When the substrate surface and drainage holes of feather fiber, peat, and plastic containers were sealed with wax, hyperbolic growth curves were good fits to cumulative water loss on a per container and per cm2 basis, with R 2 values ranging from 0.88 to 0.96. The effect of container type was significant as the differences in asymptotic maximum water loss (max) values for all container pairs were significant at P < 0.05 for both water loss per container and water loss per cm2. The predicted total water loss for peat containers was ≈2.5 times greater than feather containers, and the predicted water loss per cm2 for the peat container was ≈3 times greater than feather containers. Vinca [Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don.] `Cooler Blush' and impatiens (Impatiens walleriana Hook f.) `Dazzler Rose Star' plants grown in feather and peat containers required more water and more frequent irrigations than those grown in plastic containers. However, plants grown in feather containers required less water and fewer irrigations than plants grown in peat containers. The surface area of containers covered by algal or fungal growth was significantly higher on peat containers than on feather containers. No fungal or algal growth was observed on plastic containers. Additionally, primarily algae were observed on peat containers whereas most discoloration observed on feather containers was due to fungal growth. Dry feather containers had a higher longitudinal strength than dry plastic containers but a lower longitudinal strength than dry peat containers. Wet feather containers had higher longitudinal strength than wet peat containers but a similar longitudinal strength as wet plastic containers. Dry feather and plastic containers had similar lateral strengths and both had significantly higher lateral strength than dry peat containers. Wet feather containers had significantly lower lateral strength than wet plastic containers but had higher lateral strength than wet peat containers. Dry and wet plastic containers had higher punch strength than wet or dry peat and feather containers. Dry peat containers had significantly higher punch strength than dry feather containers. However, wet feather containers had significantly higher punch strength than wet peat containers. Decomposition of peat and feather containers was significantly affected by container type and the species grown in the container. When planted with tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum L.) `Better Boy', decomposition was not significantly different between the peat and feather containers. However, when vinca and marigold (Tagetes patula L.) `Janie Bright Yellow' were grown in the containers, decomposition was significantly higher for feather containers than for peat containers. Therefore, containers made from processed feather fiber provided a new type of biodegradable container with significantly improved characteristics as compared to peat containers.
Michael R. Evans and Douglas Karcher
Michael R. Evans and David L. Hensley
A biodegradable container made from processed waste poultry feathers was developed, and plant growth was evaluated in plastic, peat, and feather containers. Under uniform irrigation and fertilization, dry shoot weights of `Janie Bright Yellow' marigold (Tagetes patula L.), `Cooler Blush' vinca [Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don.] and `Orbit Cardinal' geranium (Pelargonium ×hortorum L.H. Bailey) plants grown in feather containers were higher than for those grown in peat containers, but lower than those grown in plastic containers. Container type did not significantly affect dry shoot weights of `Dazzler Rose Star' impatiens (Impatiens walleriana Hook.f.). `Better Boy' tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum L.) dry shoot weights were similar when grown in peat and feather containers. Feather containers were initially hydrophobic, and several irrigation cycles were required before the feather container walls absorbed water. If allowed to dry, feather containers again became hydrophobic and required several irrigations to reabsorb water from the substrate. Peat containers readily absorbed water from the substrate. Substrate in peat containers dried more rapidly than the substrate in feather containers. Plants grown in peat containers often reached the point of incipient wilting between irrigations, whereas plants grown in feather containers did not. This may have been a factor that resulted in higher dry shoot weights of plants grown in feather containers than in peat containers. Tomato plants grown in feather containers had higher tissue N content than those grown in plastic or peat containers. The availability of additional N from the feather container may also have been a factor that resulted in higher dry shoot weights of plants grown in feather containers than in peat ones. Under non-uniform irrigation and fertilization, dry shoot weights of impatiens and vinca grown in feather containers were significantly higher than those of plants grown in plastic or peat containers. When grown under simulated field conditions, geranium dry shoot weights were significantly higher for plants initially grown in feather containers than for those initially grown in peat containers. Container type did not significantly affect dry shoot weights of vinca when grown under simulated field conditions. As roots readily penetrated the walls of both feather and peat containers, dry root weights of vinca and geranium were not significantly affected by container type when grown under simulated field conditions.
Luther Waters Jr., Rhoda L. Burrows, Mark A. Bennett, and John Schoenecker
A series of experiments exploring the effect of seed moisture and transplant management techniques was conducted with sh2 and su sweet corn (Zea mays L.). The use of seed and transplants in a progression of developmental stages from dry seed to moistened seed to 14-day-old transplants showed that moistened seed had no impact on plant `growth and development. Use of transplants generally had little impact beyond decreasing percent survival and plant height. Increasing the age of transplants reduced the time to maturity and harvest. Increasing the size of the transplant container (paper pot) decreased the time to harvest for younger seedings, but had no other effects. Premoistened seed were successfully held at 10C for up to 72 hours without damage following moisturization. Delays in irrigation of up to 2 days after planting moistened seed had no detrimental effects on sweet corn emergence and growth.
Rosanna Freyre, Chad Uzdevenes, Liwei Gu, and Kenneth H. Quesenberry
to the greenhouse and 15 d later seedlings were initially transplanted into six-packs and later into 10-cm substrate paper pots (Blackmore Co., Belleville, MI). When F 1 plants had more than two branches, two cuttings were pinched from each plant
Yasutaka Kano, Hiroshi Nakagawa, Masami Sekine, Hideyuki Goto, and Akira Sugiura
( Brassica oleracea L. cv. ‘Wakamine’ Takii Seed Co. Ltd., Kyoto, Japan) were sown and grown in paper pots (4.7 cm length, 4.7 cm wide, and 5 cm depth) filled with the compost of Yosaku #1 (vermiculite with 500 mg nitrogen, 400 mg phosphorous, and 400 mg
Kim D. Bowman and Ute Albrecht
; Premier Horticulture, Inc., Quakertown, PA), using racks of 3.8 cm × 21 cm cone cells (Cone-tainers; Stuewe and Sons, Tangent, OR). Micropropagated plants were initially growing in 3.8 × 4.4 cm paper pots (Ellepots) containing a mix of peat and coconut
Ute Albrecht, Mireia Bordas, Beth Lamb, Bo Meyering, and Kim D. Bowman
. Rooting of shoots and transfer to soil: Elongated plants were individualized by cutting the base, planted in 3.8 × 4.4 cm paper-pots (Ellepots) containing a mix of peat (Pelemix, Las Salinas, Spain) and coconut fiber (Klasmann-Deilmann, Geeste, Germany
Ute Albrecht, Shahrzad Bodaghi, Bo Meyering, and Kim D. Bowman
described above for 8–10 d until they reached a height of 6–8 cm. Elongated plants were individualized by cutting off the stem at the base, planted in 3.8- × 4.4-cm paper pots (Ellepots) containing a mix of peat (Pelemix, Las Salinas, Spain) and coconut