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Because deer pressure in Alabama is high, the efficacy of Garlic Barrier™ (GB) in controlling deer damage was evaluated with sweetpotato (SWP), southernpea (STP), sweet corn (SC), and zucchini squash (ZSQH). GB was applied on or around the plots at 10× the recommended rate. Damage was rated three times weekly on a 0 (0% damage) to 5 (100%) scale between 15 June and 18 Sept. All damage observed was unambiguously attributed to deer. GB on the plot significantly (P < 0.02) reduced grazing damage to SWP and STP, but not enough to prevent economical losses. Protection from GB around the plots was similar to the unsprayed control. Damage to SWP began 3 days after establishment. Damage to STP was limited to the developing pods. No damage was observed to SC and ZSQH (P > 0.37) during vegetative and reproductive stages. These results document scientifically the deer-repellent property of GB under natural conditions when applied directly on the plants. However, in its present formulation and under severe deer pressure, GB alone may not provide economical protection.

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The effects of different dormancy-induction regimes on first-year containerized coastal Douglas fir [Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco var. menziesii] seedling morphology and physiology in the nursery, as well as seedling survival and performance after one growing season in a common garden, were investigated. In early July, three dormancy-induction regimes were applied: moderate moisture stress (MS), short day (SD), and short day with moderate moisture stress (SD+MS). In early October, seedling height, root collar diameter, and shoot dry weight were unaffected by regime, but root dry weight was reduced in seedlings from the MS and SD+MS regimes compared with the SD regime. At this time, morphogenesis was completed in all terminal buds of seedlings from both SD regimes, whereas it continued in all terminal buds of seedlings from the MS regime. Furthermore, 25% to 88% of terminal buds from the SD regimes were endodormant, but none from the MS regime were endodormant. In March, budbreak occurred at the same time in seedlings from the two SD regimes and was earlier than in seedlings from the MS regime; root growth capacity was unaffected by regime. After one growing season, there were no regime differences in seedling survival, root collar diameter, shoot dry weight, root dry weight, length of the current-year leader, or number of needles on the leader.

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We compared the effects of different durations of short days (SDs) as a dormancy-induction regime on bud development, bud endodormancy, and morphology of first-year containerized coastal douglas fir [Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco var. menziesii] seedlings in the nursery together with seedling survival and growth after one growing season in a common garden. In early July, four durations of 8-h SDs were applied: 3, 4, 5, and 6 weeks. During the first week of SDs, budscale initiation started and was completed; then initiation of needles for next year's leading shoot (leader) began. Needle initiation was completed 10 weeks after the start of the regime in seedlings given 5 or 6 weeks of SDs and 13 weeks for those given 3 or 4 weeks of SDs. In early October, duration of SDs had no effect on bud endodormancy; 50% to 88% of terminal buds were endodormant. On this date, seedling height and shoot dry weight were unaffected by duration of SDs, whereas root dry weight and shoot diameter were significantly reduced in seedlings given 6 weeks of SDs compared with other durations. After one growing season, duration of SDs had no effect on seedling survival, leader length, shoot dry weight, root dry weight, or shoot diameter. We recommend the 3-week duration of SDs for coastal douglas fir crops.

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With an estimated white-tailed deer population of >25 million in the United States and 1.7 million in Alabama, deer feeding damage has become a serious problem for vegetable growers. Typically, deer feed on foliage during plant growth or dig roots near harvest time. Because there is currently no method available to control deer feeding damage to sweetpotatoes, studies were conducted with both confined and free-ranging white-tailed deer to determine the effectiveness of several commercial deer-repellent products on `Beauregard' sweetpotato. In 1998, testing was conducted at the Alabama Agricultural Piedmont Substation in Camp Hill, Ala., with free-ranging deer. Treatments included Deer Away (egg-based spray and powder), Tree Guard, Garlic Barrier, Thiram (a commercial fungicide), as well as a nontreated control. Damage was rated on a 0 to 4 scale (0 = no damage; 4 = 100% damage). In 1999, testing was continued with confined deer at the Auburn Univ. Deer Research Facility in Auburn, Ala. Havahart egg-based spray, Hinder, Grant's, XP-20 (Thiram), and Ro-Pel were applied to potted `Beauregard' plants. Nontreated plants were also included. Pots were placed in 2 one-acre pens, each containing six adult deer. Damage was rated on a 0 to 3 scale (0 = no damage; 3 = plant eaten to pot line or uprooted). Significant (P < 0.05) differences were found among products. The most effective products in 1998 were Deer Away powder, Garlic Barrier at 3× the manufacturer's recommended rate, and Deer Away spray. In 1999, Havahart egg spray provided the highest level of protection, followed by XP-20. Although no product provided complete protection to sweetpotato, egg- and Thiram-based products were most effective in 2 years of testing. None of these products are labeled for use on food crops at this time.

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Rock garden plants, typically alpine in nature, are indigenous to higher elevations and thus perform poorly in the South. Consequently, they are not adapted to environments with tight clay soils, extreme heat, high humidity, and periodic drought. A video and extension circular were produced to demonstrate the construction, planting and maintenance of an appealing yet durable rock garden for Oklahoma. Modifications in soil type, plant materials, and arrangement of rock, wherein small micro-habitats are created, comprise the core of the project. The aforementioned educational materials benefit the gardening public with previously unavailable information for Oklahoma. The video is included in the Oklahoma State Univ. Cooperative Extension Service video library, where it is available via rental or purchase. It provides informative visual instruction, complementing the written publication that outlines stepwise construction techniques coupled with a list of adaptable plants. Both the publication and video may have applications for gardeners in peripheral states.

