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Cheryl R. Boyer, Janet C. Cole and Mark E. Payton

irrigated in the afternoon rather than in the early morning ( Ningen et al., 2005 ). The objective of this research was to identify cultural practices used in commercial production of wintercreeper euonymus by nurseries that do and those that do not

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Stephen Southwick*

Quality of stone fruit is defined by fruit size, color, firmness, flavor, shape, general appearance, adhesion and size of the stone and fruit surface characteristics (e.g. fuzz, abrasions, pest damage). Cultural practices, such as pruning, nutrition, irrigation, growth regulator usage and pesticide applications can influence these quality characteristics to a greater or lesser extent. Adequate potassium nutrition can improve soluble solids and fruit size in plums. Excess nitrogen fertilization can soften peaches. Well-timed calcium sprays are thought to improve the firmness of sweet cherries, as are applications of gibberellin. Ethylene synthesis inhibitor usage can alter the timing of ripening, reduce early fruit drop and improve storage. Irrigation scheduling is a tool that can be used to regulate final fruit size and firmness, as well as time of maturation. Selective pruning is used to structure a tree's architecture for improved light penetration to improve fruit size and color. These and other production practices will be discussed in relation to how they affect fruit quality in stone fruit.

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Steven M. Borst, J. Scott McElroy and Greg K. Breeden

; Boesch and Mitkowski, 2005 ; Danneberger and Taylor, 1996 ; Happ, 1998 ; Yelverton, 2005 ). However, if over-fertilized or not properly maintained, excessive thatch buildup can occur on creeping bentgrass putting greens. Common cultural practices used

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Albert F. Eboudwarej and Robert C. Herner

The grape variety `Himrod' under conventional storage practices has a short storage life while it has an excellent quality character.

To modify berry size and cluster compactness, different treatments are being used. Application of these cultural practices has pronounced effect on storage life of grapes. The cultural practices consist of different combinations of gibberellin application (two different concentrations), girdling and cluster thjnning.

Biophysical and biochemical evaluation of the grapes under two different modified storage conditions showed that treated grapes react differently during storage. Our results suggest that grapes that were only treated with gibberellin (20 ppm at shatter and 50 ppm postshatter) were better than control slid any other combined treatments and the worst was the case of only girdling application. Combination of these two treatments were intermediate in terms of biophysical evaluation.

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Kevin Maloney, Marvin Pritts, Wayne Wilcox and Mary Jo Kelly

Various soil amendments and cultural practices were examined in both a phytophthora-infested (Phytophthora fragariae var. rubi) (+PFR) and uninfested field (–PFR) planted to `Heritage' red raspberries. Although plants in the +PFR field did not exhibit typical disease symptoms due to unseasonably dry weather, their growth was less than those in the –PFR field. After 2 years, plants in the +PFR site had the highest yields in plots treated with phosphorous acid or amended with gypsum, whereas compost-amended plots had the lowest yields in both +PFR and –PFR sites. A second field study confirmed the positive effect of gypsum on growth and yield of raspberries in an infested site. In a third study, `Titan' raspberries grown under greenhouse conditions in pots containing unamended soil from the infested site, then flooded, exhibited severe disease symptoms; however, pasteurization of the soil, treatment with phosphorous acid and metalaxyl fungicide, or gypsum amendment mostly prevented symptoms from developing. These three studies suggest that a preplant soil amendment containing certain readily available forms of calcium, such as found in gypsum, can help suppress phytophthora root rot and increase survival, growth and yield of raspberries in sites where the pathogen is present.

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Michael D. Meyer and Mary K. Hausbeck

on pepper ( Ristaino et al., 1997 ). Altering cultural practices may not affect Phytophthora blight development on vining crops like watermelon, which grow off of raised beds and come into contact with the soil between rows ( Kousik et al., 2011

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B.L. Goulart, K. Demchak and W.Q. Yang

Previous experiments in the laboratory and the field have suggested that location of mycorrhizal infection within the rhizosphere of blueberry plants may depend on cultural practices that are being used. Furthermore, we have observed that rapidly growing roots, whether in solution culture or within petri dishes, appear to be less likely to become infected when inoculated. A preliminary experiment found higher levels of mycorrhizal infection in roots growing at a 5-cm depth of soil compared to roots growing just under the mulch layer. To further test this hypothesis, an experiment was designed to evaluate the infection intensity of highbush blueberry plants (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) at different locations within the rhizosphere on plants growing under varying cultural practices. Cultural practices included mulching (mulch vs. no mulch) and nitrogen level (0 and 120 g ammonium sulfate/plant). Four-year-old `Bluecrop' highbush blueberry plants subjected to these treatments were arranged in a complete factorial design with six replications at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, Pa. Mycorrhizal infection intensity was evaluated from roots sampled nondestructively using a 2.5 cm soil corer at the interface of the mulch and soil, and at soil depths of 3 and 15 cm from two locations 15 cm from the crown of each plant. Results will be discussed.

