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Leah E. Willis and James E. Motes

Six experiments were conducted to determine the effect of priming on spinach seed performance. Performance was determined by percent, uniformity, and speed of germination after 10 days. In Expt. 1, performance at 22 °C was improved for primed seeds compared to unprimed seeds and germination was >90% for both primed and unprimed seeds. In Expt. 2 (incubator @ 40 °C for 16 h/30 °C for 8 h), germination was reduced for both seed treatments and primed seeds had more germination, but less uniformity than unprimed seeds. In Expt. 3 (incubator @ 40 °C for 16 h/30 °C for 8 h), initial temperatures were 40 °C for 16 h, 40 °C for 8 h, or 30 °C for 8 h. There was an interaction between priming and initial temperature for percent germination, indicating that only primed seeds varied in response to initial temperature. Priming improved percent germination but reduced uniformity and did not influence speed of germination. In Expt. 4 (growth chamber @ 40 °C for 16 h/30 °C for 8 h), priming significantly improved percent seedling emergence and speed compared to unprimed seeds but did not influence uniformity. In Expt. 5 (growth chamber @ 40 °C for 16 h/30 °C for 8 h) initial temperatures were 40 °C for 16 h, 40 °C for 8 h, or 30 °C for 8 h. Priming significantly improved seedling emergence and speed and did not affect uniformity of emergence. Seedling emergence was significantly improved for seeds planted at an initial temperature of 40 °C compared to 30 °C.

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Nancy E. Maness and James E. Motes

`Arp' rosemary cuttings were treated with indole butyric acid (IBA) using three different application procedures to determine speed and quality of rooted cuttings produced at three weeks under mist. Five concentrations of IBA, 0%, 0.8%, 1.6%, 3.0%, and 4.5%, and three methods of application were compared. Methods of application were 1) cuttings treated with solutions containing IBA, captan, benomyl, and streptomycin applied as a one minute soak or 2) as a post plant drench or 3) cuttings soaked for one minute in a solution of captan, benomyl and streptomycin and then dipped into IBA + talc mixture. After the treatments were applied, the cuttings were placed on a mist bench for three weeks. Visual shoot ratings were made weekly and visual root ratings were made at three and four weeks after treatments were applied. Root dry weights were determined. Results indicated the one minute soak in a captan, benomyl, and streptomycin solution then dipped in 0.8% IBA + talc consistently resulted in a higher quality rooted cutting.

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James E. Motes and Raymond J. Schatzer

Fresh market tomato cultivar and cultural trials are conducted yearly at the Oklahoma Vegetable Research Station near Tulsa. From 14 to 18 cultivars have been evaluated each season since 1985 comparing the Florida stake-and-weave and the wire mesh cage cultural systems. Results from 7 years of trials indicate caging produced 32% greater marketable yield than the stake-and-weave system. Percentage early yield was reduced with the cage system. Percentage of cull fruit was greater with the stake-and-weave system due to a higher incidence of fruit cracking. Average fruit size was not affected by cultural system. Cost of production analysis showed a lower cost of production with the cage system. The cage system is more capital intensive and the stake-and-weave system is more labor intensive. Undesirable factors in the use of cages are greater difficulty in picking the early fruit clusters, logistics in off-season storage of cages and the larger capital investment required for the cage system.

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Nancy E. Maness, James E. Motes and Kenneth E. Conway

Aerial blight of rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis) caused by Rhizoctonia solani (AG-4) is a problem in production of rooted cuttings. Two separate studies were conducted on rosemary cuttings during propagation. Four levels of R. solani were mixed into potting medium at the rates of 0, 0.01, 0.1 and 1.0 percent (w/w). Seven treatments were evaluated: Trichoderma harzianum alone, Laetisaria arvalis alone, iprodione (single application, full rate), CGA 173506 (single application, full rate), T. harzianum + iprodione (single application, 1/2x rate), L. arvalis + CGA 173506 (single application, 1/2x rate), and a control. Biocontrol agents were mixed into medium at a rate of 5g/kg medium. Mycelial growth began by day four on the medium surface in the 0.1 and 1.0 R. solani levels. By day six, cuttings showed signs of infection. Disease incidence increased with higher levels of R. solani inoculum. At levels 0.01, 0.1 and 1.0, the L. arvalis plus 1/2x rate one time application CGA 173506 and iprodione alone (full rate one time application) gave the best control of aerial blight in both experiments. In the first experiment, iprodione alone and T. harzianum plus 1/2x rate iprodione gave the most root growth at the 0.01, 0.1 and 1.0 R. solani levels. In the second experiment, L. arvalis plus 1/2x rate CGA 173506 gave best root growth. At level 0, treatments were not significantly different in either experiment.

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James R. Cooksey, Brian A. Kahn and James E. Motes

Nontreated seed, primed seed, and transplants were compared for effects on stand establishment, plant morphology, and yield of paprika pepper (Capsicum annuum L.). Nontreated seed was satisfactory for stand establishment, although primed seed had the potential to provide greater initial stands. When populations were made equal by thinning, there were few differences in stem and leaf dry weight, fruit yield, or plant morphology attributed to seed treatment. Generally, morphology of plants established by direct seeding was favorable for mechanical harvest. Using transplants did not result in higher marketable fruit yields than direct seeding in 2 of 3 years. When compared to plants established by direct seeding, three trends were consistent across all 3 years for plants established by transplanting: 1) they were more massive, 2) they had larger vertical fruiting planes, and 3) they had more branches. These traits increase the difficulty of mechanical harvest and create the potential for more leaves and stems (trash) in the harvested product. Thus, transplanting is not recommended for stand establishment of paprika pepper intended for mechanical harvest.

