ASHS Press Releases

American Society for Horticultural Science

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Uninterrupted Climatic Conditions Key to Successful Floral Transformation

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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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Composted Poultry Litter Stands up Against Inorganic Fertilizers

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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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Native Plants Prove Sustainable Cover Crops for Strawberry Production

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Ten-year study finds three standouts for weed suppression, increased crop yields

A study of seven native plants used as cover crops in strawberry production found that rotation with cover crops and continuous cultivation before planting strawberry generally reduced weed populations and increased strawberry plant density and yield compared with plots of continuous strawberry planting. Sorghum Sudangrass, switchgrass, and big bluestem were recommended as superior cover crops for use in rotation with strawberry as a sustainable production method.

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New Fertilization Regimens Recommended for Cool-season Turfgrasses

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Study suggests reevaluating timing of nitrogen applications

Researchers studied nitrogen (N) uptake potential, use, and plant metabolic response in a climate-controlled environment by evaluating responses of cool-season turfgrass species to variable N rates and temperature regimens. Study results indicated that N uptake capacity is greatly reduced as average daily temperatures approach 0 °C. The study recommends that nitrogen application rates should be adjusted downward to maximize uptake efficiency in cold temperatures.

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U.S. Nursery Industry Trade Value Analyzed

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Gravity model helps researchers recommend marketing strategies

A study of the U.S. nursery trade used augmented gravity models to investigate the primary factors affecting large and small nurseries. Data showed that the impact of distance on trade value was different between large nurseries and small nurseries, and indicated that the impact of distance has decreased over time. The authors recommended that small nurseries should target wholesale market channels, while large nurseries should target retail channels to increase trade value.

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Yellow Pitaya Studied for Production in Tropical Taiwan

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Enhanced seasonal production methods on the horizon for popular fruit

Researchers investigated the flowering characteristics and canopy composition of yellow pitaya in subtropical Taiwan. The study reported on the relative position where the floral buds emerged on shoots at different ages within the canopy, and compared fruit size and quality during different seasons. The researchers suggested ways to increase winter fruit production by enhancing growth of the current year's new shoots through canopy management, and increasing the size of summer fruit through recommended practices.

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