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  • Author or Editor: William Bridges x
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Over half of global food waste occurs in retail and households, highlighting the importance of improving shelf life. Many factors affect shelf life, including storage temperature, harvest time, processing method, and packaging. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), such as nitrogen (N2), has been used to improve the shelf life of produce. This study aimed to determine the effect of nitrogen-enriched packaging on the shelf life of greenhouse- and garden-grown kale in raised beds outdoors. Five kale cultivars (Black Magic, Darkibor, Lacinato, Red Russian, and Westlander) were grown in the greenhouse, and four cultivars (Curly Roja, Dwarf Green Curled, Meadowlark, and Vates) outdoors in raised beds, harvested and stored in nitrogen-enriched or nonenriched bags for 6 days. Leaf water content, water activity, color, visual score, and texture were measured for each replicate. Nitrogen-enriched packaging did not affect the kale shelf life. Garden-grown kale exhibited significantly lower water activity (0.979 vs. 0.999) and noticeably lower water content (88.6 vs. 90.6%) than greenhouse-grown kale. The cultivars were significant for all factors tested except for texture on day 4 and change in light to dark (Δ L*) and blue to yellow (Δ b*) color ratios. At the end of the study, cultivars Darkibor and Curly Roja had the highest visual score (4.4) and texture (305 g), respectively. The high performance of ‘Darkibor’ and ‘Curly Roja’ in visual score and texture may be due to decreased (Δ L*) and (Δ b*) values and decreased water content and water activity values. Future breeding efforts focused on the shelf life of kale should use the top-performing cultivars identified in this study and a diverse genetic population tested in a range of environments to develop cultivars with a longer shelf life.

Open Access

Adventitious and axillary shoots of melon (Cucumis melo L.) were cultured from explants on a modified Murashige and Skoog medium containing 10 μm BA. Explants were diversified with regard to genetic source (breeding lines Miniloup, L-14, and B-line), seed parts (apical and cotyledon tissue), seed maturity (10-40 days after pollination; DAP), and cotyledon sections with respect to apical-radicle axis (distal and proximal). Plants were screened for ploidy level by pollen morphometry. Immature cotyledons produced more tetraploid regenerants than mature cotyledons from seed of breeding line Miniloup; the highest frequency of tetraploid regenerant plants was from cotyledons of embryos harvested 18 and 22 DAP. Explants from the apical meristem of the same seeds produced fewer or no tetraploid plants. Proximal sections from immature cotyledons of three genotypes (Miniloup, L-14, B-line) produced higher frequencies of tetraploids than whole mature cotyledons or whole immature cotyledons.

Free access

The US landscape industry consists of 632,000 businesses with >1 million persons employed in 2022. The most common service that landscape service providers (LSPs) perform is pest management. Over the past 25 years, LSPs have been challenged to adopt more holistic approaches to pest management via the use of nonchemical and less toxic chemical controls. Integrated pest management (IPM), specifically scouting, may be a useful approach for LSPs to manage pests more sustainably and market new services, such as biological control releases. Scant literature is available on LSP scouting practices or consumer acceptance of scouting services. The goal of this study was to determine if IPM-aware consumers were more likely to purchase a scouting program offered by an LSP. An online survey was distributed across the United States through a third-party panel service. The final sample included 928 usable responses. Data were analyzed using a binary logistic regression model. Fifty-seven percent of respondents reported having some knowledge or were very knowledgeable of IPM. Respondents 65 years of age and older were 13.1% points less likely to purchase a scouting service. Education level did not influence purchase likelihood. Consumer knowledge of IPM had a positive influence on the purchase likelihood, respondents with “some knowledge” (5.6%) and “very knowledgeable” (8.6%) were more likely to buy IPM services. Further, if the consumer was open to purchasing the scouting program, it is plausible that they might be more willing to allow an LSP to use a combination of chemical and nonchemical methods to manage pests.