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James W. Rideout

The float system is an efficient method of seedling production. This system requires use of cultural practices to prevent excessive stem elongation of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) seedlings. It is not known how these practices affect field growth and subsequent fruit yield and quality. Experiments were conducted in 2001 and 2002 to determine if restricting P supply, delaying fertilizer application, brushing, clipping, and ethephon application affect field performance of transplants. Transplants subjected to these cultural treatments in the float system were compared to transplants conventionally grown in the greenhouse. In 2001, there was little difference in field performance among transplants produced under the range of cultural conditions. Although differences in total fruit numbers or yields were nonsignificant in 2002, conventionally grown transplants produced higher early yields. Seedlings grown with low P fertilizer and receiving delayed fertilization or delayed fertilization plus brushing performed best of all float treatments in 2002. Ethephon application severely reduced early yield while increasing late-season yield. Production of tomato seedlings with low P in float systems is feasible, at least on a small scale for transplanting locally, when delayed fertilization or delayed fertilization plus brushing treatments are used to control seedling height.

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Wesley L. Kline, Stephen A. Garrison and June F. Sudal

The cultivar `Mortgage Lifter' was planted in a 2-year trial to evaluate staking systems. All plots were established with black plastic and drip in a randomized complete block design with three or four replications. In year 1, treatments consisted of straw mulch and plants grown on 4 and 8 ft tomato stakes without straw mulch. In year 2, treatments were added to include topping plants at 4 and 6 ft, when plants grew to the top of the stake and down to touch the plastic or not topping. All were grown on 4-ft stakes. Additionally, plants were grown on 8-ft stakes, but topped at 5, 6, 7, and 8 ft. The first year there were no statistical marketable yield differences between plants grown on 4 or 8-ft stakes, but the yields were significantly higher than the straw mulch treatment after the seventh harvest. The straw mulch treatment did have significantly more cull fruit, lower percentage marketable fruit and a smaller marketable fruit size for all harvests compared to the staking treatments. In year two, there were no statistical differences for marketable yield among the treatments until the late harvests (9–12). For the late harvest, all treatments grown on 8-ft stakes had higher marketable yields than all other treatments. When all harvests were combined, the 6- and 7-ft treatments had higher marketable yields with the exception of the 5- and 8-ft treatments and the 6-ft treatment on 4-ft stakes. Cull fruit yields were only significant among treatments for the mid season harvest (5–8) with the straw mulch treatment having more cull fruit than all other treatments. There were no statistical differences for percentage marketable fruit for any harvest.

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R. Seth Peterson* and Daniel Drost

Asparagus producers have reported a decrease in plant longevity and plant productivity in asparagus fields. Eleven commercial sites (6 in California and 5 in Washington) were monitored starting in Spring 2003. The purpose in monitoring was to evaluate how long-term growth dynamics are affected by harvest pressure. Sites were planted as crowns in Spring 2002 and farm irrigation methods included furrow, sprinkler, and drip. Most sites were harvested starting in Spring 2003 at varying pressures. Harvest yields ranged from 0 to 1300 kg·ha-1. Carbohydrate (CHO) levels in the roots were sampled over the entire growing season and assessed with AspireUS (www.aspireus.com). At the last sampling in Oct. and Nov. 2003, CHO levels ranged from 438 mg·g-1 to 712 mg·g-1 (97% to 158% of the ideal). This resulted in a root CHO load of 2.6 to 6.3 megagrams/hectare. Root mass and distribution was sampled in Spring 2003 and again at the end of the growing season. Root biomass increased by 18% to 487% of the previous year's growth. Fern number, fern mass and plant population were also sampled. Fern number ranged from 3.2 to 6.4 stems per plant and total fern weight ranged from 8.9 to 36.2 megagrams/hectare. Plant populations were reduced by 3% to 19% when compared to the initial planted population. Findings suggest that excessive harvest pressure in the year after planting adversely affects storage CHO accumulation and root growth. Additional site monitoring will occur through 2005.