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Ravneet K. Sandhu, Nathan S. Boyd, Lincoln Zotarelli, Shinsuke Agehara, and Natalia Peres

Vegetable growers in Florida face rising production costs, reduced crop value, and competition from foreign markets. Relay cropping is a variant of double cropping, where the second crop is planted into the first crop before the harvest is finished. This cropping system may be a potential solution to lower production costs per crop by sharing some inputs for two crops. The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of cropping sequence and transplanting date of the secondary crop when relay cropping tomato and bell pepper. Two field experiments were conducted at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Balm, FL, in 2018 and 2019. In the first experiment, tomato was grown as the primary crop and bell pepper was added as the secondary crop, with multiple transplanting dates (8 Aug., 23 Aug., 7 Sept., and 24 Sept.). The second experiment had the same setup but the reverse cropping sequence. Bell pepper yield as the secondary crop was reduced by 65% when grown with tomato as the primary crop compared with bell pepper planted alone. Transplanting date had no effect on bell pepper yield (P = 0.091). Tomato yield was unaffected by the presence of the secondary crop. In the second experiment, tomato yield as a secondary crop was 36% lower when grown with bell pepper as the primary crop compared with tomato crop alone (monocropped). However, tomato yield was significantly reduced by the presence of bell pepper only when tomato crop was planted within 30 to 45 days after planting bell pepper. Based on these results, we recommend relay cropping tomato as the secondary crop within 30 days of planting of bell pepper as the primary crop. However, we do not recommend relay cropping bell pepper as the secondary crop with tomato.

Open access

Natalie Bumgarner, Sheri Dorn, Esther McGinnis, Pam Bennett, Ellen Bauske, Sarada Krishnan, and Lucy Bradley

., 2016 ). Likewise, CH researchers are most often trained in plant sciences, but also function daily across two spectra that describe human–plant interaction: level of engagement and level of cultivation. This relationship is defined across a range of

Free access

Diane Relf and Pete Madsen

Through funding from various horticultural associations (including ASHS, ALCA, SAF, WFFSA, and HRI), the People-Plant Council has been able to develop a computerized bibliography that will be of great value to researchers in the area of People-Plant Interaction and a second bibliography specifically for the area of Horticultural Therapy. The combined PPI and HT bibliographies contain approximately 1600 citations, 25 percent of which include an abstract. Due to the size and length of each bibliography (over 200 pages of hard copy), they are available on diskette. This will facilitate users searching for keywords or specific articles and allow them to rearrange the material as needed.

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Melanie M. Migura and J.M. Zajicek

Quantitative evaluation of horticulture vocational-therapy programs is becoming more and more critical as professionals in the area of people-plant interactions try to document the value of their programs. Evaluation tools to assess self-development of individuals studying such factors as self-esteem, life satisfaction, and locus of control have long been used in the social science disciplines. Many of these tools, either in their original forms or with some adaptations, can be successfully used to measure changes in self-development of individuals participating in horticulture programs.

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Anne M. Hanchek

In 1991, a suburban city in Minnesota found its lawn and nuisance weed ordinance the center of controversy as a citizen sought to develop a naturalized landscape that contrasted greatly with her neighbors' mowed lawns. This decision case study presents that situation as faced by the city policymakers and, when presented in a class setting, provides an opportunity to explore real options in a real issue of today. The case objectives are to prepare policymakers to deal with similar issues, and to broaden the outlook of students based in plant and environmental sciences to include the social factors of people-plant interactions. Group problem-solving skills also can be enhanced by this exercise. The abridged teaching note provides guidance for classroom and extension use.

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R.M. Coolman and G.D. Hoyt

Plant interactions are both competitive and cooperative. Farmers use intercropping to the mutual advantage of both main and secondary crops in a multiple-crop-production system. A vegetable crop has a competitive advantage over a younger secondary cover crop interseeded before vegetable maturity. Non-legume intercropped cover crops can use soil N, while a legume intercrop can increase N in agricultural systems by biological N fixation. Intercropping also may be more efficient than monocropping in exploiting limited resources. Relay-planting main crop and intercrop components so that resource demands (nutrients, water, sunlight, etc.) occur during different periods of the growing season can be an effective means of minimizing interspecific competition. Intercropping systems often exhibit less crop damage associated with insect and plant pathogen attacks, and they provide weed control.

Free access

Susan Wilson Hamilton

Phenomenological interviewing is a research approach used extensively and successfully in the social sciences and has implications for those working with people-plant interactions. Although many research methods are available for horticulturists to use in obtaining information about a target audience, most methods used (e.g., surveys and questionnaires) are quantitative in nature in that they provide numerical data on statistical generalizable patterns. Phenomenological interviewing allows investigators, through open-ended interview questions, to obtain more in-depth data than traditional quantitative techniques. Transcribed interview tapes become the data from which analysis and interpretation follows. “Coding” the data by searching for words, phrases, patterns of behavior, subjects' ways of thinking, and events which are repeated and stand out classify and categorize the data helping with its interpretation and write up. Writing up such data must develop how you interpret what you found by carefully integrating themes that support a thesis and create or augment theoretical explanations. This research method allows investigators to understand and capture the points of view of the participants without predetermining those points of view through prior selection of questionnaire or survey categories.

Free access

Michael K. Bomford

Polycultures are thought to offer yield advantages over monocultures when net competition between plants of different species is less than that between plants of the same species. Planting density and crop ratios may both alter these competitive effects. To observe such effects, dicultures of basil (Ocimumbasilicum L.), brussels sprout (Brassica oleracea L.), and tomato (Lycopersicumesculentum Mill.) were grown organically at a range of ratios and densities (1–47 plants/m2) over two field seasons. Relative land output (RLO) values were calculated from field data and from modeled yield-density-ratio surfaces. Both methods showed yield advantages from polyculture at high planting densities (RLO = 2.20 @ top density), but not at low densities. Dicultures offered a 19% yield advantage, on average. Competition for resources was compared by measuring canopy light interception and soil moisture content, showing tomato to be the most competitive crop, followed by brussels sprout, then basil. Diculture yield advantages were most pronounced when individuals of a less competitive species outnumbered those of a more competitive species. Yield advantages were 36% and 20% for dicultures dominated by basil and brussels sprout, respectively.

Dicultures dominated by tomato offered no yield advantage. The results are discussed in terms of the current ecological understanding of plant interactions, and possible advantages to be derived from small-scale intercropping, popularly termed companion planting.