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The efficacy of garlic spray (GS; Garlic Barrier™) as an alternative to conventional chemical control of disease and insect pests was evaluated on bell pepper and lettuce. Treatments consisted of a recommended chemical spray as needed (Treat. 1), GS applied once (Treat. 2) or twice (Treat. 3) a week, and water spray applied twice a week (Treat. 4). Because of no pest pressure during the test, no chemical sprays were used in Treat. 1. Differences among bell pepper yields were not significant (P > 0.50). For lettuce, Treat. 2 resulted in significantly (P = 0.02) higher head yield. Differences among treatments were not visually detectable in the field. These results suggested that GB applied at the manufacturer's rate (Treat. 2) did not adversely affect bell pepper and lettuce growth and yield. Garlic smell was not detectable on either vegetables, even after Treat. 3. Due to a low pest pressure, this study failed to identify beneficial effects of the GS. Without more scientific reports, relying only on GS to control pests of bell pepper and lettuce may involve uncontrolled risks.

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Auburn Univ.'s shade tree evaluation is an ongoing study comparing a moderately diverse range of species, varieties and cultivars of larger-growing trees. Initiated in 1980, there were 250 tree selections planted in three replications located at the Piedmont Substation near Camp Hill, Ala. Among the published “fruits” of the evaluation have been critical comparisons of 10 Acer rubrum selections with respect to growth and fall color characteristics; growth rate and aesthetic characteristics of fourteen Quercus selections; growth and fireblight susceptibility of 10 Pyrus calleryana selections; and the best performing trees overall in the first 12 years of the study. The shade tree evaluation has served as an important precedent for initiation of six additional landscape tree tests in Alabama. Besides its benefits as a research project, the shade tree evaluation has provided a living laboratory for a wide range of educational audiences including landscape and nursery professionals, county extension agents, urban foresters, Master Gardeners, garden club members, and horticulture students. Knowledge gained from the shade tree evaluation has also been shared through presentations at many meetings and conferences.

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While lettuce is one of the most widely consumed vegetables in the United States, production is mainly concentrated in the western states. This research investigated the feasibility of lettuce production in the Southeast (SE), where downy mildew, tip burn, bitterness, bolting, and postharvest handling are potential production problems. Lettuce varieties were evaluated on plastic mulch and drip irrigation under several growing conditions. Cultivar and location significantly (P < 0.01) affected yield and transplant survival rate. Following these tests, 'Salinas 88 Supreme', 'Legacy', 'Bullseye', 'Epic' (crisphead); 'Nancy', 'Nevada', 'Ostinata' (butterhead); 'Parris Islands', 'Augustus' (Romaine); and 'Red Salad Bowl', 'Red Prize', and 'Slobolt' (loose leaf) are considered best-performing lettuce varieties for Alabama. These results, along with bitterness evaluation, support the potential for lettuce production in the SE.

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The main limiting factor to lettuce production in the Southeast is bitterness. Bitterness in lettuce is associated with sesquiterpene lactones, a bitter principles of the latex of wild lettuce species Lactuca virosa or L. sativa. These wild species are used as parents in the development of virus-resistant cultivars. This study evaluated bitterness of 18 commercial cultivars of lettuce grown following recommended production practices at two locations. Lettuce was hand harvested, refrigerated, washed, and cut into bite-size pieces. Samples were served one by one to a group of 15 panelists, trained with caffeine solutions of increasing bitterness scores (BS; 0% = 0, 0.05% = 2, 0.08% = 5, 0.15% = 10, and 0.20% = 15). A BS of less than seven was acceptable. BS was significantly (P < 0.02) different among varieties. Varieties with lowest BS were `Epic', `Salinas 88 Supreme', `Nevada', `Red Prize', and `Legacy'. For these varieties, mean, most frequent, and highest BS were less than seven. This study suggests that it is possible to grow nonbitter lettuce in the Southeast.

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Japanese-cedar has been underused in landscapes of the United States until recent years. There are now over 100 cultivars, many of which are grown in the southeast of the United States. Performance of cultivars has been described from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Zone 6b to USDA Zone 7b; however, there are no reports on how cultivars perform in USDA Zone 8. The current study was conducted to measure chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, total chlorophyll, and carotenoid content and assign visual color ratings to determine if there was a relationship between pigment values and perceived greenness, which generally is regarded as a desirable and potentially heritable trait. Total chlorophyll (P = 0.0051), carotenoids (P = 0.0266), and the ratio of total chlorophyll to carotenoids (P = 0.0188) exhibited a positive relationship with greenness after accounting for season and tree effects. In contrast, the ratio of chlorophyll a to chlorophyll b did not have an effect on greenness. There was a linear relationship between total chlorophyll and carotenoid regardless of season (summer R 2 = 0.94; winter R 2 = 0.88) when pooled across 2 years. The observed correlation between chlorophyll and carotenoid content suggests they could be used interchangeably as predictors of greenness. There were large differences in rainfall between the 2 years that may have resulted in additional variation. Furthermore, the climate in which the evaluation was conducted differs greatly from the native distribution of japanese-cedar occurring in China and Japan.

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