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Stephanie E. Burnett and Lois Berg Stack

Organic and conventional greenhouse growers in Maine were surveyed to determine the research needs of growers who may produce organic ornamental bedding plants. Organic growers were also asked to identify their greatest motivator to determine whether they feel that there is a greater market for organically grown ornamental plants. The greatest percentage (75%) of organic growers indicated that they choose to grow plants organically because “it's the right thing to do.” The second greatest percentage (36%) of organic growers choose organic production techniques for ornamental plants because they grow food crops organically and consider it convenient to use only one production technique. A relatively small number of organic growers (7%) considered the market for organic ornamental plants to be a strong motivator for growing organically. Organic growers were asked to select production issues that pose the greatest challenge for them from a list of common production problems. They considered insect and disease management and organic fertility, substrate, and pH management to be their greatest problems. Conventional growers primarily avoid organic production techniques because they consider organic fertilization or organic insect management to be too big of a challenge. Because organic and conventional growers consider insect and fertility or substrate management to be challenges facing organic growers, these topics should be top priorities for future research on organic greenhouse production.

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H. Brent Pemberton and William E. Roberson

The East Texas Bedding Plant Pack and Garden Performance Trials began several years ago at the Texas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Overton (Overton Center) with the goal of providing information on greenhouse and field performance of bedding plant varieties to the local bedding plant industry and consumers of these products. The program began with local trials that have now expanded in scope with the Smith County Master Gardeners Association playing an integral role in performing the trials. Entries are received from most of the major ornamental seed companies doing business in the United States giving the regional industry access to the only comprehensive greenhouse performance trials in this part of the country. Performance evaluation data is important to this industry since it has a wholesale value of over $500 million in the northeast Texas region, of which over $100 million is bedding plant production. The field performance trials are now replicated at the Overton Center, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden (Dallas Arboretum) and the Texas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Dallas (Dallas Center), giving over 5 million consumers in the northeast Texas region the opportunity to see how promising new plants from all over the world perform in the local climate. Plants that grow well in this climate have the potential to reduce inputs needed for production and use in the home or commercial landscape. Many of the top performing varieties from the bedding plant trials are also chosen to be part of the Coordinated Education and Marketing Assistance Program (CEMAP), a statewide testing program headquartered at the Dallas Center in which entries vie for designation as Texas Superstar plants. The comprehensive benefit of the East Texas Bedding Plant Pack and Garden Performance Trials is the link between the rural bedding plant producers and the urban consumers which serves as a basis for improving the quality of life for the citizens of Texas.

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Rebecca A. Schnelle and James E. Barrett

The paclobutrazol liner dip is a plant growth regulator application technique that is becoming widespread in the commercial bedding plant industry. This technique, in which plug trays are dipped in a solution of paclobutrazol before transplant, is an efficient method for applying this growth regulator to a large number of plants. In previous studies, significant variability in size control was documented following liner dip treatments with identical solution concentrations. To elucidate the causes of this variability, three bedding plant species with varying levels of paclobutrazol sensitivity (Petunia ×hybrida, Impatiens wallerana, and Scaevola aemula) were treated with paclobutrazol liner dips under various conditions. Four factors identified in previous studies that may impact the efficacy of paclobutrazol liner dips were evaluated in this study. The age of the cuttings at the time of treatment ranged from 2 to 4 weeks after propagation. The light intensity incident to the plants from 2 h before through 2 h following the time of treatment ranged from about 1000 μmol·m-2·s-1 in a greenhouse to 5 μmol·m-2·s-1 indoors. The relative moisture content of the plug media before the treatment was saturated or at 25%, 50%, or 80% dry down by weight, based on air-dried media. The amount of time the plug media remained in the paclobutrazol solution was 10 s, 30 s, or 2 min. Data were collected on stem elongation 3 weeks after transplanting and again 2 weeks later. The results confirm that all four factors tested interact with the concentration of paclobutrazol in the dip solution to determine the control in stem elongation achieved by the treatment.

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Stephanie Burnett, Neil Mattson, Brian Krug and Roberto Lopez

. 2008 Morphology and irrigation efficiency of Gaura lindhiemeri grown with capacitance sensor-controlled irrigation HortScience 43 1555 1560 Burnett, S. Stack, L. 2009 Survey of the research needs of the potential organic ornamental bedding plant

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Richard O. Kelly, Zhanao Deng and Brent K. Harbaugh

through the understanding of pollen sterility, resulting in economical production of F 1 seed. These changes resulted in significant contributions to the further development of the bedding plant industry in the last half of the 20th century ( Craig, 2003

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Diane M. Camberato, James J. Camberato and Roberto G. Lopez

(earlier and more uniform) and with improved shelf life have contributed to the necessity of using chemical PGRs in the bedding plant industry ( Barrett, 2006 ; Bell, 2001 ). There is also the possibility of additional benefits derived from PGR application

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Matthew D. Taylor, Paul V. Nelson and Jonathan M. Frantz

the highest valued bedding plant of the $2.53 billion bedding plant industry ( USDA, 2005 ) and SPD can cause severe economic loses or lead to tedious pH adjustments, such as application of flowable lime. The cause of SPD is unknown. Apparently, an

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Jinrong Liu, W. Roland Leatherwood and Neil S. Mattson

Vegetable transplants for consumer purchase represent an important segment of the U.S. bedding plant industry. In 2008, the wholesale value of this group was ≈$92 million for commercial floriculture growers in surveyed states that had $100,000 or

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Angela M. Madeiras, Thomas H. Boyle and Wesley R. Autio

257 286 Black M. Bewley J.D. Seed technology and its biological basis CRC Press LLC Boca Raton, FL Hamrick, D. 2005 Ornamental bedding plant industry and plug production 27 38 McDonald M

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Yun-wen Wang, Bruce L. Dunn, Daryl B. Arnall and Pei-sheng Mao

Geraniums ( Pelargonium spp.) are an important crop for the U.S. bedding plant industry with a wholesale value of over $100 million in 2010 for both seed and vegetatively produced plants ( U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2010 ). Geraniums are