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James R. McFerson, Thomas W. Walters, and Charles J. Eckenrode

Nearly 350 germplasm accessions representing 25 Allium species were evaluated for damage by onion maggot (OM) [Delia antiqua (Meigen)] in field experiments in 1989. In 1990, 188 additional accessions and breeding lines were evaluated, and 36 entries from the 1989 evaluation were re-evaluated. In both years, there were no significant differences in OM damage to seedlings among accessions within the species tested. However, differences among species were highly significant. Allium cepa L. (bulb onion) seedlings had consistently high OM damage. Species with significantly less seedling damage than A. cepa included: A. altaicum Pall., A. angulosum L., A. galanthum Kar. & Kir., A. pskemense B. Fedtsch., A. scorodoprasum L., A. ampeloprasum L. (leek), A. fistulosum L. (bunching onion), A. schoenoprasum L. (chive), and A. tuberosum Rottl. ex Spr. (garlic chive). Some species sustaining minimal damage as seedlings were nonetheless heavily damaged as mature plants by a later generation of OM. Allium cepa cultivars that were well-adapted to local conditions were heavily damaged as seedlings, but their bulbs were less damaged than those of poorly adapted A. cepa germplasm. Allium ampeloprasum seedlings and mature plants sustained low injury throughout both growing seasons.

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J. R. McFerson, C. J. Eckenrode, and P. S. Robbins

Onion maggot (Delia antiqua Meigen) is a major pest of common onion (Allium cepa L.) throughout production areas in the northern USA. Continued use of chemicals to control onion maggot (OM) is threatened by the increased resistance of OM to available pesticides and tighter restrictions on chemical use, making host plant resistance a desirable goal. Approximately 400 accessions of various Al1ium species were planted in a commercial onion field of muck soil near Geneva, NY. These plantings lacked treatment for protection from OM attack. The greatest damage in the planting occurred on A. cepa with an average of 79% stand loss for 144 accessions. Accessions of A. ampeloprasum L. (leek) averaged 36% stand loss in June with a 55% infestation level in October, while accessions of A. schoenoprasum L. (chives) averaged 36% stand loss in June with a 55% infestation level in October.

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Alan W. McKeown*, Mary Ruth McDonald, Cathy J. Bakker, and Kevin Vander Kooi

Chives, (Allium schoenoprasum) consumption and production are increasing in Ontario. Rust (Puccinia allii F. Rudolphi) has been a problem with some chive cultivars for some growers, and in Ontario, basic information on production is nonexistent. The objectives were to identify cultivars with high yields, disease resistance and winter survivability. Plantings of six cultivars of chives were established in 2002 and 2003 in two contrasting environments, on organic (Kettleby) and mineral (Simcoe) soils; and one cultivar of garlic chives (A. tuberosum) at Kettleby. Leaves were harvested to a length of 30 cm, weighed and assessed for visible signs of rust. In Spring 2003, the number of dead plants was recorded to determine the overwinter survivability of each cultivar. Performance varied among cultivars and between locations. In Simcoe, Staro produced the highest yield in 2002 while generic (unnamed) chives produced the highest yield in the second year. In Kettleby, yield was similar among cultivars in 2002 but in 2003 generic chives produced the highest yield. Overwinter survival also varied between locations and second season yields were much higher in Kettleby. Less snow cover and subsequent winter injury is a possible explanation for the lower yields and poorer winter survival in Simcoe. No symptoms of rust were found in either location. Chives are a viable crop in Ontario, and appear to have different adaptability to regional soils and climates.

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Amanda L. Broome and Ellen B. Peffley

