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H.Y. Hanna

Black polyethylene mulch is preferred for producing early spring tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) because of its warming effect on the soil around the roots. However, using the same mulch for double-cropping cucumbers (Cucumis sativus L.) with tomatoes is considered by some growers to be undesirable because of the belief that heat accumulation under the mulch in midsummer or early fall is detrimental to cucumber yield. Eight studies were conducted from July to September in 1994, 1995, and 1996 to determine the effects of mulching spring tomatoes with black vs. white polyethylene mulch on the growth and yield of subsequent cucumber crops. Soil temperature recorded after planting cucumbers ≈4:00 pm for 3 weeks was higher under black mulch than under white mulch. Color of the mulch did not affect leaf length, leaf width, and plant dry weight of cucumbers in six of the eight studies. Cucumbers grown on black mulch produced longer leaves in one study and wider leaves in two studies, and plant dry weight was lower in two studies. Mulch color had no significant effect on the premium or total yields of cucumbers in all but one study. Cucumbers grown on black mulch produced lower percentages of culls in two studies.

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H.Y. Hanna

Several studies were conducted to determine the effect of using tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) plant skeletons as a support for trellised cucumbers (Cucumis sativus L.) double-cropped with tomatoes. In addition, the effect of mulch color, drip irrigation, and root-knot nematodes on subsequent cucumber yield also were examined. The presence of tomato skeletons significantly reduced the total yield (U.S. Fancy, no. 1, and no. 2), but not the premium (U.S. Fancy, no. 1) yield of cucumbers. Black polyethylene mulch used for the previous tomato crop had no undesirable effect on cucumber yield compared to the white mulch. Drip irrigated cucumber using same tomato irrigation lines significantly increased cucumber yield compared to nonirrigated cucumber. Cucumbers planted after nematode resistant tomatoes produced significantly higher yields than cucumber planted after nematode-susceptible tomatoes.

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H.Y. Hanna

Several studies were conducted from 1988 to 1990 to determine the effect of using tomato plant skeletons as a support for trellised cucumbers double-cropped with tomatoes. In addition, the method by which tomato plants were killed before cucumbers were planted and the in-row spacing and row arrangement of cucumber plants on subsequent cucumber yield were also examined. Yields of trellised `Dasher II' cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants planted in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) plots fumigated with metam-sodium were not significantly higher than yields from plants grown in plots where tomato plants were killed with glyphosate or paraquat. The presence of tomato skeletons significantly reduced the average total yield, but not the average premium yield, of three cucumber cultivars in 2 years of the study. Cultivar effect on yield was significant, and there was a significant cultivar × tomato skeleton interaction for yield during 1988. Spacing cucumber plants in the row in the presence of tomato skeletons significantly influenced yields. Planting cucumbers in double rows per tomato bed with tomato skeletons in between significantly increased yield in 1988, had a mixed effect in 1989, and had no effect in 1990 when compared with planting cucumbers in a single row per bed. Chemical names used: l,l' -dimethyl-4,4′-bipyridinium salts (paraquat); N -(phosphonomethyl)glycine (glyphosate); sodium N- methyldithiocarbamate (metam-sodium).

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H.Y. Hanna

A study was conducted in Summer 1996 and 1997 to determine the residual effects of planting nematode-resistant vs. susceptible tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) cultivars and use of white vs. black polyethylene mulch on the growth and yield of a subsequent muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) crop. Tomato cultivars were planted in early April and harvested in June and early July. Muskmelons were planted in late July on the same beds. Muskmelons, planted after the nematode-resistant tomato cultivar Celebrity, produced significantly greater marketable yield and more fruit per hectare in both years than did muskmelons planted after the nematode-susceptible tomato cultivar Heatwave. Plant dry weight of muskmelons was greater and the percentage of their galled roots was smaller when planted after nematode-resistant tomatoes than when planted after nematode-susceptible ones. Mulching tomatoes with black or white polyethylene had no significant effect on growth, yield, and root galling of subsequent muskmelon crops.

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H.Y. Hanna

Studies were conducted in 1994, 1995, and 1997 to determine the effect of assisting natural wind pollination using an air blower on yield and fruit characteristics of three tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) cultivars. Tomato plants and flowers in the air blower–assisted treatment were vigorously vibrated at midday every other day on sunny days for 4 weeks. Plants and flowers in the control treatment were exposed to ambient wind only. Early yield was significantly greater in the treated plants in 2 years, marketable and total yields for all tested cultivars were significantly greater in all years, and yields of culls were significantly lower in 2 years. Fruit weight and diameter and number of seeds per fruit were increased in all years.

