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George Fitzpatrick* and Kimberly Moore

The Academic Program at Fort Lauderdale (APF), founded in 1984, and the Academic Program at Homestead (APH), founded in 2000, were established to enable place bound students to earn the Univ. of Fla. B.S. degree in horticulture. Although both programs are located within 60 miles of each other in the same general geographical area in southeastern Florida, there are significant demographic contrasts, as well as some similarities, between them. According to data published by the U.S. Census Bureau, the area defined by a 10-mile radius around the site of the APH has a population of ≈83,500, while the same area at the site of the APF has a population of more than 1,100,000, a 13-fold difference. The student profile at the two programs indicates a higher enrollment at APF, a higher average student age at APH, and a higher distance traveled to attend class at APF. Similarities include a student body comprised of people working in the horticultural industry who are working to earn a B.S. degree for career advancement, as well as an increasing number of students who are not currently working in horticulture but who are planning a career change.

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Kimberly Klock-Moore

The objective of this experiment was to compare the growth of impatiens `Accent Orange' in substrates containing compost made from biosolids and yard trimmings with four slow-release fertilizer application rates. Plugs of impatiens were transplanted into 400-ml pots filled with 100% compost as a stand-alone substrate or with 60%, 30%, or 0% compost combined with control substrate components. Six days after transplanting, all plants were top-dressed with 0.5, 1, 2, or 4 g of Nutricote 13N-5.7P-10.8K (type 180) per pot. Shoot dry mass increased as the percentage of compost in the substrate increased from 0% to 100%. Shoot dry mass also increased as the fertilizer application rate increased from 0.5 to 4 g per pot. Plants grown in 30% and 60% compost with 0.5 g of fertilizer were similar in size to plants grown in 0% compost with 4 g of fertilizer per pot. Plants grown in 100% compost at all of the fertilizer rates were larger than all other plants in this study.

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Kimberly K. Moore

The ornamental horticulture industry uses a variety of materials as ingredients in growing substrates for many ornamental plants. There are many attributes that make growing substrates effective, including good aeration and drainage, availability at an acceptable price, and chemical attributes conducive for plant growth. In recent years there has been a trend in which more traditional organic components, such as Canadian sphagnum peat, have been partially replaced by an increasing array of waste-product compost. Plant response to increasing quantities of compost in the potting mix, and to different types of compost are variable. This paper reviews some important issues in the utilization of urban waste compost products.

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Kimberly K. Moore

Growth of `Aladdin Peach Morn' petunia (Petunia × hybrida) and `Accent White' impatiens (Impatiens wallerana) was compared in substrates containing 0%, 30%, 60%, or 100% compost made from biosolids and yard trimmings and fertilized with Nutricote Total 13-13-13 (13N-5.7P-10.8K) Types 70, 100, and 140 incorporated at rates of 0.5x, 1x, 2x, or 3x (x = standard application rate for a medium-feeding crop). Petunia shoot dry weight of plants fertilized with Type 70 incorporated at 0.5x increased as the percentage of compost in the substrate increased from 0% to 60% and then decreased, while shoot dry weight of plants fertilized with Type 70 incorporated at 1x, 2x, or 3x increased as the percentage of compost increased from 0% to 30% and then decreased. Impatiens shoot dry weight of plants fertilized with Type 70 incorporated at 0.5x and 1x also increased as the percentage of compost increased from 0% to 30% and then decreased, while shoot dry weight of plants fertilized at 2x and 3x decreased as the percentage of compost increased from 0% to 100%. Both petunia and impatiens shoot dry weight of plants fertilized with Type 100 and Type 140 incorporated at 0.5x, 1x, 2x, or 3x increased as the percentage of compost increased from 0% to 60% and then decreased.

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Kimberly A. Klock-Moore

Growth of `Oasis Scarlet' begonia (Begonia ×semperflorens-cultorum Hort.) and `Super Elfin Violet' impatiens (Impatiens wallerana Hook. f.) was compared in substrates containing compost made from used greenhouse substrates and yard trimmings (GHC) and in compost made from biosolids and yard trimmings (SYT). Treatments consisted of 100% compost (GHC or SYT) or compost combined with control substrate components at 60%, 30%, or 0%. Substrates containing SYT compost produced significantly larger begonia and impatiens plants than substrates containing GHC compost. Higher initial substrate nutrient concentrations in substrates containing SYT probably prompted increased begonia and impatiens growth because substrates containing SYT compost had significantly higher initial soluble salt, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg) concentrations than substrates containing GHC compost. Begonia and impatiens shoot dry mass and size linearly increased as the percentage of SYT compost in the substrate increased from 0% to 100%. However, no difference in begonia or impatiens growth was observed among the different percentages of GHC compost. Initial soluble salt, N, P, K, Ca, and Mg concentrations also linearly increased as the percentage of SYT increased while only initial P, K, and Ca concentrations linearly increased as the percentage of GHC increased.

