ASHS Press Releases

American Society for Horticultural Science

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ASHS Press Releases
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Weed mat determined to be more cost effective than hand weeding

Researchers evaluated three weed management practices using two trailing blackberry cultivars in western Oregon. Weed mat was determined to be the treatment best suited to organic production of blackberries. The initial cost of the weed mat was considerably less than the cost of hand weeding during the first 3 years after planting. The yield benefit of weed mat provided enough profit to warrant its use after only one season of fruit production.

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Researchers examine strawberry's wild relative for ways to minimize invasive fungal disease

Scientists studied a group of wild strawberry accessions for resistance to powdery mildew under open-field and high tunnel environments in Florida. Wild accessions, commercial standard cultivars, and susceptible controls were planted in the study. Although results revealed a significant year-three genotype effect, some taxa showed high levels of resistance that were consistent across years. The data showed a high correlation for ratings of powdery mildew between high tunnel and open field for all genotypes.

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Information helps residents and planners create landscape budgets, manage water resources

Researchers developed a method to quantitatively classify urban residential landscapes in a desert environment in New Mexico. The team studied areas around 54 homes and classified 93% of all the landscapes into nine common types. Results also showed that landscape types are distributed differently in front- and backyard landscapes in the desert environment. They anticipate that the study will help landscape horticulturists to design water conservation plans that are landscape-specific.

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Offset round-bale unroller makes mulching more efficient in organic mulch trials

An existing round-bale unroller was modified to create an offset bale unroller for applying hay and wheat straw mulch at two thicknesses to between-row areas of watermelon. All of the hay and wheat straw mulch treatments controlled weeds significantly better than the non-treated controls. The offset bale-unroller was found to efficiently unroll round bales of a variety of organic mulches for weed control.

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Study recommends continuing zinc application at critical stages on apple trees

Researchers calculated the response of apple fruit quality to sprays of zinc sulfate and sugar alcohol zinc to determine whether continuing to supply zinc to trees could increase the fruit quality of 'Fuji' and 'Gala' apples. Results showed that, although the apple trees showed no zinc deficiency symptoms and the leaf zinc nutrition was at a low level, continuing zinc sprays throughout the growing cycle was necessary to increase fruit quality.

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