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Nitrogen additions to high C:N yard wastes improve the composting process and the usefulness of the product. Nine composts were made with additions of 10 or 25% grass clippings or poultry manure (PM) and several composting methods (in bin, turned, static). Turnip, tomato, watermelon, snap bean, and lettuce seeds were germinated, and some were grown to maturity in pots. The 25% PM compost delayed germination of turnips and beans by 2 days, but final germination % was not affected. Germination of melon (27%) was significantly less with 25% PM than with other composts. Tomato germination was not affected by any treatment, but dry weight of 4 week old seedlings grown in PM treatments was 4 times greater than other treatments. Pod yield of beans grown in 10% PM compost was equal to beans grown in potting mix with soluble fertilizer.

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Growers in north and central Texas produce peaches of exceptional size and quality yet have no information on the best maturity stage/storage regime for maximum shelf life. `Majestic' peaches were harvested at five maturity stages, corresponding to hard green through full red, soft ripeness. Intermittent warming and/or delayed warming reduces chilling injury in peaches and these treatments were used on hard green through firm red stages. Fruit were held 4 weeks at 5 °C, 85% RH continuously (control); 1 day at 20 °C followed by 4 weeks at 5 °C (DS); 4 weeks at 5 °C with 1 day warming at 20 °C every 2 weeks (IW). Chilling injury symptoms (internal browning) were noted on control and IW peaches after 2 weeks storage. We concluded that hard green peaches are too immature and red peaches at velvet and full soft stages are too soft (<20N flesh resistance) to ship. Chilling injury appeared in peaches after 2 weeks storage at 5 °C but could be avoided by delaying storage for 24 hours after harvest.

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Several companies and government agencies are now making municipal solid waste (MSW) composts. This study was undertaken to test effects of a MSW compost with different rates of fertilizer on broccoli. Treatments were compost at 0, 6.7, 13.5 and 26.9 MT/ha and fertilizer at 84 and 168 kg/ha N on a, fine sand soil. Treatments were applied, rototilled, and beds formed and covered with black plastic. Broccoli cv. `Southern Comet' transplants were set on March 2 with 46 cm between plants, 2 rows/bed, and beds centered at 1.8 m. Mature heads 15 cm and larger were harvested on April 25. Numbers of heads and total weight of heads were recorded and average head weights were calculated. Data analysis indicated main effect significance for fertilizer rate but not for compost rate with no interactions. The 168 kg/ha level of N resulted in a yield of 5795 kg/ha while the 84 kg/ha level produced 3849 kg/ha. Average head weights were 264, 262, 257, and 252 g; and marketable yield were 5.0, 4.8, 5.0, and 4.5 MT/ha; at 0, 6.7, 13.5, and 26.9 MT/ha, respectively.

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During the past several years, watermelon trials have been performed in the state, but not as a coordinated effort. Extensive planning in 1997 led to the establishment of a statewide watermelon trial during the 1998 growing season. The trial was performed in five major production areas of the state including: The Winter Garden (Carrizo Springs); South Plains (Lubbock); East Texas (Overton); Cross Timbers (Stephenville); and the Lower Rio Grande Valley (Weslaco). Twenty seedless and 25 seeded hybrids were evaluated at each location. Drip irrigation with black plastic mulch on free-standing soil beds was used to grow entries in each area trial and yield data was recorded in a similar manner for each site. Results were reported in a statewide extension newsletter. Future plans include a continuation of the trial in the hope that multiple-year data will provide a basis for valid variety recommendations for watermelon producers in all areas of the state.

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