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Abstract

A container growing medium of 2 peat : 1 perlite (v/v) was limed with 0, 0.9, 1.8, 2.7, 3.6, 5.4, 7.2, and 9.0 kg·m–3 dolomite. Media were irrigated with water, providing alkalinity equivalent to 0, 38, and 371 mg·liter–1 CaCO3. Samples were incubated at 25° ± 3°C and pH determined at days 2, 5, 7, 14, 28, 56, and 84. Irrigating with even moderately alkaline water over three months increased pH substantially above levels resulting from dolomite amendments alone.

Open Access

Increasing rates (5%, 10%, 25%, and 40%, v/v) of six sources of organic wastes were substituted for peat to assess changes on the physical properties of peat–perlite media and the subsequent plant response. Wastes were both fresh and composted bio-filter, sewage sludge, and de-inked paper sludge. Geranium plants (Pelagornium ×hortum `Orbit Hot Pink') were grown in the media. Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) and air-filled porosity (AFP) were successively measured with a Cote infiltrometer and by time-domain reflectometry. Pore space tortuosity (PST) and gas relative diffusivity (Dp/Do) were calculated. Both physical and plant growth parameters were significantly affected by the source and rate of application of waste. Ksat (P = 0.0001, r = 0.937), AFP (P = 0.001, r = 0.984), PST (P = 0.0001, r = 0.935), Dp/Do (P = 0.0001, r - 0.872) linearly increased as the rate of waste increased in the media. However, plant height (P = 0.0001, r = 0.856), root dry weight (P = 0.0001, r = 0.994), and shoot dry weight (P = 0.0001, r = 0.963) either linearly or quadratically decreased as the rate of waste increased. Decreases in plant growth parameters were most likely due to high salinity of organic wastes.

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Growth of Pythium aphanidermatum, Pythium ultimum, Pythium irregulare, Phytophthora nicoctianae, Phytophthora cinnomomi, Fusarium oxysporum, Rhizoctonia solani and Thielaviopsis basicoli was inhibited in vitro when grown in a clarified V-8 nutrient solution containing 10% garlic extract. After exposure to 10% garlic extract for 3 days, all fungi and fungal-like organisms failed to grow after being washed and transferred to fresh cornmeal agar nutrient medium without garlic extract. When Sphagnum peat was inoculated with P. aphanidermatum and drenched with solutions containing varying concentrations of garlic extract, a single drench of 35% garlic extract or two drenches of 15% garlic extract were required to rid the substrate of viable P. aphanidermatum. In sand, a single application of 25% garlic extract or two applications of 10% garlic extract were required to rid the sand of viable P. aphanidermatum Thus, Sphagnum peat appeared to partially inactivate the components in garlic and did so to a greater extent than sand. Therefore, efficacy of garlic extract as a soil drench fungicide will be affected by the type of substrate or soil to which the garlic extract is applied.

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This study examined the numbers of specific soil and thatch microbial populations in a U.S. Golf Association (USGA) specification sand-peat putting green of creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds.) over 17 months. Changes caused by adding a water-soluble or bio-organic (water-insoluble, contains microbial inoculum) N source were examined. Thatch was found to contain 40 to 1600 times as many bacteria as the soil, 500 to 600 times as many fungi, and up to 100 times as many actinomycetes. Soil populations of nitrate- and nitrite-reducing anaerobes were similar and ranged from 103 to 105 per gram of dry soil. Adding the bio-organic N source increased soil fungal counts and thatch thickness when compared with the control (no N applied), but not as much as the water-soluble N source. The amendments had no effect on soil respiration, total organic carbon. or total N content.

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Southern seaoats (Uniola particulata) are difficult to propagate from seed due to low seed numbers produced and cold dormancy effects. To efficiently produce southern seaoats in the nursery industry the dormancy must be effectively broken to assure quick and even germination. 24 hr soaks in gibberillic acid (100 and 500 ppm) or scarification of the seed coat combined with GA soaks were compared. Seeds were planted in 50/50 peat/perlite medium 2.5 cm deep. 21 DAT both the 100 and 500 ppm GA soaks had higher germination rates. The 100 ppm GA was determined to he most effective (56% germination) with the seedlings being 3 cm in length. The 500 ppm treated seeds were 6 cm in length hut twisted from the GA causing excessive cell elongation.