This research evaluated, for the NASA ALS program, the effect of spacing and harvest intervals on edible biomass of green salad onions grown at two CO2 levels. Shoot biomass of Japanese bunching onion (Allium fistulosum), bulbing onion (A. cepa), and chives (A. schoenoprasum) grown at 10-, 15-, and 20-mm spacings harvested at 7- and 14-day intervals, seven and four harvests, respectively, over 70 days were compared. Onions were grown hydroponically in growth chambers, 16-hour light/8-hour dark, 24/20 °C, 75/99% at ∼450 and 1200 ppm CO2. The design was a completely randomized block with repeated measures; subsamples were plants completely surrounded by neighboring plants. Weekly shoot removal began 28 days after planting (dap); destructive harvest was 70 dap. Length and diameter of longest leaf, weight, and number of leaves/tillers were taken at each harvest; bulb caliper and weight were taken 70 dap. Bunching and bulbing onion leaves were longest at 28 dap and decreased over time; chives were slow to establish but 70 dap had longest leaves. Leaf diameter of all species increased as spacing increased. At 56 through 70 dap chives at all three spacings produced more leaves. Mean weight of shoots differed significantly at 20-mm spacing: chives the least, bulbing onion the most. Bulb weight for bulbing onion and chives increased with increased spacing; bulbing onion weighed significantly more at 15- and 20-mm spacings compared to the other species and spacings. Chives grown at 20-mm spacing had tillering clumps of rhizomes. Total edible biomass weight (bulb, pseudostem, and shoots) of bulbing onion grown at 10-mm spacing exhibited similar ontogeny to chives grown at 10- and 15-mm spacings; bulbing onion grown at 20-mm spacing had the most edible biomass. On average, biomass was greatest in plants grown at 1200 ppm CO2.

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Manuel C. Palada, Stafford M.A. Crossman, and Allison M. Davis

Chive (Allium schoenoprasum) is one of the most popular culinary herbs in the Virgin Islands, and local demand is always high throughout the year. However, local production is not sufficient to meet increasing demands. Chive production is constrained by insect pests, weeds, and high cost of irrigation water. A study was conducted to compare the influence of organic and synthetic mulches on yield and economic returns from chive production. The study also evaluated the effect of mulch on weeds and water use. Chives were planted in plots consisting of three rows 3.6 m long. Plants were spaced 20 cm within rows 41 cm apart. The plots were mulched with grass straw, wood chips, shredded paper, and white plastic. A control plot (no mulch) was also planted for comparison. Plots were arranged in randomized complete-block design with four replications. All plots were drip-irrigated and soil moisture tension maintaned at 30 kPa. Chives grown with grass straw mulch produced taller plants and higher number of tillers (slips) than all other mulch treatments. Total fresh yield of plots with grass straw mulch was superior to all other mulch treatments including the control. On the average, plots with grass straw mulch produced 1203 g/m2 of fresh chives. All mulches resulted in reduced weed population compared to the control (no mulch). Due to high rainfall during the growing season, differences in irrigation water use were not significant. Economic comparison indicated that the net return above mulch costs was 50% higher with grass straw than with other mulch treatments. To improve production and income, herb growers should consider using grass straw and realize other benefits, including weed control and improved soil fertility.

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Paige L. Herring, Abbey C. Noah, and Helen T. Kraus

Sphagnum peat is a finite resource that is often used in the horticultural industry as a component in many substrates, especially for greenhouse production of transplants. Because peatlands are being depleted by vast amounts of mining, the horticultural industry is exploring alternative resources to use in substrates. Swine lagoon sludge (SLS) is an attractive option as it may provide nutrients needed to support plant growth, as well as using an agricultural waste product to address the peat shortage. A compost was developed using an in-vessel compost reactor to compost SLS with peanut hulls [15:85 (by volume) SLS:peanut hull] to produce a swine lagoon compost (SLC). A greenhouse transplant study was conducted with three species: basil (Ocimum basilicum ‘Dark Opal’), chives (Allium schoenoprasum), and dill (Anethum graveolens ‘Hera’) grown in three substrates: SLC, a commercially available organic potting substrate with a nutrient charge (OM), and a commercial peat-based potting substrate with a 2-week nutrient charge (PEAT). The average height for basil, chives, and dill was significantly greater at transplant harvest when produced in the SLC substrate compared with the OM and PEAT. Airspace was greatest for SLC and lowest for OM and PEAT. Although root growth was not measured in this study, more prolific root growth throughout the plug was observed with SLC compared with OM and PEAT possibly because of the greater airspace in SLC. Substrate solution pH did not change substantially over time, whereas electrical conductivity (EC) decreased from 0.24 to 0.14 mS·cm−1. Both substrate pH and EC were within acceptable ranges for transplant production. SLC provided the physical and chemical requirements for herb transplant production without any additional fertilizers or amendments.

