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Charles Zachry Ogles, Joseph M. Kemble, Amy N. Wright and Elizabeth A. Guertal

, MO) and collards ( Brassica oleracea var. acephala cv. Blue Max) (Abbott and Cobb, Feasterville, PA). Materials and Methods Plant material and growth conditions. Field studies were conducted beginning on 6 July 2012 and continued until 26 Sept

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James L. Gibson and Brian E. Whipker

Twenty-six ornamental cabbage and kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) cultivars were grown in 8-inch (20.8-cm) diameter pots during Fall 1998 to classify their foliage traits and determine their response to the plant growth regulator (PGR) daminozide. Cultivar vigor was classified by height. Foliage characteristics were described and cultivars of ornamental cabbage, notched ornamental kale, and curly ornamental kale were selected for retail or wholesale markets based on the shortest number of days until a significant center color change, the largest center color diameter, and attractive foliage characteristics. Two cultivars treated with 2,500 ppm (mg·L-1) daminozide and eight cultivars treated with 5,000 ppm were significantly smaller in height compared to nontreated plants. Plants were treated 6 weeks after sowing, and the response to the PGRs may have been diminished by the age of the plant. Therefore, to further investigate PGR efficacy, seven outstanding cultivars selected in 1998 were treated with 5,000 ppm daminozide or 5 ppm uniconazole 14 days after potting (4 weeks after sowing) in Fall 1999. Greater control was observed with daminozide at 5,000 ppm in 1999 with a 13% smaller plant height as compared to 9% in 1998, when compared to the nontreated control. For greater height control, PGR applications to ornamental cabbage and kale should be applied 4 weeks after sowing.

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James L. Gibson and Brian E. Whipker

Current fertilizer recommendations for ornamental cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. acephala DC.) suggest applying 150 to 300 mg·L-1 N until the initiation of color development, after which fertilization should be reduced or discontinued. Because these plants are actively growing during cool weather when coloration is initiated, nutrient deficiencies may reduce overall plant quality. The objectives of this study were to investigate N to K ratios for plant growth of ornamental cabbage and the effects of continual and discontinued fertilization during the period of coloration. Fertilizing with 150 to 200 mg·L-1 N and 150 to 200 mg·L-1 K produced high-quality plants and provided sufficient tissue concentrations of N and K. Center-head coloration was not inhibited by N concentrations as high as 250 mg·L-1. Ceasing fertilization prior to center-head coloration resulted in the rapid depletion of N, P, and K concentrations in the lower foliage, leading to the appearance of deficiency symptoms and lower leaf loss. Plants were still actively growing as measured by increased shoot mass during the early stages of coloration; therefore, growers should continue to provide a complete analysis fertilizer at N concentrations ≥150 mg·L-1 until market date.

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James L. Gibson and Brian E. Whipker

Ornamental cabbage and kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) plants of cultivars Osaka White and Nagoya Red were treated with paclobutrazol and uniconazole as foliar sprays or substrate drenches. These treatments were compared to the industry standard of daminozide foliar sprays. Applying drenches of paclobutrazol (a.i.) at 4 mg/pot or uniconazole (a.i.) at 1 mg/pot (28,350 mg = 1.0 oz) resulted in 6% or 17%, respectively, shorter `Osaka White' plants while a 2 mg/pot paclobutrazol drench or a uniconazole drench at 0.25 mg/pot resulted in 25% shorter `Nagoya Red' plants. Although effective, the expense of substrate drenches for both plant growth regulators (PGRs) would not be economically feasible for growers to use. Paclobutrazol foliar sprays at concentrations of up to 80 mg·L-1 (ppm) were ineffective in controlling plant height and diameter of either `Osaka White' or `Nagoya Red'. A uniconazole foliar spray of 16 mg·L-1 resulted in 17% shorter `Nagoya Red' plants and 6% shorter `Osaka White' plants. A daminozide foliar spray of 2500 mg·L-1, sprayed twice, resulted in 21% shorter plants for both cultivars. Spraying daminozide would provide optimal height control for the retail grower. Although spraying daminozide twice controlled plant height and costs half the amount of an uniconazole spray at 16 mg·L-1, plant diameter was not affected with daminozide, therefore a wholesale grower who would desire a smaller diameter plant should use a uniconazole spray of 16 mg·L-1.

