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Susmitha Nambuthiri, Robert L. Geneve, Youping Sun, Xueni Wang, R. Thomas Fernandez, Genhua Niu, Guihong Bi, and Amy Fulcher

Large-scale container-grown nursery plant production began in the early 1950s and helped to diversify the nursery industry. Most of the clay, recycled metal, and wooden containers initially used in nurseries were replaced by plastic containers in

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Xueni Wang, R. Thomas Fernandez, Bert M. Cregg, Rafael Auras, Amy Fulcher, Diana R. Cochran, Genhua Niu, Youping Sun, Guihong Bi, Susmitha Nambuthiri, and Robert L. Geneve

Plastic is the most commonly used material for containers in nursery and greenhouse operations. Schrader (2013) estimated that the green industry uses over 750 million kilograms of petroleum plastic for containers per year. Plastic containers are

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James A. Schrader, Gowrishankar Srinivasan, David Grewell, Kenneth G. McCabe, and William R. Graves

An important obstacle to long-term sustainability in the container-crops industry is the nearly universal reliance on containers made from petroleum-based plastics. Although petroleum-plastic containers favor efficiency and profitability, their use

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Shawn T. Steed, Allison Bechtloff, Andrew Koeser, and Tom Yeager

specialized equipment. The goal of our study was to determine if plastic mulch used over nonspaced containers would provide sustainable benefits (economic, environmental, and quality enhancement) to growers without additional production costs. Materials and

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S. Christopher Marble, Shawn T. Steed, Debalina Saha, and Yuvraj Khamare

glyphosate check on several evaluation dates over 3 years and increased apple ( Malus sp.) yields. Another novel mulch in container plant production is plastic. Use of a plastic film, similar to plastic used in vegetable production, was evaluated by Steed

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Michael A. Arnold

Five species of trees, Fraxinus velutina Torr., Pistacia chinensis Bunge, Platanus occidentalis L., Quercus virginiana Mill., and Ulmus parvifolia Jacq., were first grown in 0.45-L conventional black plastic liner containers, then transplanted to 25-L black plastic containers and grown to a marketable size. The same species were grown in similar-size, open-bottom, air-root pruning, cylindrical, aluminum (Accelerator) containers filled with the equal volumes of media. Plant growth characteristics, root-zone temperatures, and media moisture status were measured. Growth of Q. virginiana was reduced in Accelerator liner containers compared to conventional black plastic liners. Accelerator liners did eliminate circling and deflection of roots at the bottom of the liner containers. Growth of U. parvifolia, F. velutina, and Q. virginiana were similar in the larger 25-L Accelerator and black plastic containers, while growth of P. chinensis and P. occidentalis were greater in Accelerator containers than in conventional black plastic containers. Root-zone temperatures, particularly at the periphery of the rootball, were significantly reduced on warm days in Accelerator containers compared to those in black plastic containers. Media in Accelerator containers were slightly drier than that in black plastic containers.

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Marion J. Packett, Alex X. Niemiera, J. Roger Harris, and Ronald F. Walden

144 POSTER SESSION (Abstr. 547–556) Container Production–Woody Ornamentals/Landscape

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Michael R. Boersig, Preston Hartsell, and Joseph Smilanick

Methyl bromide (MB) penetration rates, sorption levels, and concentration.time (CT) products were compared in returnable plastic containers (RPCs) and corrugated grape boxes (CGBs). During a 2.5-hour fumigation, sorption of methyl bromide in RPCs and CGBs was 9.8% and 18.1%, respectively. The lower sorption in RPCs increased the exposure of grapes (Vitis vinifera) to MB. Equilibrium concentrations of MB (concentrations that had stabilized) in RPCs and CGBs were 68.2 and 59.2 g·m-3 (4.26 and 3.70 lb/1000 ft3) respectively. The CT products in RPCs and CGBs were 170.5 and 147.6 g·h-1·m-3 (10.66 and 9.19 lb/h/1000 ft3), respectively, and far below phytotoxic concentrations according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture schedule.

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Michael R. Evans and Douglas Karcher

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.

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John M. Ruter

A study was conducted with Dendranthemum ×grandiflorum (Ramat.) Kitamura garden chrysanthemum (`Grenadine', `Nicole', and `Tolima') to evaluate the growth and flowering of these plants grown in 2.6-L (no. 1) black plastic containers compared to plants grown in fiber containers with Cu(OH)2 impregnated into the container walls. For all three cultivars, growth indices, shoot and root dry weights, and total biomass increased for plants grown in fiber containers. Total number of flower buds per plant increased 30% to 32% for `Grenadine' and `Nicole' and 53% for `Tolima' grown in fiber containers. Plants grown in Cu(OH)2-impregnated fiber containers had less root coverage at the container:growing medium interface and no observable root circling in contrast to visible root circling on plants grown in black plastic containers. Foliar nutrient analysis on `Grenadine' showed that K decreased and Fe and Cu increased when grown in Cu(OH)2-impregnated fiber containers. No visible nutrient abnormalities were seen in this study.