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D.M. Quinn, B.K. Behe, J.L. Witt and R.S. Roark

Our objective was to determine heat tolerance and performance of 245 summer-flowering annual plant cultivars installed 16 Mar. 1995 in beds receiving full sun located at the E.V. Smith Research Center in Shorter, Ala. (lat. 32°30′N, long. 85°40′W). No maintenance, with the exception of one midseason pruning of petunias, was performed. Catharanthus roseus L. `Blush Cooler' had the highest mean rating (4.1 of 5.0). Salvia farinacea Benth. `Victoria Blue' and Petunia ×hybrida `Fantasy Pink' both performed well with 3.5 mean ratings. `Purple Wave', a compact spreading cultivar of P. ×hybrida, had a 3.1 mean rating, but had a 5.0 rating before pruning. We do not recommend pruning `Purple Wave'. Of the 34 marigold cultivars evaluated, Tagetes erecta L. `Antigua Mixed' had the highest mean rating. Tagetes erecta `Inca Yellow' and `Perfection Gold' tied with the second highest mean rating.

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W.G. Foshee, W.D. Goff, K.M. Tilt, J.D. Williams, J.S. Bannon and J.B. Witt

Organic mulches (leaves, pine nuggets, pine straw, grass clippings, and chipped limbs) were applied at depths of 10, 20, or 30 cm in a 3 × 3-m area around young pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] trees. These treatments were compared to an unmulched herbicide treatment and a common bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] sod. Trunk cross-sectional areas (TCSAs) of the mulched trees were larger than those of trees in the sod or unmulched plots and increased linearly as mulch depth increased. All mulches influenced TCSA similarly. Mean TCSA for mulched trees increased 14-fold compared to an increase of 8-fold for the unmulched trees and the sod in this 3-year study. Thus, common yard-waste mulches can be used effectively to increase growth of young pecan trees.