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Shujun YU

The author investigated, recorded, observed and analyzed the major wildflowers in Mount Huangshan---the natural and cultural heritages listed by the ESC0 of UN for the first time. On the basis of their desirable characteristics, more than 300 wild ornamental species are divided into 8 categories -–-historical old trees, rare and endangered species, evergreen ornamentals, blooming trees and shrubs, plants with colored foliage and fruit in fall, vines, herbaceous ornamentals and ground covers, and ornamental ferns. Mount Huangshan is one of the richest regions of native ornamentals in Eastern China and the most famous natural beauty in Pan-China. There are about 1500 wild landscape plants in and around it. Finally the paper puts forth some proposals and methods for introduction and utilization of wild ornamental plants. That is, investigation, classification,acclimatization and cultivation of them, and building a sort-out botanical garden for the germplasmic preservation and the flourishing landscape tourism.

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Guogiang Hou, Jack W. Buxton and Donna Switzer

To prevent rooting into an irrigation mat, five water porous materials, perforated black plastic, perforated ground cover, polyester, woven polypropylene and porous plastic, were evaluated as mat covers. Only polyester, woven polypropylene and porous plastic prevented penetration of roots of marigold seedlings into the mat. Under high moisture stress, root tips were killed at the cell drainage hole; however, under low moisture stress the roots formed a mat on top of these mat covers. To prevent root penetration out the drainage hole, polyester and porous plastic were glued over the hole. No difference in shoot growth was observed between the control (only polyester mat cover) and seedlings produced in drainage hole covered cells. Total root growth of plug seedlings with drainage hole covered were greater than the control. Ten days after transplanting, seedlings that had been produced in plugs, with covered drainage holes, were larger.

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Sherry Kitto and Traci McMillian

Pachysandra procumbens, the Allegheny pachysandra, is very rare to rare throughout most of its native range. Winter color, growth habit and ease of maintenance all recommend this perennial as an alternative ground cover for shady habitats. Development of micropropagation protocols may allow for its mass distribution. Non-wild collected shoots were disinfested using conventional procedures and were cultured and maintained in an MS based stock medium. Shoots proliferated equally well on an MS, a modified MS or a DKW based medium. Shoots had significantly more swelled buds when cultured in medium gelled with Gelrite or in liquid medium on membrane rafts compared to vermiculite. Microcuttings with or without a basal node rooted equally well. Microcuttings with or without an apical bud rooted equally well; however, microcuttings with an apical bud produced significantly longer roots.

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Carol Ness, Leslye Bloom, P. Diane Relf and Mary Miller

Horticulture information is being placed at the fingertips of Virginia citizens through the use of Public Information Interactive Video Systems. A personal computer (with a touch-screen monitor) and laserdisc player work together to offer a multi-media delivery system. The user moves through programs by simply touching the screen to browse, skip ahead, back up, look up specific information, and print out needed information. A program on household plants contains photographs and information on 131 popular cut flowers and houseplants. A program on selecting landscape plants includes short video segments on the plant selection process, a plant sorter, picture album, and information on the 141 trees, shrubs, vines, and ground covers. Horticulture questions are among those answered in a section on questions most often asked of extension agents. This horticulture information program is one of the top two programs used in the Public Information Interactive Video System in Virginia.

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Carol Ness, Leslye Bloom, P. Diane Relf and Mary Miller

Horticulture information is being placed at the fingertips of Virginia citizens through the use of Public Information Interactive Video Systems. A personal computer (with a touch-screen monitor) and laserdisc player work together to offer a multi-media delivery system. The user moves through programs by simply touching the screen to browse, skip ahead, back up, look up specific information, and print out needed information. A program on household plants contains photographs and information on 131 popular cut flowers and houseplants. A program on selecting landscape plants includes short video segments on the plant selection process, a plant sorter, picture album, and information on the 141 trees, shrubs, vines, and ground covers. Horticulture questions are among those answered in a section on questions most often asked of extension agents. This horticulture information program is one of the top two programs used in the Public Information Interactive Video System in Virginia.

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Curt R. Rom, Donn Johnson, Mark Den Herder and Ron Talbert

Twelve apple orchards and an experimental orchard were evaluated in 2 years for weed population and diversity, primary pests (codling moth, oriental fruit moth, plum curculio and mites), primary diseases, soil water content, and 37 horticultural attributes describing tree growth, fruit growth, productivity, tree nutrition, and management intensity. Data were collected at 2 week intervals. The experimental orchard contained three apple cultivars grown in three orchard floor management systems.

Increased weed ground cover related to earlier and increased mite predator populations in trees, decreased pest mite-days, but reduced tree and fruit growth. Grass weed species appeared more detrimental to tree growth than broadleaf species. Tree training intensity was negatively related to canopy density, and incidence of pests and diseases. Reductions in fruit size and quality were more closely linked to weed competition, and earliness and degree of pest mite infestation than to crop load.

