the pretransplant fertilizer N concentration increased from 8 to 32 mm, while N level increased from 18 to 28 mg·g-1 as P and K fertilizer concentrations increased from 0.25 to 1 mm. Using posttransplant growth as a quantitative norm for plug quality, the sufficiency ranges for tissue N level are 28 to 40 mg·g-1 for impatiens and 30 to 43 mg·g-1 for petunia plugs. These results indicate that fertilization programs for high-quality plug production should focus on N nutrition, and that plugs can be grown with greatly reduced levels of P and K.

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D.S. Glinski, H.A. Mills, K.J. Karnok and R.N. Carrow

Root growth of `Penncross' creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds.) plugs sodded into a sandy loam soil and fertilized with five 1:1, 1:3, and 0:1) were evaluated. Root growth and root: shoot ratios were higher with as the predominant N form. Results from this study indicate should be the predominant N form when rapid and extensive root development is desired for the establishment of sodded bentgrass.