Open Access

Goosegrass (Eleusine indica L. Gaertn.) is a problematic C4 weedy grass species, occurring in the warmer regions of the world where it is difficult to selectively control without injuring the turfgrass. Furthermore, control efficacy is affected by plant maturity. End-user options for satisfactory goosegrass control has decreased; thus, the need for developing management techniques to improve the selectivity of POST goosegrass control options in turfgrass systems is ever increasing. One possible means of providing control, yet maintaining turf quality is immediately incorporating applied products via irrigation. Greenhouse and field trials were conducted in Pickens County, SC, with the objectives of 1) evaluating turfgrass injury following use of POST goosegrass control options; 2) assessing if irrigating (0.6 cm) immediately following the herbicide application reduces injury of ‘Tifway 419’ bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × Cynodon transvaalensis Burtt-Davy]; and 3) determining if immediate irrigation influences goosegrass control at one- to three-tiller and mature growth stage. Following the application of herbicide treatments, irrigation was applied (+) or not applied (−). Treatments included the following: control (+/− irrigation); topramezone at 12.3 g a.i./ha (+/− irrigation); metribuzin at 420 g a.i./ha (+/− irrigation); and topramezone plus metribuzin (+/− irrigation) at 12.3 and 420 g a.i./ha. Irrigation treatment had minimum effect on greenhouse-grown goosegrass biomass, all treatments provided >85% control of 1- to 3-tiller goosegrass plants. However, control for mature plants was <50% for topramezone- and 60% to 70% for metribuzin-containing treatments. In field studies, at 1 week after treatment (WAT), the irrigated metribuzin and topramezone plus metribuzin had ≈37% and ≈16%, respectively, less goosegrass control vs. nonirrigated treatments. At 2WAT, irrigated metribuzin and irrigated topramezone plus metribuzin–treated plots, had ≈50% less mature goosegrass control vs. nonirrigated treatments. Irrigated herbicide treatments, however, experienced ≈23% less turfgrass injury at this time. At 4 WAT, irrigated metribuzin- and irrigated topramezone plus metribuzin–treated plots experienced reduced mature goosegrass control by ≈65% and ≈59%, respectively. Overall, incorporating POST herbicide applications via 0.6 cm of irrigation reduced turfgrass injury by at least 20% for all herbicide treatments, while maintaining goosegrass control.

Free access

Commercial nurseries use large amounts of water and nutrients during production cycles. Runoff contaminated with N and P can adversely impact surface and groundwater quality. A 3-year monitoring study of nutrient mitigation by a constructed wetland at a container nursery found nitrogen removal was highly efficient. However, orthophosphate-P removal was highly variable. Partial removal occurred during some months, but net export also occurred. P levels in wetland discharge—between 0.84 and 2.75 ppm—were well above the generally accepted level for preventing downstream eutrophication. Therefore, identifying landscape plants that remediate nutrients, especially P, could be useful in improving constructed wetlands. A 2003 greenhouse study screened commercially available landscape plants for their phytoremediation potential. Among the 17 taxa and 19 cultivars examined were woody shrubs, e.g., Cornusamomum, Myricacerifera`Emperor', and Salix integra `Hakura Nishiki'; herbaceous semiaquatics, e.g., Canna(two cultivars), Colocasia esculenta `Illustris', Rhyncospora colorata, Iris`Full Eclipse', Pontederia cordata `Singapore Pink', and Thalia geniculata `Red Stem'; and floating aquatics, e.g., Myriophyllum aquaticum, Eichhornia crassipes, and Pistia stratiotes. Plants were grown in pea gravel media and kept saturated with one of five concentrations of Hoagland's. Herbaceous and woody plants were harvested after 8 and 13 weeks, respectively. Experiments were replicated twice for each cultivar. The nutrient uptake efficiency was determined for each taxon from the total amount of N and P applied and the biomass dry weight and N and P content.

