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Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) seed germination can be inhibited by high temperatures. An understanding of thermoinhibition in spinach is critical in predicting germination and emergence events. The purpose of this study was 3-fold: 1) to determine seed germination percentage and rate of spinach genotypes—`Cascade', `ACX 5044', `Fall Green', and `ARK 88-354'—exposed to constant and alternating temperatures; 2) to determine the nature and extent of inhibition imposed by the pericarp; and 3) to investigate leachate and oligosaccharide involvement in thermoinhibition. Germination inhibition began at >20 °C constant temperature and was totally suppressed at 35 °C. Alternating temperatures at 30/15 °C (12-hour day/12-hour night) resulted in greater germination than a constant 30 °C. The genotype sensitivity to supraoptimal temperatures was in the order of `ARK 88-354' ≤ `Fall Green' < `ACX 5044' < `Cascade', but the highly thermoinhibited `Cascade' seeds retained the ability to germinate when shifted to lower incubation temperatures. The pericarp inhibited germination, since seeds deprived of the pericarp had ≈90% germination at 30 °C. `ACX 5044' and `Cascade' had higher ABA content in the pericarp than `ARK 88-354' and `Fall Green'. Before imbibition at 30 °C, raffinose levels in each genotype were in the order of `ARK 88-354' > `Fall Green' > `Cascade'. After 48 hours of imbibition, sucrose and glucose levels were highest and raffinose levels were lowest in `ARK 88-354' and `Fall Green' seeds, while `Cascade' seeds remained less active metabolically. These data suggest that the pericarp apparently acts as a physical barrier as well as a source of inhibitors during thermoinhibition.

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Geraniums (Pelargonium × hortorum L.H. Bailey `Yours Truly') were grown in a glasshouse from 15 Mar. to 9 May as single pinched plants in a growing medium with a bulk volume of 1.3 liters per 15cm diameter standard plastic pot. Plants received constant fertigation with N at 300 mg·liter-1 from 20N-4.4P-16.6K with leaching fractions (LFs) of ≈ 0, 0.1, 0.2, and 0.4. The LF is the volume of solution leached from the container divided by the volume of solution applied to the container. There were 24 irrigations during the study. Plants with LFs of 0.2 and 0.4 had 46% larger leaf area, 40% more shoot fresh mass, and 37% more shoot dry mass than plants with LFs of 0 and 0.1. By week 5, the leachate electrical conductivity (EC) at 25C for LFs of 0.1,0.2, and 0.4 had increased from ≈ 3 dS·m-1 initially to 12, 8, and 4 dS·m-1, respectively. At harvest, the EC of a saturated medium extract (ECe) was 7, 4, 3, and 2 dS·m-1 for LFs of 0, 0.1, 0.2, and 0.4, respectively. At harvest, medium EC, with LFs of 0.1, 0.2, and 0.4 was 47% 68%, and 60% less in the lower two-thirds of the pot than in the upper third. With a LF of 0, the medium EC, was `not lower in the bottom of the pot. With fertigation N at 300 mg·liter-1, minimizing the LF substantially reduced growth of container-produced geraniums. In addition to specifying LF, the number of container capacities leached per week, termed the leaching intensity (LI), should be calculated for container leaching studies. In two studies, the LFs may be the same yet the LIs can be very different.

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. Leachate electrical conductivity (EC) and pH characterize the growing substrate and root zone environment. Leachate EC levels reflect the nutrient concentration in the root zone, whereas the pH levels influence the availability of these nutrients for uptake

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Ability to predict daily leachate volumes in greenhouse production enables strategic planning for the remediation of waste water. A case study greenhouse site (1620ft2) on Cornell campus was chosen because of the tile drainage system installed beneath. Roses `Sonya', `Royalty', and `Mary DeVor' were grown in 1170ft2 of bench and fertigated at bench level with automated spray nozzles. Data collection occurred over a 1.5 year period. Factors considered in modeling included: leaf area, irrigation and leachate volumes, and atmospheric / greenhouse environmental conditions (solar radiation, precipitation, temperature). Separate day and night models resulted, the night model included a condensation factor. Correlation existed between environmental factors, irrigation volume and leachate volume in the day model. In the night model a relationship between environmental factors and condensation was evident.

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Plugs of Leucanthemum × superbum `Becky' (Chrysanthemum `Becky', shasta daisy) were grown in #2 containers using pine bark–peat–sand or vermiculite–peat–sand (40:40:20 by volume). Containers were top dressed with either Osmocote Plus 15N–3.9P–9.9K (15–9–12) or Nutricote Plus (18N–2.6P–6.6K (18–6–8) at five rates (0, 0.5×, 1.0×, 1.5×, and 2.0×) to supply 3.9 g N per container at the recommended level (1.0×). Plants were irrigated twice a week using a cyclic irrigation regime consisting of two irrigation applications. Leachates from these containers were collected and evaluated for nitrate and orthophosphate concentrations. Irrespective of the substrate media, Osmocote Plus exhibited a higher rate of nitrogen release at the beginning of the season than Nutricote Plus. Nitrate nitrogen concentration was at least 2.5 times higher in leachates collected from media amended with Osmocote Plus than those with Nutricote Plus. Higher levels of nitrate were found in leachates collected from vermiculite-based media when compared to those from bark-based ones. Phosphate levels in leachates increased as rate of fertilizer increased and were higher in vermiculite-based media than those collected from bark-based media. Plants fertilized with Osmocote Plus were 1.7-fold greater in dry weight than plants fertilized with Nutricote Plus and were 1.2 times greater in vermiculite-based media than those in bark-based media.