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Joshua K. Craver and Kimberly A. Williams

Student learning from producing crops in recirculating culture for a 6-week module in the Fall 2013 course HORT 570 Greenhouse Operations Management at Kansas State University was assessed. The module design followed Kolb’s experiential learning model, with teams of students responsible for production of lettuce (Lactuca sativa ‘Green Oak Leaf’) or basil (Ocimum basilicum ‘Italian Large Leaf’) and chives (Allium schoenoprasum ‘Purly’) crops in either a nutrient film technique (NFT) or in-pot recirculating culture system. Goals were to discern if this class experience would 1) improve student confidence and understanding of not only recirculating solution culture systems, but also general crop nutrient management; and 2) improve higher-order learning (HOL) skills of applying, analyzing, and evaluating information. Student learning was evaluated by administering the same survey, which included questions to evaluate student perception, lower-order learning (LOL), and HOL, at four separate times during the semester: 1) before mentioning plant nutrition, hydroponics, or recirculating solution culture; 2) after plant nutrition lectures but before the experiential module; 3) immediately upon completion of the experiential module; and 4) at the end of the semester. An increase in student confidence related to managing crop production in recirculating solution culture and nutrient management was perceived by students upon completion of the module. A significant increase in LOL occurred after the material was presented during the course lectures with an increase also occurring upon completion of the experiential module. In contrast, HOL did not significantly increase after the lecture material was presented, but significantly increased upon completion of the module. Both LOL and HOL was retained at the end of the semester. This evidence supports the role of experiential learning in improving student understanding and fostering HOL.

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Eric B. Brennan

Many important herbs [e.g., mint (Mentha sp.), thyme (Thymus sp.)], underused and nutritious vegetables [e.g., purslane (Portulaca oleracea), amaranth (Amaranthus tricolor)], and important biological control plants [e.g., sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima)] have small seeds (≤ 1.5-mm long) that are difficult to plant with raw (i.e., nonpelleted) seed using existing seeders. A novel tool known as the slide hammer (SH) seeder was developed for the precise seeding of raw seeds of small-seeded plants. The SH seeder is a jab-type planter made primarily from electrical conduit tubing and other materials that are inexpensive and readily available in a hardware store or on the Internet. The interchangeable seed hopper is made from a plastic snap cap vial that has one or more holes of varying diameter depending on the desired seeding rate and seed size. Seed forms a “bridge” above the hole in the vial until they are dislodged from the force of the SH that discharges seeds to fall to the soil. Detailed plans are provided for how to make and use the SH seeder. The fabrication time is 2 to 4 hours with a material cost of ≈$32. I determined the seed vial hole specifications for the precise seeding of a variety of small-seeded plants, including chives (Allium schoenoprasum), chinese chives (Allium tuberosum), basil (Ocimum basilicum), grain amaranth (Amaranthus sp.), sweet alyssum, purslane, creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum), and spearmint (Mentha spicata) that ranged in size from ≈200 to 11,000 seeds per gram. The diameter of the hole that was suitable for discharging the seed from the vial was always larger than the average seed length, and the ratio of hole diameter to seed length ranged from 1.07 to 1.62. Seeding rate uniformity evaluations were conducted for these species using vials with one vs. two holes and showed that the seeding rate was higher by an average of 58% to 173% from a vial with two holes compared with one hole. For most plant species evaluated, the SH seeder was able to dispense as few as one to three seeds consistently. Seed discharge increased somewhat with increasing SH weight for all species evaluated. The SH seeder can be useful for interplanting sweet alyssum as an insectary plant for aphid (Aphidoidea) control between existing plants of organic lettuce (Lactuca sativa), and for intercropping cultivars of purslane as a novel vegetable in between transplanted organic broccoli (Brassica oleracea Italica group) plants. This novel seeding tool has many potential uses for direct, hand seeding in vegetable and herb production systems and in weed research trials. The seeder could be automated and made with a variety of alternative materials.

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Yukihiro Fujime

clumps. Asatsuki in Japanese, a variety of chive ( Allium schoenoprasum L. var. foliosum Regel). Asatsuki is planted in late summer and harvested in winter or spring ( Table 3 ). The stem is hollow and the leaf is round. Asatsuki has no seeds but

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Michael J. Havey and Yul-Kyun Ahn

plants such as the alliums [chive ( Allium schoenoprasum ), garlic, leek ( Allium ampeloprasum ), and onion], asparagus ( Asparagus officinalis ), agave ( Agave sp.), and iris ( Iris sp.). Plants in the Asparagales tend to have large nuclear genomes