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Brian A. Kahn, James R. Cooksey and James E. Motes

Raw seed, primed seed, and transplants were compared for effects on stand establishment, plant morphology, and yield of paprika pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) Raw seed seemed satisfactory for stand establishment, although primed seed had the potential to provide better initial stands. When populations were equalized, there were few differences in plant growth, plant morphology, or fruit yield attributed to seed treatment. Morphology of plants established by direct seeding generally was favorable for mechanical harvest. Use of transplants did not result in higher marketable fruit yields than direct seeding in two out of three years. When compared to plants established by direct seeding, three trends were consistent across all three years for plants established by transplanting: a) they were more massive: b) they had larger vertical fruiting planes: and c) they had more branches. These traits would increase the difficulty of mechanical harvest and would create the potential for more trash in the harvested product. Thus, transplanting is not recommended for stand establishment of paprika intended for mechanical harvest.

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James R. Cooksey, James E. Motes and Brian A. Kahn

Ethephon has increased yields of red fruit, but its use as a pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) fruit ripening agent has been limited by premature fruit abscission and defoliation. We tested ethephon solutions of 0,1500,3000,4500, and 6000 μl·liter-1 with or without 0.1 m Ca(OH)2 as a onetime foliar application to field-grown paprika pepper in southwestern Oklahoma. There was a linear increase in fruit abscission with increasing ethephon rates in 2 of 3 years, with or without added Ca. Marketable fruit as a percentage of total harvested fruit weight was improved by ethephon at 6000 μl·liter-1 in 2 of 3 years, primarily due to a decrease in weight of harvested green fruit. However, ethephon never significantly increased the dry weight of harvested marketable fruit over that obtained from the control. There also was no effect of ethephon on the intensity of red pigment extracted from dehydrated marketable fruit. The only consistently significant effect of Ca(OH)2 was an undesirable increase in the retention of green fruit on the plants. Ethephon had little value as a fruit-ripening agent for paprika pepper under the conditions of our studies, and Ca(OH)2 was not useful as an additive to ethephon sprays. Chemical name used: (2-chloroethyl) phosphoric acid (ethephon).

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James R. Cooksey, Brian A. Kahn and James E. Motes

While ethephon [(2-chloroethyl) phosphonic acid] has increased yields of red fruits, its use as a pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) fruit ripening agent has been limited by premature fruit abscission and defoliation. We tested ethephon solutions of 0, 1500, 3000, 4500, and 6000 μl·liter-1 with or without 0.1M Ca(OH)2 as a one-time foliar application to field-grown paprika pepper in southwestern Oklahoma. There was a linear increase in fruit abscission with increasing ethephon rates in two out of three years, with or without added calcium. Ethephon at 6000 μl·liter-1 improved the percent of total fruit weight due lo marketable fruits in two out of three years, primarily by decreasing the weight of harvested green fruits. However, ethephon never significantly increased the dry weight of harvested marketable fruits over that obtained from the control. There also was no effect of ethephon on the intensity of red pigment extracted from dehydrated marketable fruits. The only significant effect of Ca(OH)2 was an undesirable increase in the retention of green fruits on the plants. Ethephon had little value as a fruit ripening agent for paprika under the conditions of our studies, and Ca(OH)2 was not useful as an additive to ethephon sprays.

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James E. Motes, Nancy E. Maness and Bruce Bostian

Dalmation sage was transplanted in rows 92 cm apart with in-row spacing of 30 cm on 12 April 1989 at the Vegetable Research Station, Bixby, Oklahoma. Plots one row by 55 m long were established to determine the best timing for harvest and to observe the effect of cutting height and date on yield and regrowth in the fall and regrowth the following season.

Four harvest dates in 1989 were 15 August, 25 August, 18 September and 8 November. In addition, one half of the plots harvested 15 August were recut on 5 November. Cutting height was 10 cm on 15 August, 12 cm on 25 August and 15 cm at all other harvest dates in 1989 and 1990. Four harvests were made on all plots during the 1990 season except those cut or recut in November 1989. Spring 1990 regrowth was very poor and no harvest was possible in April 1990 on November 1989 harvested plots. Highest total dry weight yields for the 1989 and 1990 seasons were produced by the 15 August initial cut with a 5 November recut (11,522 kg·ha-1) and the 8 November 1989 cut plots (10,881 kg·ha-1). Other plots that were harvested once in August or September 1989 plus four separate harvests in 1990 produced a total yield near 9,500 kg·ha-1. The 15 cm height of cut appeared to be superior to cutting closer to the soil.

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Michael D. McCullough, James E. Motes and Brian A. Kahn

Two problems associated with machine harvesting of peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) are plant lodging during growth and uprooting. Factorial combinations of four bedding treatments and two N rates were compared for effects on lodging, uprooting, and fruit yield of chile and paprika-type peppers in Fort Cobb and Bixby, Okla. Bedding treatments were 1) no bed (T1); 2) no bed with 5 cm of soil hilled to the plant bases (T2); 3) bedded preplant, but bed not sustained (i.e., allowed to erode) during the growing season (T3); and 4) bedded preplant and bed sustained during the growing season (T4). All plots received preplant N at 45 kg·ha–1. In 1992, one-half of the plots were sidedressed with 45 kg N/ha. In 1993, one-half of the plots were sidedressed with N at 45 and 90 kg·ha–1 for paprika and chile, respectively. The higher N rates consistently produced larger and higher-yielding chile plants and generally increased yield and stem and leaf weights of paprika plants. The force required to uproot plants was not significantly affected by N rates. Plant lodging was significantly worse at the higher N rates in only one of five studies. Bedding treatments did not have a consistent influence on fruit yield. The force required to uproot plants was greater with T2 and 4 compared to T1 and 3 in three of four studies. Plant lodging was not influenced by the bedding treatments.