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Ajay Nair and Brandon Carpenter

decrease production costs associated with thinning of seedlings in the field ( Biai et al., 2011 ; Schrader, 2000 ). In the transplant production phase, growing medium plays an important role in plant health. Most growers use a soilless mix as it reduces

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Lisa E. Richardson-Calfee, J. Roger Harris, Robert H. Jones, and Jody K. Fanelli

adequately irrigated ( Gilman and Beeson, 1996b ). For all transplanted trees, the production and maintenance of new roots is costly. Root turnover, an indicator for the cost of root production, refers to the portion of the root system that dies and is

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V.M. Russo

The efficacy of using potting media and fertilizers that are alternatives to conventional materials to produce vegetable transplants needs clarification. Bell pepper, onion and watermelon seed were sown in Container Mix, Lawn and Garden Soil, and Potting Soil, which can be used for organic production in greenhouse transplant production. The alternative media were amended with a 1× rate of Sea Tea liquid fertilizer. Comparisons were made to a system using a conventional potting medium, Reddi-Earth, fertilized with a half-strength (0.5×) rate of a soluble synthetic fertilizer (Peters). Watermelon, bell pepper and onion seedlings were lifted at 3, 6, and 8 weeks, respectively, and heights and dry weights determined. Watermelon were sufficiently vigorous for transplanting regardless of which medium and fertilizer was used. Bell pepper and onion at the scheduled lifting were sufficiently vigorous only if produced with conventional materials. Additional experiments were designed to determine the reason(s) for the weaker seedlings when the alternative products were used. Seedlings maintained in transplant trays, in which media amended weekly with Sea Tea were required to be held for up to an additional 34 days before being vigorous enough for transplanting. Six-week-old bell pepper, or 8-week-old onion, seedlings were transferred to Reddi-Earth in pots and supplied with Sea Tea or Peters fertilizer. Bell pepper treated with Peters were taller and heavier, but onions plants were similar in height and weight regardless of fertilizer used. Other pepper seed were planted in Reddi-Earth and fertilized weekly with Sea Tea at 0.5×, 1×, 2×, or 4× the recommended rate, or the 0.5× rate of Peters. There was a positive linear relationship between seedling height and dry weight for seedlings treated with increasing rates of Sea Tea. Other pepper seed were planted in to Potting Soil, or an organically certified potting medium (Sunshine), and fertilized with a 2× or 4× rate of Sea Tea or a 1×, 2×, or 4× rate of an organic fertilizer (Rocket Fuel), or in Reddi-Earth fertilized with a 0.5× rate of Peters. There was a positive linear relationship between the rate of Rocket Fuel and heights and dry weights of bell pepper seedlings. However, even at the highest rate seedlings were not equivalent to those produced with conventional practices. Plants treated with the 4× rate of Sea Tea were similar to those produced using conventional materials. Use of Sunshine potting medium and the 4× rate of Sea Tea will produce bell pepper seedlings equivalent in height and dry weight to those produced using conventional materials. The 4× rate of Rocket Fuel used in Sunshine potting medium will produce adequate bell pepper seedlings. The original poor showing of seedlings in the alternative potting media appears to be due to fertilization with Sea Tea at a rate that does not adequately support seedling development.

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Cary L. Rivard, Olha Sydorovych, Suzanne O'Connell, Mary M. Peet, and Frank J. Louws

; Noling and Becker, 1994 ; Sydorovych et al., 2008 ). With the exception of the hydroponic greenhouse industry, few tomato growers in the United States use grafted transplants for fruit production ( Kubota et al., 2008 ). There are two primary assumptions

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Ajay Nair, Mathieu Ngouajio, and John Biernbaum

To optimize the production system, most vegetable crops are established from greenhouse-grown transplants. Transplant production is a critical phase that significantly affects growth and development of the crop in the field ( Dufault, 1998 ). Some

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Alicain S. Carlson and John M. Dole

be transplanted successfully is essential to obtain quality plants and reduce production costs ( Cavins and Dole, 2001 ; van Iersel, 1997 ). Although it may be more economical to leave plants in plug trays for as long as possible before transplanting

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Maegen Lewis, Melanie Stock, Brent Black, Dan Drost, and Xin Dai

growth requirements, snapdragons have strong production potential in the U.S. Intermountain West, and trials in the U.S. Midwest and Southeast help establish baseline transplant dates, harvest timing, and yield. In a field trial in Tennessee (USDA

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George E. Boyhan and C. Randy Hill

increase in heterotrophic fungal populations. Amendments included sunflower stalks ( Helianthus annuus ), lucerne ( Medicago sativa ), and Hungarian vetch ( Vicia pannonica ). Onion production in the Vidalia region is primarily a transplanted crop with

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

container structural rating and degradation for container/plant units held under greenhouse production conditions for 4 weeks (Expt. 1) and then transplanted into a garden plot and grown for 5 weeks with the container crushed and buried in the soil near the

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W. Carroll Johnson III, David B. Langston Jr., Daniel D. MacLean, F. Hunt Sanders Jr., Reid L. Torrance, and Jerry W. Davis

.L. Torrance, unpublished data). The two most costly inputs into organic Vidalia ® sweet onion production are cost of transplants ($1801/acre) and weed control ($1502/acre), with weed control costs largely because of handweeding. In addition to being costly