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H.Y. Hanna

A study was conducted to determine if raising tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) in cleaned and disinfected used perlite would be more economical than new perlite and have no negative impact on yield. Cleaning and disinfecting used perlite for recycling saved 56% of the cost to replace the media and reduced salt content to the optimum level recommended for raising container grown plants. Disinfecting used perlite with hot water raised media temperatures above limits necessary to kill several fungi and nematodes. Tomatoes planted in recycled perlite produced greater marketable yield and heavier fruit than those planted in new perlite. Season and year of planting also have significant effects on yield. Used perlite can be cleaned and disinfected as needed and recycled for many years because it is not organic in nature and physically and chemically stable.

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H.Y. Hanna

In the southern United States, the polyethylene-mulched and drip-irrigated beds remaining after the last harvest of fresh-market tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) offer the potential for producing a cucumber (Cucumis sativus) crop to increase grower profit. A 2-year study of double-cropping cucumbers with `Celebrity' (nematode-resistant) and `Heatwave' (nematode-susceptible) tomato cultivars was conducted at the Red River Research Station in northwestern Louisiana to assess the benefits of this system and to determine how soon cucumbers should be planted following the termination of the tomato crop. Results indicated that cucumbers planted after `Celebrity' produced significantly greater premium and total yields per acre than did cucumbers planted after `Heatwave'. Plant fresh weight of cucumbers was greater and the percentage of galled roots was smaller when planted after `Celebrity' than when planted after `Heatwave'. Planting dates had significant effects on cucumber yield. Cucumbers planted in early July, immediately after the termination of the tomato crop produced the highest yield. Cucumbers planted in early August, 1 month after terminating the tomato crop produced an intermediate yield, and cucumbers planted in September, 2 months after the termination of the tomato crop, produced the lowest yield. A gradual decline of plant fresh weight and a gradual increase of galled-root percentage resulted from delaying cucumber planting beyond the July month. Year of planting had no significant effect on cucumber productivity, but it did influence plant fresh weight and the percentage of galled roots significantly. Average minimum temperature in September was lower than the minimum safe temperature for growing cucumbers. The combined effect of higher temperature and lower percentage of galled roots may have contributed to the increased yield of cucumbers planted in July.

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H.Y. Hanna

A study was conducted to determine if air blowers would be less time consuming, more economical, and as effective as hand-held electric vibrators to pollinate two greenhouse tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) cultivars. Vibrator-pollinated plants of each cultivar produced greater marketable yield than did blower-pollinated plants. Within cultivars, marketable yield was greater and yields of culls were lower with vibrator-pollinated plants. Fruit weight and diameter and the number of seeds per fruit were greater in vibrator-pollinated plants. Marketable yield of `Trust' was greater and cull yield was lower than that of `Caruso' in 1996. However, marketable yield of `Caruso' was greater than that of `Trust' and cull yield was about the same in 1997. Interactions between pollinating tools and cultivar were not significant except for fruit weight in 1997. The time needed to pollinate 640 plants for 13 weeks was 7.13 and 11.75 person-hours using the air blower and the electric vibrator, respectively. Labor cost for pollination was $49.92 for the air blower and $82.25 for the vibrator. Yield loss using the air blower for pollination was not offset by the savings in operating costs.

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H. Y. Hanna and A. J. Adams

Seaweed extract has been reported to have various beneficial effects on many crops. A study was conducted in 1989 and 1990 to evaluate the effects of Response 9-9-7, a seaweed extract fortified with NPK, on yield of staked tomatoes and cucumbers. Plants were sprayed to the runoff weekly, biweekly, every 3 weeks and every 4 weeks with 1:500, 1:250, 1:150 and 1:125 v/v Response/water respectively. Results indicate that spring tomatoes sprayed with Response 9-9-7 at all rates outyielded the check which was sprayed with plain water. However, the only significant difference was obtained when tomatoes were sprayed with 1:150 Response/water in 1989 and 1:500 in 1990. Response/water at 1:500 rate significantly increased the quality and marketable yield of cucumber in both years. Response 9-9-7 had no effect on yield of tomatoes grown in the summer under heat stress.

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H.Y. Hanna, A.J. Adams, and L.L. Black