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Yang Gao and Deying Li

fungicides, is useful information for turfgrass managers. Rev ™ (Dakota Peat, Grand Forks, ND) is a new organic amendment that is derived from naturally mined humic materials. The objective of this study was to investigate if the organic amendment sprayed

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Monica Ozores-Hampton

, polyethylene mulch, irrigation, and soluble fertilizer application; open bed production includes herbicides, irrigation, and soluble fertilizer application. However, conventional vegetable growers rarely add organic amendments because the use of concentrated

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Timothy W. Miller, Carl R. Libbey, and Brian G. Maupin

for matted-row systems ( Kelly et al., 2007 ). In effort to improve in-row weed control in organic matted-row strawberry, natural weed control products and practices have been evaluated. Corn gluten meal has shown promise as an organic amendment. It

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Ajay Nair, Mathieu Ngouajio, and John Biernbaum

). Growers often design their own mixes using compost and other organic amendments. Organic growers largely depend on compost to manage nutrient requirements of growing transplants. Incorporation of large proportions of compost in the growing medium is not

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A. James Downer, Ben Faber, and Richard White

Three polymers (a polyacrylamide, polyacrylate and a propenoate-propenamide copolymer) and three organic amendments (peat moss, wood shavings, and composted yardwaste) were incorporated at five rates in a sandy soil to 15cm depth. Soil moisture content was determined by time domain reflectometry and gravimetrically. Only the highest polymer rates (2928kg/ha [60#/1000sq.ft.]) produced significant increases in soil moisture content and reductions of soil bulk density. Peat moss and yardwaste increased soil water content while shavings decreased water content. Turf quality scores were not affected by polymers but were initially reduced by yardwaste and shavings.

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Hector Valenzuela, Roger Corrales, and Ted Goo

A major issue in the preparation of nutrient budgets for organic farmers is the residual nutrient effect from organic amendments available for follow-up crops in year-round rotation systems. A series of separate experiments were conducted to evaluate: 1) the residual nutrient effects on double-cropped sweet corn from initial applications of several organic amendments locally available in Oahu, Hawaii; 2) the residual effect of double cropped zucchini; and 3) mustard cabbage from the application of similar organic amendments. The sweet corn experiment consisted of six treatments, with organic amendments applied only prior to the first planting. The second follow-up sweet corn planting was grown without additional amendment applications. Treatments included: 1) a fruit fly based compost; 2) aged chicken manure; 3) bone meal; 4) synthetic fertilizer (farmer's practice); 5) a combination of compost and fertilizer; and 6) a combination of compost and chicken manure. The experiment was arranged with a randomized complete-block design. Each treatment plot consisted of two 20-m long rows of corn with five replications per plot for a total of 30 treatment plots. On a separate location similar trials were conducted on long-term organic farming plots, with double cropped zucchini and with double cropped mustard cabbage. The results from this research shows that crop yields were similar or greater under the organic amendment plots compared to the synthetic fertilizer plots. In crops with a high N uptake demand, yields from the organic amendment plots declined by about 10% in follow-up plantings. This data will allow organic farmers to prepare nutrient budgets to better match their organic fertilizer applications with crop nutrient demands.

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Monica Ozores-Hampton, Philip A. Stansly, Robert McSorley, and Thomas A. Obreza

Many vegetable growers rely on methyl bromide or other soil fumigants to manage soil pathogens, nematodes, and weeds. Nonchemical alternatives such as solarization and organic amendments are as yet largely unproven, but do offer promise of more sustainable solutions. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of long-term organic amendments and soil solarization on soil chemical and physical properties and on growth and yield of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) and watermelon (Citrullus lanatus [Thunb.] Manst.). Main plots consisted of a yearly organic amendment or a nonamendment control. Four subplots of soil sanitation treatments consisted of solarization, methyl bromide, Telone, and nonfumigated. Each subplot was divided into two sub-subplots, one with weed control and one without weed control. Plant biomass was higher in plots with organic amendments than in nonamended plots. There were no differences in marketable pepper and watermelon yields between organic amended and nonamended plots during the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons, respectively. However, higher pepper yields were produced from organic amended plots in the 1999-2000 season. Soil pH and Mehlich 1-extractable P, K, Ca, Mg, Zn, Mn, Fe, and Cu were higher in organic amended plots than in nonamended control plots. Soil organic matter concentration was 3-fold higher in amended soil than in nonamended soil. Effects of soil sanitation and weed management varied with crop and season. The methyl bromide and Telone treatments produced higher yields than soil solarization. In general, weed control did not affect plant biomass and yield for any of the crops and seasons. The results suggest that annual organic amendment applications to sandy soils can increase plant growth and produce higher or comparable yields with less inorganic nutrient input than standard fertilization programs.

