Peat is used extensively in the nursery industry as a primary component in commercial “soilless” potting media. The increased use of peat as an organic amendment with superior water-holding capacity is challenged by economic and environmental pressures. Developing inexpensive and nutrient-rich organic media alternatives can potentially reduce fertilization rates, irrigation rates, and ultimately, nursery costs. In addition, controversy over the effects of peat mining has inspired a national search for peat substitutes. With our burgeoning population, it is logical to screen waste products as potential alternatives to peat. Growth of Pachystachys lutea Nees. (Golden Shrimp Plant) transplants was evaluated in media containing 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100% compost derived from biosolids and yard trimmings. Compost was amended with a commercial peat- or coir-based media. As compost composition in the peat or coir-based media increased from 0% to 100%, carbon/nitrogen (C/N) ratios decreased, and media stability, N mobilization, pH, and electrical conductivity (EC) increased. Bulk density, particle density, air-filled porosity, container capacity, and total porosity increased as more compost was added to either peat- or coir-based media. Plants grown in media with high volumes of compost (75 or 100%) had reduced leaf area and reduced shoot and root DW than the controls (no compost). Regardless of percentage of compost composition in either peat or coir-based media, all plants were considered marketable after 8 weeks.
Sandra B. Wilson and Peter J. Stoffella
Bernadine Strik, Timothy Righetti and Gil Buller
Fertilizer nitrogen (FN) recovery, and changes in nitrogen (N) and dry weight partitioning were studied over three fruiting seasons in June-bearing strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch. `Totem') grown in a matted row system. Fertilizer nitrogen treatments were initiated in 1999, the year after planting. The standard ammonium nitrate N application at renovation (55 kg·ha-1 of N) was compared to treatments where additional N was applied. Supplemental treatments included both ground-applied granular ammonium nitrate (28 kg·ha-1 of N) applied early in the season and foliar urea [5% (weight/volume); 16 kg·ha-1 of N] applied early in the season and after renovation. When labeled N was applied (eight of nine treatments) it was applied only once. The impact of no FN from the second through the third fruiting season was also evaluated. Fertilizer nitrogen treatment had no impact on total plant dry weight, total plant N, yield or fruit quality from the first through the third fruiting seasons. Net dry matter accumulation in the first fruiting season was 2 t·ha-1 not including the 4 t·ha-1 of dry matter removed when leaves were mowed during the renovation process. Seasonal plant dry weight and N accumulation decreased as the planting aged. Net nitrogen accumulation was estimated at 40 kg·ha-1 from spring growth to dormancy in the first fruiting season (including 30 kg·ha-1 in harvested fruit, but not including the 52 kg·ha-1 of N lost at renovation). Recovery of fertilizer N ranged from 42% to 63% for the broadcast granular applications and 15% to 52% for the foliar FN applications, depending on rate and timing. Fertilizer N from spring applications (granular or foliar) was predominantly partitioned to leaves and reproductive tissues. A large portion of the spring applied FN was lost when plants were mowed at renovation. Maximum fertilizer use efficiency was 42% for a granular 55 kg·ha-1 application at renovation, but declined to 42% just before plant growth the following spring, likely a result of FN loss in leaves that senesced. In June, ≈30% of the N in strawberry plants was derived from FN that was applied at renovation the previous season, depending on year. This stored FN was reallocated to reproductive tissues (22% to 35%) and leaves (43% to 53%), depending on year. Applying fertilizer after renovation increased the amount of remobilized N to new growth the following spring. The following June, 15% of plant nitrogen was derived from fertilizer applied at renovation 2 years prior.
Nicholas J. Flax, Christopher J. Currey, James A. Schrader, David Grewell and William R. Graves
growers’ perceptions and interest in using biocontainers in containerized perennial production were observed between pre- and postproduction questionnaires ( Table 2 ). On a Likert scale of 1 to 4 (1 = really did not like and 4 = really liked), growers
Bert T. Swanson and James B. Calkins
Fourteen herbicides or herbicide combinations, a wood chip mulch, a chipped rubber tire mulch, and a newspaper mulch were evaluated for weed control efficacy and potential phytotoxicity using 12 species of herbaceous perennials under field-growing conditions. Nineteen herbicides or herbicide combinations were similarly evaluated under container-growing conditions using 11 species of herbaceous perennials. The effect of herbicide application time also was monitored through application of herbicides to dormant and actively growing plants. Herbicides and mulch treatments were compared to weeded and nonweeded controls. Herbicide phytotoxicity effects were dependent on the age and species of the herbaceous perennial and herbicide application timing. Herbicide injury was generally greater for newly established plants compared to established plants. Although injury was usually reduced when herbicides were applied to dormant plants, injury was sometimes greater when herbicides were applied in early spring compared to applications made in late spring after complete herbaceous perennial emergence. This effect resulted in injury to young shoots that had emerged before the earliest possible time that herbicides could be applied in early spring. A wood chip mulch provided the most effective weed control and highest quality plants under field growing conditions. Several of the herbicides evaluated demonstrated potential for weed control in both field and container herbaceous perennial production systems and landscape plantings.