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W.B. Evans, Y. Vizzier-Thaxton, P. Hudson and K. Paridon

Mississippi is one of the nation's largest broiler litter producing states. Interest in using litter and other organic waste products, such as compost, in horticultural systems is increasing in the state and region. The objective of this research was to determine the influences of composted broiler litter (CBL) on three aspects of vegetable crop productivity: growth and yield, microbiological safety, and mineral nutrition. This report focuses on the first two objectives. Compost was made in a covered, turned windrow for a blend of broiler litter and hardwood sawdust. Responses to CBL were tested in two vegetables: collard (Brassica oleracea var. Acephala) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum). Rates of CBL ranged from 0 to 5 tons/acre, preplant incorporated in a randomized complete block design with four replicates for each species in two separate experiments in 2004. Testing of the CBL, the soil after application, leaves, and harvested organs found no significant influence of CBL on pathogenic microbe concentrations. At each of five sampling dates through commercial crop maturity, collard (Brassica oleracea var. Acephala) fresh and dry weight per plant increased linearly with CBL applications up to 5 tons/acre. Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) shoot fresh weight increased with increasing CBL applications at each sampling date. Marketable fruit yield increased linearly with increasing CBL applications. Total fruit yield response to CBL was best described by a quadratic equation.

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E.R. Mitchell, Guangye Hu and Denise Johanowicz

Collard greens (Brassica oleracea var. acephala L.) were planted in the peripheries of cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata L.) fields in the spring growing seasons of 1997 and 1998 to evaluate their effectiveness as a trap crop to manage the diamondback moth (DBM) [Plutella xylostella (L.)]. The numbers of DBM never exceeded the action threshold for application of insecticides in any of thefields that were completely surrounded by collards, but did exceed the action threshold in three of the fields without collards on four sampling dates in 1998. In both years, the numbers of DBM larvae in the collards exceeded the action threshold of 0.3 total larvae/plant in eight of nine fields. Larval counts in cabbage surrounded with collards were not significantly higher than in the conventionally planted cabbage, even though the number of pesticide applications was reduced in the former. The few pesticide applications in fields surrounded by collards probably targeted the cabbage looper [Trichoplusia ni (Hübner)], which was not impeded by the collards from infesting the interior cabbage. There was no significant reduction in marketability, and damage to cabbage was similar to that in fields where collards were planted and in fields where only conventional pesticides were used. The reduced number of pesticide sprays, as well as the high concentration of host larvae in the collards, may help maintain populations of natural enemies of DBM in the agroecosystem. Planting collards in field peripheries is a potentially effective tactic to manage DBM in cabbage.

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Suzanne O’Connell

The potential to expand the production of ornamental kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) grown as a specialty cut flower in the southeastern United States appears promising, especially for the winter holidays. This 2-year replicated study investigated the effects of two fall plantings and three cultivars on ornamental kale yields grown under organic high tunnels. In addition to the production study, informal interviews of local florists were conducted. The earlier planting dates resulted in longer stem lengths (≥5 cm) and fewer days to harvest (≥5 days) across both seasons. Commercial stem length goals were not achieved (≥60 cm) but local florists did not appear to have the same standards (≥31 cm). The cultivars Crane Bicolor and Lucir White had longer stems and larger heads than Crane Red. Our high tunnel system provided favorable air temperatures for vegetative growth from late September through early November indicating an earlier planting date may be possible. Commonly accepted nighttime temperatures required to induce color changes occurred in early to mid-November during our study period.

