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Abstract

Germinated seeds of ‘King Cole’ cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. ‘Capitata’) were separated on a float-sink basis from nongerminated seeds by density differences. Aqueous solutions of varying densities were prepared from Maltrin 250. Brief exposures (<2 min) of the germinated seeds to 1.10 g cc−1 solution did not affect the percentage of seedling growth. The percentage of recovery of germinated seeds increased, and the percentage of germinated seeds decreased as the solution density increased from 1.06 to 1.09 g cc−1. Sowing density-separated germinated seeds improved both the percentage of emergence and time to 50% emergence for nonaged and artificially aged seeds. The greatest improvement in emergence was observed from the aged seeds. Dry seeds were separated into density lots of 0.95 to 1.05 g cc−1 in 0.05 increments with solutions of hexane and chloroform. Each dry seed density lot then was germinated and separated. The dry seed density separation did not improve the percentage of germinated seeds or recovery. No correlation was found between the densities of dry and imbibed seeds.

Open Access

Abstract

Seeds of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) were sown in the greenhouse in a field soil prone to crusting, and at the same time a stable foam was generated and placed over the seed furrow in a 4 x 0.5 cm band. The foam withstood a simulated rain and offered little (0.03 MPa) mechanical resistance to seedling emergence. The percentage of seedling emergence was increased by the foam microenvironment. The foam strip remained over the seed furrow for 3 weeks and was not observed to be phytotoxic to seedling growth.

Open Access

Abstract

There are 2 corrections in the article “Development of a Foam Microenvironment for Enhanced Seedling Establishment“ by A.G. Taylor, T.J. Kenny, E.P. Carney, and G.H. Gibbs (HortScience 18:696–697, Oct. 1983)

Open Access

Greenhouse growers find themselves under increasing pressure to respond to consumer preferences to use environmentally sustainable practices and materials while maintaining profitable operations. These consumer preferences reflect a mounting awareness of the environmental issues, such as climate change and their associated social costs. Ideally, sustainable horticultural production accounts for both traditional economic considerations and such social costs, some of which can be explained through the calculation of global warming potential (GWP). An obvious candidate for a sustainable intervention is the traditional plastic pot, which growers can replace with alternative biocontainers with varying degrees of GWP. This study calculates the variability of direct costs of production using alternative containers to offer a comparison of social and economic costs. We evaluated these direct costs of producing petunia (Petunia ×hybrida) grown in pots made of traditional plastic, bioplastic, coir, manure, peat, bioplastic sleeve, slotted rice hull, solid rice hull, straw, wood fiber, and recycled reground plastic containers used in a previous assessment of GWP. Our analysis of the costs when using a traditional plastic pot showed that the highest contributors to GWP were different from the highest contributors to direct costs, revealing that the price does not reflect the environmental impact of several inputs. Electricity, the plastic shuttle tray, and the plastic pot contributed most to GWP, whereas labor, the plastic container, and paclobutrozol growth regulator contributed most to direct cost of production (COP). At 64% of total cost, labor was the most expensive input. Watering by hand added another $0.37–$0.54 per plant in labor. When we analyzed input costs of each alternative container separately, container type had the largest impact on total direct costs. Before adding container costs, the direct COP ranged from $0.56 to $0.61 per plant. After adding containers, costs ranged from $0.61 to $0.97 per plant. Wood fiber pots were the most expensive and recycled reground plastic pots were the least expensive in this study. Based on our assessment and the observed small variation in GWP between alternative containers, growers would benefit from selecting a container based on price and consumer demand. Some social costs that we are not aware of yet may be associated with some or all biocontainers.

Free access