Free access

Commercial nurseries use large amounts of water and nutrients to produce container-grown plants. The large volume of runoff containing nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) that leaves nurseries can contaminate surface and groundwater. Subsurface flow-constructed wetlands have been shown to effectively treat agricultural, industrial, and residential wastewater and to be well-suited for growers with limited production space. We investigated the possibility of using commercially available aquatic garden plants in subsurface-constructed wetlands to remove nutrients in a laboratory scale, gravel-based system. Seven popular aquatic garden plants received N and P from Hoagland's nutrient solution every 2 days for 8 weeks. These rates (0.39 to 36.81 mg·L−1 of N and 0.07 to 6.77 mg·L−1 P, respectively) encompassed low to high rates of nutrients found at various points between the discharge and inflow points of other constructed wetland systems currently in use at commercial nurseries. Plant biomass, nutrient recovery, and tissue nutrient concentration and content were measured. Whole plant dry weight positively correlated with total N and P supplied. Louisiana Iris hybrid ‘Full Eclipse’, Canna × generalis Bailey (pro sp.) ‘Bengal Tiger’, Canna × generalis Bailey (pro sp.) ‘Yellow King Humbert’, Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott ‘Illustris', Peltandra virginica (L.) Schott, and Pontederia cordata L. ‘Singapore Pink’ had the greatest N recovery rates. The P recovery rates were similar for the cannas, Colocasia esculenta ‘Illustris’, Louisiana Iris ‘Full Eclipse’, Pe. virginica, and Po. cordata ‘Singapore Pink’. The potential exists for creating a sustainable nursery and greenhouse production system that incorporates a subsurface-constructed wetland planted with marketable horticultural crops that provide remediation and revenue.

Free access

Intensive production of container-grown nursery and greenhouse crops in soilless substrate may result in significant leaching of nutrients and pesticides. The resulting runoff can escape from production areas and negatively impact surface and ground water. Constructed wetlands (CWs) have been shown to be a simple, low-technology method for treating agricultural, industrial, and municipal wastewater. We investigated the nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) removal potential by a vegetated, laboratory-scale subsurface flow (SSF) CW system. Over an 8-week period, five commercially available aquatic garden plants received a range of N and P (0.39 to 36.81 mg·L−1 N and 0.07 to 6.77 mg·L−1 P) that spanned the rates detected in nursery runoff. Whole plant dry weight was positively correlated with N and P supplied. Highest N and P recovery rates were exhibited by Thalia geniculata f. rheumoides Shuey and Oenenathe javanica (Blume) DC. ‘Flamingo’, Phyla lanceolata (Michx.) Greene also had high P recovery rates. The potential exists for using SSF CWs to concomitantly produce aquatic garden plants and attenuate nutrients in a sustainable nursery enterprise.

Free access

Clarireedia jacksonii sp. nov. formerly Sclerotinia homoeocarpa F.T. Bennett, one of the causal agents of dollar spot, is the most widespread pathogen in turfgrass systems. Dollar spot (DS) affects both cool- and warm-season grasses, during a wide range of environmental conditions. Field studies were conducted at Clemson University, Clemson, SC, on a creeping bentgrass [Agrostis stolonifera L. var. palustris (Huds) cv. Crenshaw] putting green for 2 consecutive years from August to October in year 1 and July to September in year 2. The objective of the studies was to evaluate biological control agents (BCAs) and synthetic fungicides at reduced rates for their efficacy controlling dollar spot. Four replications of 1.5 × 1.5-m plots were used in the experimental design. Treatments included the following: Bacillus subtilis (BS); plant extract oils (EO) including clove oil + wintergreen oil + thyme oil; extract of Reynoutria sachalinensis (RS); Bacillus licheniformis (BL); chlorothalonil (CL); and azoxystrobin + propiconazole (AzP). Synthetic fungicides were used at reduced rates in combination with biological control agents, to evaluate curative control efficacy of various combinations. All reduced synthetic programs, except CL + EO, provided acceptable disease severity (≤15%) at the end of year 1 and acceptable (≥7) turfgrass visual quality. Azoxystrobin + propiconazole, CL, AzP + BL, AzP + EO, AzP + BS all provided ≤15% disease severity and ≥7 visual turfgrass quality 14 days after the last application in year 2.

Open Access