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James L. Gibson, Brian E. Whipker, Dharmalingam S. Pitchay, Paul V. Nelson and C. Ray Campbell

Elemental deficiencies of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, and B were induced in `Osaka White' ornamental cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. acephala L.) plants. Seedlings were planted in 4.7-L plastic containers and fertilized with a complete modified Hoagland's solution or this solution minus the element that was to be investigated. Plants were harvested for tissue analysis as well as dry weight when initial foliar symptoms were expressed and later under advanced deficiency symptoms. Root architecture was also recorded for the plants treated with the solutions. The containers were replicated three times for each of the two harvests and were randomized in a complete-block design. Deficiency symptoms for all treatments were observed within five weeks. The most dramatic expression of foliar symptoms occurred with N (a purplish tinge on underside of lower foliage leading to necrotic margins on the mature leaves), P (elongated internodes and a purplish tinge on underside of mature leaves), K (compact internodes with chlorotic lower foliage leading to necrotic patches on the leaf margins and blade), Fe (bright yellow upper foliage leading to a bleach white appearance), Ca (complete meristem necrosis with lower foliage becoming chlorotic then necrotic), and B (deformed young leaves and fully expanded leaves becoming thick, leathery, and brittle). The dry weight of plants treated with solutions not containing N, P, Ca, Fe, or B was significantly lower when compared to the control. Foliar tissue concentration data will assist plant tissue analysis laboratories in establishing foliar symptom standards for grower samples.

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James L. Gibson and Brian E. Whipker

Ornamental cabbage and kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala L.) plants of cultivars `Osaka White' and `Nagoya Red' were treated with paclobutrazol and uniconazole as foliar sprays or soil drenches. These treatments were compared to the industry standard of daminozide foliar sprays. Ten plant growth regulator (PGR) drench treatments (in mg a.i./pot) were applied 22 days after potting: paclobutrazol at 1 to 16 and uniconazole at 0.125 to 2. Thirteen PGR foliar sprays (in mg/L) were also applied: paclobutrazol at 5 to 80, uniconazole at 2 to 32, daminozide at 2500, 2500 (twice, with the second application occurring 14 days later), or 5000, and an untreated control. Applying drenches of paclobutrazol at 4 mg or uniconazole at 0.5 mg controlled height by 16 to 25%, but at the cost of $0.11 per pot would not be economically feasible for growers to use. Paclobutrazol foliar sprays at concentrations of up to 80 mg/L were ineffective in controlling plant height and diameter of either `Osaka White' or `Nagoya Red'. Uniconazole foliar sprays between 2 and 8 mg/L were effective in controlling height (by 19%) and diameter (by 15%) as daminozide foliar sprays of 2500 mg/L, sprayed twice, with a cost to the grower of $0.02 per pot.

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James L. Gibson and Brian E. Whipker

Twenty-six ornamental cabbage and kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala L.) cultivars were transplanted into 20.8-cm (8-inch) pots in Fall 1998 to classify their foliage traits and determine their response to the plant growth regulator (PGR) daminozide. Daminozide foliar sprays were applied at 0, 2500, or 5000 mg·L–1 (ppm) 3 weeks after potting. Two cultivars treated with 2500 mg.L-1 and eight cultivars treated with 5000 mg·L–1 were significantly smaller in height when compared to the nontreated plants. Using the Range/lsd formula, the vigor of the cultivars was classified by height. Foliage characteristics were described and cultivars of ornamental cabbage, notched ornamental kale, and curly ornamental kale were selected based on the shortest number of days until a significant center color change and the largest center color diameter. In Fall 1999, recommended cultivars selected in 1998 were treated with daminozide at 5000 mg·L–1 or uniconazole at 5 mg·L–1 14 days after potting, plus a nontreated control. All cultivars responded similarly to the PGRs with greater control being observed with daminozide with a smaller plant height of 13% as compared to 6% for uniconazole. For effective height control, PGR applications to ornamental cabbage and kale should be applied 2 weeks after potting.