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Heavy metal-sensitive `Express Orchid' petunias (Petunia ×hybrida Hort Vilm.-Andr. `Express Orchid') were grown in substrates of 2 green yard waste compost: 3 peat (v/v) with target Cu contents of 100 and 200 mg·kg-1 at varying pH. Iron supply was also varied. Copper contents of the substrate were determined by H2O, NH4NO3, NH4OAc, CaCl2, CaCl2-DTPA, and aqua regia extraction. Plant Cu concentration increased with increasing Cu supply and decreasing pH, indicating that Cu phytoavailability depended on substrate pH. Extraction of fresh substrates with CaCl2-DTPA provided a good prediction of plant Cu concentration and reflected well the influence of pH on Cu phytoavailability. The percentage of CaCl2-DTPA extractable Cu increased with decreasing pH. Extractions of Cu with NH4NO3, H2O, NH4OAc, and CaCl2 resulted in very low extractable amounts and hence were not suitable. Plants showed Cu toxicity induced iron-like deficiency chlorosis, which was alleviated by additional Fe supply. This Fe supply did not seem to affect total Fe concentration of petunias, but reduced Cu concentration of the shoots. Since yield reduction was not observed, the occurrence of chlorosis during the culture period was chosen as the toxicity parameter, resulting in a Cu threshold toxicity level of 12.3 mg.kg-1 plant dry weight. From this, a threshold toxicity level for CaCl2-DTPA extractable Cu in compost-peat substrates of 3 mg.L-1 substrate was determined. Chemical name used: diethylenetriamine-pentaacetic acid (DTPA).

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% Canadian sphagnum peat (Fisons professional black bale peat; Sun Gro Horticulture, Bellevue, WA) with long fibers and little dust (Von Post scale 1 to 2; Puustjarvi and Robertson, 1975 ) and 30% perlite. A dolomitic hydrated lime [97% Ca(OH) 2 ·MgO, 92% of

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seed. Evans and Gachukia (2004) demonstrated that PBH could be successfully used as an alternative to perlite in the root substrate for the production of several ornamental species. However, the physical properties of PBH-amended sphagnum peat

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Sphagnum peat was blended with CaCO3 or Ca(OH)2 and incubated for 3 weeks at 20C to achieve a pH of ≈ 4.4, 5.4, 6.2, or 7.3. An unlimed control had an initial pH of 3.5. Urea was added to medium treatments at the rate of 125 μg urea-N/cm3. Samples were incubated at 20 ± 1.0C. Medium pH, urea-N, \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{2}^{-}-\mathrm{N}\) \end{document} , and \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{NO}_{3}^{-}\mathrm{N}\) \end{document} were measured immediately before urea addition (day 0) and 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 14, 21, and 28 days after urea addition. Medium pH increased when urea was applied for all lime treatments. Medium pH remained at an elevated level, except for the two highest rates of C&CO3, in which pH increased Initially, then decreased. The rate of urea hydrolysis increased as lime rate increased. For both lime sources, urea was completely hydrolyzed within 4 days for the two highest lime rates, except for the highest rate of CaCO3. Nitrite accumulation was evident in the highest lime rate for both lime sources. Nitrate formation was greater with CaCO3 than with Ca(OH)2.

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Water retention at effective water-holding capacity (EWHC) and container capacity (CCAP) were measured in four rockwool-peat potting media amended with a wetting agent and/or a hydrophilic gel in pots 12 cm tall containing 445 cm3 medium, and irrigated by capillary mat, flood-and-drain, trickle emitter, or overhead sprinkler. Water retention was measured by weighing. Irrigation was continued until EWHC (i.e., net water retention when no weight increase could be obtained by further irrigation) was reached. CCAP (i.e., net water retention following saturation and free drainage) was measured at the end of each experiment. Irrigation method and medium amendments significantly affected EWHC. Rank order of irrigation treatments was sprinkler ≥ trickle > flood and drain ≥ mat. Hydrophilic gel increased both EWHC and CCAP, while the wetting agent increased EWHC but decreased or had no effect on CCAP. Significant interactions of gel and wetting agent were observed in some media. EWHC was less than CCAP, and EWHC was better correlated with CCAP with trickle emitter and overhead sprinkler irrigation than with capillary mat and flood-and-drain irrigation.

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