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G. J. Keever, G.S. Cobb and W.J. Foster

Plant response to time of transplanting from 0.53-qt (OS-liter) to l-gal (3.8-liter) containers was influenced by cultivar and severity of winter. Transplanting of `Formosa' from Sept. through Dec. 1983 resulted in injury and death of many plants due to a low temperature of 8F (-13.3C) in Dec. 1983. Injury or death of `Hino Crimson' was higher when plants were transplanted in December. Survival and growth indices of both cultivars were higher when transplanted in January through March. During 1986-87, when minimum temperature was 26F (-3.3C), transplanting between September and April had minimal effect on growth of `Formosa', but plant quality was better when plants were transplanted between December and April. Transplanting date had little effect on size of `Hino Crimson', except smaller plants were produced when transplanted in April; quality was highest of plants transplanted from November through March.

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S. Grange, D.I. Leskovar, L. Pike and G. Cobb

Triploid watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum & Nakai] consumption is increasing in the U.S. However, some of the original problems, poor and inconsistent germination, still exist. Seeds of several triploid and diploid watermelon cultivars were subjected to a variety of treatments to improve germination. Control and scarified seeds, by nicking, were incubated at 25 or 30 °C in either 5 or 10 mL H2O or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Triploid seed germination was strongly inhibited in all cultivars when seeds were at 10 mL of the H2O or H2O2; both nicking and H2O2 increased germination, but not equal to rate of the control in 5 mL H2O or H2O2. Germination of diploid cultivars was unaffected by any treatment. Seed morphological measurments indicated that triploid seed has a smaller embryo with a large and highly variable (CV = 105%) air space surrounding the embryonic axis as compared with the diploid seed. These data suggests that triploid watermelon seed germination is not inhibited by the seedcoat thickness alone. Seed moisture plays a significant role in germination, emergence, and stand uniformity.

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S. Grange, D.I. Leskovar, L. Pike and G. Cobb

Triploid watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum & Nakai] consumption is increasing in the United States However, some of the original problems, poor and inconsistent germination, still exist. Seeds of several triploid and diploid watermelon cultivars were subjected to a variety of treatments to improve germination. Control and scarified seeds, by nicking, were incubated at 25 or 30 °C in either 5 or 10 mL H2O or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Triploid seed germination was strongly inhibited in all cultivars when seeds were at 10 mL of H2O or H2O2; both nicking and H2O2 increased germination but not equal to rate of the control in 5 mL H2O or H2O2. Germination of diploid cultivars was unaffected by any treatment. Seed morphological measurments indicated that triploid seed has a smaller embryo with a large and highly variable (cv = 105%) air space surrounding the embryonic axis as compared with the diploid seed. These data suggests that triploid watermelon seed germination is not inhibited by the seed coat thickness alone. Seed moisture plays a significant role in germination, emergence, and stand uniformity.

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Karen H. S. Taylor, Dr. Greg Cobb and Dr. Jayne Zajicek

Designing a landscape involves the selection of plants with certain characteristics such as height, color, hardiness zone, bloom time, etc. A Hypercard stack, which is a specific type of software application for Macintosh computers, was developed to aid landscapers in the location of plants with the desired characteristics. This Hypercard stack, called the “Plant Stack”, is based on the book, Identification Selection and Use of Southern Plants for Landscape Design, by Dr. Neil Odenwald and James Turner. The stack is also useful as an educational tool; for example, it can be used as a set of flash cards. Use of the software for selecting southern plants will be discussed as will use of the same software as an educational tool.

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Aref A. Abdul-Baki, S. Aslan, S. Cobb, E. Beardsley and T. Burke

A 3-year experiment was conducted to identify problems in Coachella Valley date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) orchards that limit vegetative growth, yield, and fruit quality. Major problems that were identified included soil compaction and stratification that restrict water permeation into the root zone, and low fertility as reflected by the low organic -matter content of the sandy soils. To eliminate the impact of these stresses on plant growth, yield, and fruit quality, a no-tillage alternative management system was introduced to replace the conventional practice of tillage that compacts the soil. No-till was coupled with the use of cover crops to enrich the soil with organic matter, fix N, recycle nutrients, and improve water holding capacity of the sandy soil. In already established orchards, an additional treatment—slip plowing—was also implemented to loosen the soil at lower depths to facilitate water permeation. The positive effects of the alternative system on the soil, tree growth, yield, and fruit quality will be presented.

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Martha A. Mutschler, David W. Wolfe, Edward D. Cobb and Kenneth S. Yourstone

Fruit of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) hybrids heterozygous for the alc ripening mutation stored on average 60% (3.6 days) longer at 20C than that of their normal-ripening parents. There were no detrimental effects of the alc heterozygous condition on fruit color, firmness, or size. The background into which alc was introduced also affected fruit quality and shelf life. These results indicate hybrids heterozygous for the alc ripening mutant can produce commercially acceptable fruit with significantly longer shelf life than their normal-ripening parents.

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S.L. Grange, D.I. Leskovar, L.M. Pike and B.G. Cobb

Poor and inconsistent germination is a problem in triploid watermelon. Nicking was shown effective in improving germination in triploid cultivars. In this experiment, we examined the effects of high and low medium moisture, and nicking on diploid and triploid seed germination. Germination for the diploid cultivar was unaffected by any treatment. At high moisture conditions, triploid seed germination was severely reduced to less than 15%, while nicking significantly improved germination up to 40%. However, this increase is still not commercially acceptable. When seed morphological components were measured for each cultivar, triploid seeds had a larger and highly variable air space as compared to the diploid seed. The data confirm that seed germination is not inhibited by the seedcoat alone, but appears to be highly sensitive to excessive water conditions.