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Hector Valenzuela, Ted Goo, Ted Radovich, and Susan Migita

As many farmers transition toward organic farming, research-based information is required to determine the appropriate rates and timing for the application of available organic fertilizers. Four experiments were conducted over a 3-year period in Oahu, Hawaii, to evaluate the effect of five different organic amendments on the growth and yield of edible ginger. Fertilizer amendments, applied at a rate of 30–60 t·ha-1, included bone meal, a locally available commercial chicken manure-based compost, a commercial Bokashi compost, aged chicken manure, synthetic fertilizer (farmer's practice at 300 kg·ha-1 N), and a control. Each treatment plot consisted of a 10-m row with 15 plants per plot, and five replications per treatment. Ginger was planted in April of every year, and harvested from February to March of the following year. Data collected included soil fertility before initiation and after experiment completion, tissue nutrient levels, plant stands, plant height, and stem number, individual tops and root weight of 5–10 plants per treatment, as well as nematode counts before and after experiment completion. The data showed that similar or greater root weight yields and quality were obtained with the use of organic amendments compared to the use of synthetic fertilizer. Increased yields were obtained when organic amendment and fertilizer applications were split over the growing season. Data will be presented with regard to initial plant stands, tissue levels, and yield trends in response to the several amendments used in these experiments, and management considerations for farmers will be discussed.

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Jimmy L. Tipton, Elizabeth Davison, and Juan Barba

Southern live oak (Quercus virginiana), and South American mesquite (Prosopis alba) were planted in a shallow soil (≈15 cm deep) underlain by indurated calcium carbonate in Tucson, Ariz. Oaks were planted in three hole sizes, with backfill amended or unamended with undigested wood material and with or without 9 cm of an organic surface mulch. The surface mulch was a blend of undigested wood material and yard waste compost. Initial oak trunk diameters were ≈2 cm. Mesquites were planted according to these treatments: 1) a hole 150 cm square with amended backfill, 2) a hole twice as wide and 30 cm deeper than the root ball with amended backfill, and 3) a hole five times as wide and no deeper than the root ball with unamended backfill. Initial mesquite trunk diameters were ≈4 cm. Sixteen (oaks) and 28 (mesquites) months after planting soil was removed from the planting holes by a sewage vacuum truck. We will report the effect of treatments on trunk and canopy growth, and root growth from the side and beneath the original root ball.

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Brian E. Jackson, Robert D. Wright, and Michael C. Barnes

The use of freshly harvested and processed pine trees as a container substrate for greenhouse and nursery crop production is a relatively new concept, and fundamental knowledge of the construction of a pine tree substrate (PTS) for optimal physical properties is insufficient. Therefore, this research was conducted to determine the influence of mixing PTSs produced with different wood particle sizes and adding other amendments to PTS on substrate physical properties and plant growth compared with traditional substrates. Coarse pine wood chips produced from 15-year-old loblolly pine trees (Pinus taeda L.) were ground in a hammermill fitted with either a 4.76-mm screen or with no screen (PTS-NS) allowing a fine and a coarse particle PTS to be produced. Increasing proportions of the finer (4.76-mm) PTS to the coarser PTS (PTS-NS) resulted in increased container capacity (CC) and shoot growth of ‘Inca Gold’ marigold (Tagetes erecta L.). In another study, PTSs were manufactured in a hammermill fitted with different screen sizes: 4.76, 6.35, 9.54, or 15.8 mm as well as PTS-NS. After being hammermilled, each of the five PTSs was then amended (by mixing) with 10% sand (PTS-S), 25% peatmoss (PTS-PM), or left unamended. Pine tree substrates were also produced by adding 25% aged pine bark (PB) to pine wood chips before being ground in a hammermill with each of the five screen sizes mentioned (PTS-HPB). These five substrates were used unamended as well as amended with 10% sand after grinding (PTS-HPBS). Control treatments included peat-lite (PL) and 100% aged PB for a total of 27 substrates evaluated in this study. Container capacity and marigold growth increased as screen size decreased and with the additions of peatmoss (PTS-PM) or hammering with PB (PTS-HPB) to PTS. Container capacity for all substrates amended with peatmoss or PB was within the recommended range of 45% to 65% for container substrates, but only with the more finely ground PTS-4.76-mm resulted in marigold growth comparable to PL and PB. However, when the PTS-NS was amended by mixing in 25% peat or hammering with 25% PB, growth of marigold was equal to plants grown in PL or PB. In a third study, hammering PTS-NS with 25% PB followed by the addition of 10% sand increased dry weight of both azalea (Rhododendron ×hybrida ‘Girard Pleasant White’) and spirea (Spiraea nipponica Maxim. ‘Snowmound’) resulting in growth equal to plants grown in 100% PB. This work shows that amending coarsely ground PTS with finer particle PTS or with other materials (peatmoss, aged PB, or sand) can result in a substrate with comparable physical properties such as CC and plant growth compared with 100% PL or PB.