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Michael W. Smith

Several new management tools and management practices are being developed for pecan. Major insect pests of pecan are pecan nut casebearer, hickory shuckworm, and pecan weevil. Sex pheromone attractants are being developed for each of these pests that improve monitoring. Also, a pecan weevil trap (Tedder's trap) was introduced recently that is more sensitive to weevil emergence than the previous trap. New models that predict critical periods for pecan scab infection are being tested. Certain legume ground covers are being tested to increase beneficial arthropods in the orchard for aphid control, and to supply N. Mulches are being investigated as an alternative to herbicide management for young trees. A mechanical fruit thinning method has been developed that increases fruit quality and reduces alternate bearing as well as stress-related disorders.

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Roy A. Larson

Plastic products have revolutionized commercial floriculture. Even plastic flowers have caused a new marketing consideration because they are quite competitive with the marketing of live material. Plastic pots are used widely because they are lightweight, attractive, and relatively inexpensive. Plastic flats and trays have been readily accepted by the consumer, and were instrumental in the development of plug culture. Major components of automatic watering systems are made of plastic, and much of the plumbing practiced in commercial floriculture is done with plastic pipe and fittings. Plastic foams are used in floral arrangements, growing media, and propagation cubes or strips. Plastic is used to make steam-sterilization covers, shading material for the manipulation of both light intensity and photoperiod, and mulches or ground covers to help control weeds. Very large quantities of plastic are used in commercial floriculture, and recent landfill restrictions have necessitated procedures for recycling. Recycling procedures are known, but logistics and economics of recycling have not been resolved completely.

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Laura K. Hunsberger

Vegetable soybeans [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] (edamame) are growing in popularity as a niche crop grown by traditional grain producers. Edamame were grown in an organically transitional system from 2004–2005 at the University of Maryland Lower Eastern Shore Research and Education Center in Salisbury, Md. Four weed suppressing treatments were used in order to determine if this crop would grow well in an organic production system. Five varieties; BeSweet 2020S, BeSweet 292, 414F, Dixie (2004 only), and Mooncake (2005 only) were grown in a RCB design with 4 reps. The weed suppression systems included; a ground cover of commercially purchased compost in a 4-inch layer, a ground cover of straw in a 4-inch layer, New Zealand Clover applied as a living mulch at a rate of 35#/A and an untreated control. Soybeans grown in both commercial compost and clover had significantly higher yields (6,606 and 5,578 lb/acre, respectively) than those grown in the untreated control (4,283 lb/acre), but were not different from those grown in straw (5,578 lb/acre). Weed suppression system also had an affect on the pod number per plant. On average, compost, clover and straw had 49% more pods per plant than the control. Over both years, BeSweet 2020S, BeSweet 292, 414F, and Dixie all had significantly higher yields than Mooncake (5,003, 5,613, 5,522, 7,138 and 1,875 lb/acre, respectively). Variety also had an effect on pod number per plant, with BeSweet 2020S having a 37% higher pod number that BeSweet 292. It is feasible that vegetable soybeans can be grown organically or in a low input system. This value added crop could fill an important niche for both market growers and small traditional grain producers growers.

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Thomas J. Tworkoski and D. Michael Glenn

Competitive effects of different grass species were evaluated on growth, yield, leaf N, and leaf water potential of 8-year-old peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] trees and on weed abundance. Two cultivars (`Loring' on Lovell rootstock and `Redhaven' on Halford rootstock) of peach trees were planted in separate orchards in 1987. Nine orchard floor treatments were installed beneath the peach trees in 1995: Festuca arundinacea Schreber (tall fescue); Lolium perenne L., var. Manhattan II (perennial ryegrass); Lolium perenne L., var. Linn; Agrostis gigantea Roth (red top); Dactylis glomerata L. (orchardgrass); Phleum pratense L. (timothy); Bromus carinatus Hook. and Arn. (brome); weedy control; and herbicide weed control (simazine, glyphosate). In general, grasses reduced vegetative growth and yield in both cultivars. Orchardgrass was one of the most competitive species and reduced vertical water sprout length by 15% to 27% and lateral shoot length on fruit-bearing branches by 19% to 30% compared with herbicide treatments. Orchardgrass reduced yield by 37% and 24% in `Loring' and `Redhaven', respectively. All grasses were not equally competitive; `Linn' perennial ryegrass did not significantly reduce growth or yield in `Redhaven'. Control treatments with weeds also did not differ from herbicide treatments in peach tree growth and yield. Grass and weed ground covers consistently reduced peach tree leaf N by at least 10%, compared to herbicide treatment, possibly due to reduced root growth. `Redhaven' root density in the top 10 cm of soil was ≈12 cm·cm-3 in herbicide strips vs. 1 cm·cm-3 in weedy or ground-covered strips. Peach leaf water potential was not affected by grass and weeds. Weed weights were significantly reduced by all grasses compared with weedy control. The results indicate that peach cultivars respond differently to grass competition, but the relative competitiveness of each grass species was similar for both cultivars. Grass competition reduced growth, yield, and pruning weights of mature peach trees, but the reduction in vegetative growth did not significantly reduce pruning time per tree. Grasses that are less inhibitory to peach yield may be useful for weed management in orchards.