Rachel E. Rudolph, Thomas W. Walters, Lisa W. DeVetter and Inga A. Zasada
One of the primary production challenges red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) growers in the Pacific northwestern United States confront is root lesion nematode [RLN (Pratylenchus penetrans)]. In this perennial production system, red raspberry serves as a sustained host for RLN. When a red raspberry planting is slated for removal in the fall, a new red raspberry planting quickly follows in the same field the following spring. The primary crop that occurs in rotation with red raspberry is a winter wheat cover crop to provide soil coverage and protection during the winter. The objectives of this research were to determine if winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) provides a green bridge for RLN in continuous red raspberry production systems and to determine if modified winter cover cropping practices can be used to reduce population densities of RLN before replanting red raspberry. Four trials were established in fields being replanted to red raspberry and the following modified winter cover cropping practices were considered: cover crop planting date (at fumigation or 2 weeks after fumigation), termination date (cover crop kill with herbicide 2 or 6 weeks before incorporation compared with the industry standard of incorporation immediately before planting), and the additional application of methomyl. ‘Rosalyn’ and ‘Bobtail’ winter wheat planted as cover crops in these trials were demonstrated to be maintenance hosts for RLN (ranging from 10 to 947 RLN/g winter wheat root across trials) allowing them to be a green bridge for RLN to infect the following red raspberry crop. Altering winter wheat cover crop planting date, termination date with herbicide, or methomyl application did not affect RLN population densities in the subsequent red raspberry crop. Although planting an RLN maintenance host may be of concern to growers, the advantages of reduced soil erosion and nitrate leaching associated with cover cropping outweigh the perceived risk to the subsequent red raspberry crop.
Melinda Knuth, Bridget K. Behe, Charles R. Hall, Patricia Huddleston and R. Thomas Fernandez
Water is becoming scarcer as world population increases and will be allocated among competing uses. Some of that water will go toward sustaining human life, but some will be needed to install and support landscape plants. Thus, future water resource availability may literally change the American landscape. Recent research suggests that consumers’ attitudes and behavior toward potable water supplies have changed in other countries because of greater social awareness and increasingly widespread exposure to drought conditions. We conducted an online survey of 1543 U.S. consumers to assess their perceptions about landscape plants, the water source used to produce them, and plant water needs to become established in the landscape. Using two separate conjoint designs, we assessed their perceptions of both herbaceous and woody perennials. Consumers placed greater relative importance on water source in production over water use in the landscape for both herbaceous and woody perennials included in this study. They preferred (had a higher utility score for) fresh water over recycled water and least preferred a blend of fresh with recycled water for perennials and recycled water used for woody perennial production. In addition, the group that did not perceive a drought but experienced one placed a higher value (higher utility score) on nursery plants grown with fresh water compared with those which were actually not in drought and did not perceive one. Educational and promotional efforts may improve the perception of recycled water to increase the utility of that resource. Promoting the benefits of low water use plants in the landscape may also facilitate plant sales in times of adequate and low water periods.
Rebecca L. Darnell, Horacio E. Alvarado-Raya and Jeffrey G. Williamson
Annual production systems for red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) have been proposed for off-season production or for increasing crop diversity in warm winter climates. However, yields in these annual systems are low compared with annual yields in perennial production systems. The yield reduction may be from the root pruning that occurs during removal and shipment of the canes from the nursery. This would result in significant root loss and may decrease the availability of root carbohydrates for reproductive development. To investigate this, ‘Cascade Delight’ red raspberry plants were root pruned during dormancy, and growth and fruiting of these plants were compared with non root-pruned controls the next season. Dry weights of all organs except floricane stems increased throughout the growing season; however, root pruning decreased root, floricane lateral, and total fruit dry weight compared with no root pruning. The yield decrease observed in root-pruned plants was because of a decrease in flower and fruit number per cane compared with the control. Total carbohydrate concentration in roots of root-pruned and non root-pruned plants decreased significantly between pruning and budbreak; however, root carbohydrate concentration and content were always lower in root-pruned compared with non root-pruned plants. The lower root carbohydrate availability in root-pruned compared with non root-pruned plants during budbreak apparently limited flower bud formation/differentiation, resulting in decreased yield. These results suggest that yields in annual red raspberry production systems are limited because of the loss of root carbohydrates during removal from the nursery. Management practices that increase yield per plant (e.g., by ameliorating root loss) or increase yields per hectare (e.g., by increasing planting density) are needed to render the annual production system economically viable.
Andrew R. Jamieson, Kevin R. Sanderson, Jean-Pierre Privé and Roger J.A. Tremblay
and Horticulture Research Center, 32 Main Street, Kentville, Nova Scotia, B4N 1J5, Canada, or firstname.lastname@example.org . Literature Cited Jamieson, A.R. 2003 Strawberry cultivars for perennial production systems 167 170 Childers N.F. The strawberry
William Garrett Owen
nurseries. Thus, there is a need to establish optimum fertilization concentrations and expand leaf tissue nutritional standards for successful herbaceous perennial production. There is little information available regarding optimum fertility requirements for
William K. Harris, Joyce G. Latimer, John F. Freeborn, Margaret Aiken and Holly L. Scoggins
‘Hameln,’ and Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Little Bunny.’ 11 June 2011. < http://www.ecgrowers.com/Pennisetum-Grasses-s/107.htm > Perry, L. 1998 Herbaceous perennials production: A guide from propagation to marketing. Northeast Reg. Agr. Eng. Serv. Publ