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Abstract

Peat-sand (1:1, by volume) and wood-sand (2:1, by volume) mixes in 10 cm plastic pots were planted with Epipremnum aureum Linden & Andre cv. Tricolor (pothos), Coleus glumei Benth (coleus), and Brassaia actinophylla Endl. (schefflera). After the pH of the leachate had dropped to between 4.0 and 5.0, pots received a single irrigation with solutions NaHCO3 and KHCO3. For the peat mix, the highest concentrations (0.20 M) of NaHCO3 and KHCO3 raised the leachate pH to nearly 9.0; the pH subsequently dropped most rapidly in pots containing coleus and schefflera, and slowest with pothos. In pots containing the wood-sand mix, the pH climbed as high as 8.0 immediately after treatment with 0.08 m KHCO3, then decreased slowly in pothos and more rapidly with the other 2 species. In peat mixes, the final leachate pH was nearly one unit greater than the saturation paste pH of the soil. In wood-sand pots, mix from the bottom half of the pot was always lower in pH than mix from the top half. Except for schefflera the pH of the last leachate obtained was nearer the pH of the bottom half of the pot than that of the top half.

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effluent (leachate) collection to evaluate trends in nutrient release. This knowledge enables growers to make informed decisions regarding irrigation and fertilizer management in an effort to improve crop quality and reduce nutrient loss through leaching

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, respectively, as analyzed from leachate obtained using the pour-through procedure ( Wright, 1986 ). Before fertilizer application, plant-available nutrient levels in the growing substrate for the conventional and organic substrates, respectively, were as

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Nitrate pollution and water conservation are two of the most important environmental concerns for greenhouse growers. Closed irrigation systems, such as ebb and flow, can minimize these problems. The objective of this study was to determine optimal fertilizer concentrations for petunia (Petunia×hybrida Hort. Vilm-Andr.) and begonia (Begoni××emperflorens-cultorum Hort.) grown with ebb-and-flow irrigation. `Ambassador Scarlet' begonia and `Dreams Mix' petunia were grown as bedding plants in three soilless media. Plants were fertilized with solutions of a 20N-4.4P-16.6K water-soluble fertilizer with electrical conductivities (EC) of 0.15, 0.6, 1.2, 1.8, 2.4, or 3.0 dS·m-1. Maximum growth occurred with a fertilizer EC of 2.2 dS·m-1 for petunia and 1.6 dS·m-1 for begonia. Petunia growth was best in the medium with the highest porosity (Metro-Mix 220), but choice of medium had little effect on begonia growth. Leachate EC and pH were determined throughout the experiment, using the pour-through method. Leachate EC rose with increasing fertilizer concentration, and increased over time. The pH of the leachate decreased with increasing fertilizer concentration and dropped 0.5 to 1 unit over the course of the experiment with the higher fertilizer concentrations (≥0.6 dS·m-1). Plant growth was not very sensitive to leachate EC. Begonia and petunia grew well when the EC at the end of the production cycle was between 1.7 to 6.1 and 2.1 and 5.4 dS·m-1, respectively.

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Velvet mesquite [Prosopis velutina Woot., Syn.: P. juliflora (Swartz) DC. var. velutina (Woot.) Sarg.] has become more popular in arid landscapes of the southwestern U.S., but little information on N requirements during the seedling stage is available. In addition to optimize growth of seedlings, minimizing N in runoff during production is an important consideration. Experiments were conducted to determine how biomass production and N leaching were affected first by different ratios of ammonium and nitrate N in sand culture and second by different N concentrations when seedlings were grown in two substrates. Mesquite seedlings produced the greatest biomass after 120 days when fertigated with a solution of 33 NO3 : 67 NH4 +. Loss of N through leachate was 40% greater when NH + 4 comprised two thirds or more compared to one third or none in the fertigation solution. Nitrogen in leachate was highest after 16 weeks of treatment, coinciding with the reduced growth rate of seedlings. The second experiment utilized either sand or commercial growing media and a fertigation solution of 33 NO3 : 67 NH4 +. Fertigation with 200 mg·L–1 N after 60 days in either substrate produced greatest biomass, while rates of 25, 50, or 100 mg·L–1 N produced about half of that biomass. With few exceptions, less N in either form was found in leachate when seedlings were grown in media and were fertigated with the two higher N rates compared to seedlings grown in sand at the two higher N rates. Plant morphology, biomass accumulation, photosynthate allocation, and the fate of N in the growing substrate and in leachate were strongly affected by the choice of growing substrate.

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