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Brian J. Pearson and Kimberly Moore

Increased global trade coupled with diversified employment opportunities demand college graduates possessing well-developed professional skills. Recent survey results identified the importance of professional skills among candidates seeking employment, with communication being recognized as the most important skill or quality when selecting candidates. The ability to work within a team structure, solve complex problems, and organize and prioritize work also ranked high among industry employment needs. Despite a rigorous focus on discipline-oriented knowledge and skills, development of professional skills in students of horticulture may be overlooked or not fully developed. Teaching methods can be modified to incorporate development of professional skills and discipline-oriented knowledge to enhance student employment preparedness and directly address industry needs.

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Timothy K. Broschat and Kimberly K. Moore

Zonal geraniums (Pelargonium ×hortorum) from seed and african marigolds (Tagetes erecta), which are known to be highly susceptible to Fe toxicity problems, were grown with I, 2, 4, or 6 mm Fe from ferrous sulfate, ferric citrate, FeEDTA, FeDTPA, FeEDDHA, ferric glucoheptonate, or ferrous ammonium sulfate in the subirrigation solution. FeEDTA and FeDTPA were highly toxic to both species, even at the 1 mm rate. Ferrous sulfate and ferrous ammonium sulfate caused no visible toxicity symptoms on marigolds, but did reduce dry weights with increasing Fe concentrations. Both materials were slightly to moderately toxic on zonal geraniums. FeEDDHA was only mildly toxic at the 1 mm concentration on both species, but was moderately toxic at the 2 and 4 mm concentrations. Substrate pH was generally negatively correlated with geranium dry weight and visible phytotoxicity ratings, with the least toxic materials, ferrous sulfate and ferrous ammonium sulfate, resulting in the lowest substrate pHs and the chelates FeEDTA, FeDTPA, and FeEDDHA the highest pH. The ionic Fe sources, ferrous sulfate and ferrous ammonium sulfate, suppressed P uptake in both species, whereas the Fe chelates did not. Fe EDDHA should be considered as an effective and less toxic alternative for the widely used FeEDTA and FeDTPA in the production of these crops.

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Lyn A. Gettys and Kimberly A. Moore

Wetland restoration is an important way to improve ecosystem services, but many wetland nurseries lack the facilities that are traditionally used to produce large numbers of native plants used in these projects. Our goal was to evaluate growth and performance of four wetland species in a variety of substrates, fertilizer regimes, and irrigation methods under greenhouse conditions. Plants were grown in pots with drainage holes filled with one of four substrates (potting substrate, topsoil, sand, 50/50 mix of topsoil, and sand) amended with 0, 1, 2, or 4 g of 15N–3.9P–10K controlled-release fertilizer per liter of substrate. Irrigation was supplied via an overhead system or subirrigation. After 16 weeks of production, plants were scored for visual quality and plant height before a destructive harvest. Broadleaf sagittaria (Sagittaria latifolia) was mostly unaffected by substrate type but performed best when subirrigated and fertilized with 4 g·L−1 of fertilizer. Growth of skyflower (Hydrolea corymbosa) and cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) was best when fertilized with 2 or 4 g·L−1 of fertilizer and grown using overhead irrigation. String lily (Crinum americanum) was unaffected by substrate type but produced the largest plants when subirrigated. These experiments provide guidance for cultivating these wetland species under greenhouse conditions, which may allow growers to efficiently produce plant material needed for the restoration market.

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Timothy K. Broschat and Kimberly K. Moore

In two experiments, chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii), areca palm (Dypsis lutescens), fishtail palm (Caryota mitis), macarthur palm (Ptychosperma macarthurii), shooting star (Pseuderanthemum laxiflorum), downy jasmine (Jasminum multiflorum), plumbago (Plumbago auriculata), alexandra palm (Archontophoenix alexandrae), and foxtail palm (Wodyetia bifurcata) were transplanted into 6.2-L (2-gal) containers. They were fertilized with Osmocote Plus 15N-3.9P-10K (12-to14-month formulation) (Expt. 1) or Nutricote Total 18N-2.6P-6.7K (type 360) (Expt. 2) applied by either top dressing, substrate incorporation, or layering the fertilizer just below the transplanted root ball. Shoot dry weight, plant color, root dry weights in the upper and lower halves of the root ball, and weed shoot dry weight were determined when each species reached marketable size. Optimal fertilizer placement method varied among the species tested. With the exception of areca palm, none of the species tested grew best with incorporated fertilizer. Root dry weights in the lower half of the root ball for chinese hibiscus, bamboo palm, and downy jasmine were greatest when the fertilizer was layered and root dry weights in the upper half of the root ball were greatest for top-dressed chinese hibiscus. Weed growth was lower in pots receiving layered fertilizer for four of the six palm species tested.

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Brian J. Pearson, Kimberly Moore and James Barrett

Increased global trade coupled with diversified employment opportunities have generated demand for college graduates to possess enhanced interpersonal and foreign communication skills and a well-developed understanding of foreign culture. Horticultural employment opportunities also require students to possess a mastery of horticultural theory with an established record of direct, hands-on experience. Despite these needs, financial limitations of students and academic departments coupled with a lack of available opportunities may restrict students from developing these critical skills. Through development of cooperative learning programs, students have an opportunity to master and refine their horticultural skills while simultaneously raising funds, which are allocated for professional development including an international learning program. This article provides a successful overview of a student-based cooperative learning program that enhances student learning opportunities.