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Kathryn M. Kleitz, Marisa M. Wall, Constance L. Falk, Charles A. Martin, Marta D. Remmenga and Steven J. Guldan

stand establishment of transplants was significantly greater 74% of the time when compared to direct seeding ( Table 1 ). In no case was percentage of stand establishment significantly lower by transplant than by direct seeding. In fact, transplants

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Brian A. Kahn, Niels O. Maness, Donna R. Chrz and Lynda K. Carrier

. Basil is grown primarily from transplants ( Nurzyńska-Wierdak, 2002 ), but the crop can be established by direct seeding ( Davis, 1997 ; Simon, 1995 ). Producers are interested in direct seeding for basil stand establishment as a possible method to

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Gerald B. Odell, Daniel J. Cantliffe, Herbert H. Bryan and Peter J. Stoffella

Primed, pregerminated, or nontreated tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) seeds were field-sown with several soil amendments to assess stand establishment at high temperatures. Soil amendments did not consistently improve tomato stand establishment. However, covering seeds with a fine-textured calcined montmorillonite clay (Growsorb) resulted in similar or improved total percent emergence, emergence rate, and seedling shoot dry weight as compared to the soil cover (control) for nontreated, primed, or pregerminated seeds. Plug-mix (a peat-vermiculite medium) or gel-mix [a 1:1 mixture (v/v) of plug-mix and gel, starch-acrylate copolymer, or polyacrylate polymer], covered over or mixed with nontreated, primed, or pregerminated seeds, did not consistently improve total percent emergence over the soil cover. However, soil amendments generally resulted in faster emergence than the soil cover. Pregerminated seeds imbibed for 60 or 72 hours at 25C generally resulted in reduced stands compared to primed or nontreated seeds. Moisturized seeds imbibed for 48 hours at 25C had faster emergence and heavier seedling shoots than nontreated seeds, regardless of soil amendment. However, primed seeds generally resulted in faster emergence and more plants with heavier seedling shoot weights than nontreated or pregerminated seeds sown at high temperatures.

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Lewis W. Jett, Gregory E. Welbaum, Charles R. O'Dell and Ronald D. Morse

The effect of matric and osmotic seed priming on stand establishment and maturity of broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) was investigated in three years at two locations in Virginia. Seeds (`Earlidawn') were primed at 1.1 MPa (68F for 7 days) either osmotically in polyethylene glycol (8000 molecular weight) or metrically in vermiculite (horticultural grade no. 2). In the frost year of the study, seeds were hand-seeded in August into crustprone soil with a mean temperature of 82F, and there were no differences in the percentage or mean time of seedling emergence between osmotic- and matric-primed seeds. Under cooler temperatures during the remaining two years of the study, priming increased the percent emergence and decreased the mean time of emergence by about 15 hours. Primed seeds did not increase yields or accelerate maturity in two out of three years. In the third year, the spread of seedling emergence times was less for primed seeds, which reduced plant-to-plant competition and hastened maturity. The primary benefit of primed broccoli seeds was faster emergence, which increased stands by reducing exposure to stresses that decrease emergence.

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Claudinei Andreoli and Anwar A Khan

Emergence and stand establishment of pepper and tomato seeds often are slow and erratic, particularly under stress conditions. Field emergence trials sometimes have not responded to priming in pepper. In this study, we examined the combining effect of matriconditioning with GA4+7 to hasten germination and improve stand establishment of pepper and tomato seeds. The results showed that, in all cases, even under stressful conditions, the combined matriconditioning plus GA treatment was effective in improving germination and emergence of pepper and tomato seeds. Emergence was improved in 20% when seeds were treated with GA4+7 up to 200 mM. Thus, matriconditioning during which germination is suspended, provides a unique means to rapidly and efficiently digest the endosperm by GA-induced enzymes and reduce not only the mechanical restraints but also provide the energy for embryo growth.

