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American Society for Horticultural Science

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Amendments of biosolids found more effective, longer lasting than yard waste compost

A study evaluated three approaches to improving the persistence of perennial turfgrasses on roadsides in Rhode Island. Researchers tested soil amendment with organic matter, the use of improved turfgrass cultivars, and the use of alternate turfgrass species. Soil amendment was more effective than either improved genetics or salt tolerance. Establishment, vertical growth, and persistence of vegetation cover were significantly improved by amendment with organic matter, particularly biosolids.

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Thicker basal scar contributes to resistance against pest infestation

A study of 25 hazelnut cultivars determined susceptibility to the insect pest filbertworm and correlated it to shell thickness. Data indicated that the degree of filbertworm infestation is correlated with shell thickness and that cultivars with thin shells, specifically at the basal scar, tend to have more infested nuts than those with thicker shells. The researchers indicated that filbertworm-resistant cultivars with thicker shells may benefit producers in terms of reduced pesticide use and environmental impact.

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Hydrangea macrophylla fares better under continuous growing conditions

A study of Hydrangea macrophylla showed that climatic conditions favorable to floral transformation (temperatures below 18 °C and a photoperiod of less than 12 hours) must be applied without interruption throughout the floral induction phase to ensure the formation of the floral bud. Researchers found that the number of phytomer primordia present in the bud is a good indicator for monitoring development in Phase B1, and can be used to predict plant development during production.

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Organic waste product reduces soil nitrogen, produces large bedding plants

Researchers evaluated the effectiveness of composted poultry litter (CPL) for plant growth and nutrient leaching when used as a fertilizer source for popular bedding plants. Incorporating CPL into landscape beds produced plants equal to or larger than plants fertilized with commercially available inorganic fertilizers. Nitrate and ammonia levels in the soil water were comparable for both CPL and inorganic fertilizers, while nitrogen levels were less in plots fertilized with CPL.

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