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Gerald B. Odell, Daniel J. Cantliffe, Herbert H. Bryan and Peter J. Stoffella

Primed, pregerminated, or nontreated `FloraDade' tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) seeds in combination with several soil amendments were evaluated in three experiments for stand establishment characteristics and fresh-market fruit yields. Total percent emergence, seedling shoot weight, and marketable fruit yield were not consistently improved by GrowSorb, gel-mix, plug-mix covers, or mixtures with seeds as compared with a control (soil cover). However, rate of emergence was generally faster for plots containing primed or pregerminated seeds with soil amendments than for plots with a soil cover. Primed or pregerminated seeds emerged faster, and had higher total percent emergence and heavier seedling shoot weights than nontreated seeds, but there was little difference in response between primed and pregerminated seeds. Plants from the primed or pregerminated plots produced earlier (first harvest) marketable fruit than did plants from nontreated seed plots in one of three experiments. Priming or pregermination of tomato seeds resulted in a more consistently improved stand establishment than soil amendments.

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Dale N. Seale, Daniel J. Cantliffe and Peter J. Stoffella

Primed, primed + BA, or nontreated lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) seeds were sown with several soil amendment covers or a sandy soil cover (control) to assess stand establishment in three field experiments. Seeds covered with amendments Growsorb LVM 24/48, Growsorb 6/30, and plug-mix had a higher percent emergence than soil-covered seeds in warm soil. Primed seeds (with or without BA) had a higher percent emergence than nontreated seeds. Emergence was more rapid with plug-mix, LVM 24/48, and LVM 6/30 covers than with the sandy soil control. Primed seeds with or without BA also emerged more rapidly and produced heavier seedling shoots than nontreated seeds. Using primed lettuce seeds combined with specific soil amendments can improve lettuce stand establishment under various field conditions. Chemical name used: 6-benzyladenine (BA).

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Glen Kaufman

Seeds are coated for ease of handling, singulation, precise placement, and the incorporation of beneficial chemicals or microbials. Coated seeds are accepted widely as a standard product for many crops. Quality demands for seed suitable for coating have improved knowledge of physiological seed quality. Higher, better-defined quality standards in the seed and coating industry, combined with additional quality demand for enhanced seed, will continue to improve stand establishment potential for growers.

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Brian A. Kahn, James R. Cooksey and James E. Motes

Raw seed, primed seed, and transplants were compared for effects on stand establishment, plant morphology, and yield of paprika pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) Raw seed seemed satisfactory for stand establishment, although primed seed had the potential to provide better initial stands. When populations were equalized, there were few differences in plant growth, plant morphology, or fruit yield attributed to seed treatment. Morphology of plants established by direct seeding generally was favorable for mechanical harvest. Use of transplants did not result in higher marketable fruit yields than direct seeding in two out of three years. When compared to plants established by direct seeding, three trends were consistent across all three years for plants established by transplanting: a) they were more massive: b) they had larger vertical fruiting planes: and c) they had more branches. These traits would increase the difficulty of mechanical harvest and would create the potential for more trash in the harvested product. Thus, transplanting is not recommended for stand establishment of paprika intended for mechanical harvest.

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James R. Cooksey, Brian A. Kahn and James E. Motes

Nontreated seed, primed seed, and transplants were compared for effects on stand establishment, plant morphology, and yield of paprika pepper (Capsicum annuum L.). Nontreated seed was satisfactory for stand establishment, although primed seed had the potential to provide greater initial stands. When populations were made equal by thinning, there were few differences in stem and leaf dry weight, fruit yield, or plant morphology attributed to seed treatment. Generally, morphology of plants established by direct seeding was favorable for mechanical harvest. Using transplants did not result in higher marketable fruit yields than direct seeding in 2 of 3 years. When compared to plants established by direct seeding, three trends were consistent across all 3 years for plants established by transplanting: 1) they were more massive, 2) they had larger vertical fruiting planes, and 3) they had more branches. These traits increase the difficulty of mechanical harvest and create the potential for more leaves and stems (trash) in the harvested product. Thus, transplanting is not recommended for stand establishment of paprika pepper intended for mechanical harvest.