ASHS Press Releases

American Society for Horticultural Science

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Recycled Shrimp Waste Water Tested as Fertilizer

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Shrimp water beats vermicompost for pepper production

A study evaluated the effect of waste shrimp water, vermicompost (alone or in combination with shrimp water), controlled-release fertilizer, and water-soluble fertilizer on bell peppers. Plants fertilized with the chemical fertilizers produced the most peppers per plant and the heaviest peppers. The combination of vermicompost and shrimp water yielded more peppers than the control. Shrimp water alone had better yields than vermicompost. None of the alternatives matched the nutrient availability of the chemical fertilizers.

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Extending the Strawberry Season in High-elevation Environments

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Methods found 'marginally profitable' for late-season production of local strawberries

Day-neutral cultivars, high tunnels, low tunnels, and targeted heating were investigated in Utah to extend the availability of local strawberries. Four cultivars were spring planted in an annual hill system, both inside and outside high tunnels. Low tunnels and targeted root zone heating were tested in replicated plots inside high tunnels. Analysis showed that growing some cultivars in high tunnels was marginally profitable, whereas field production at the location would be a money-losing venture.

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Mycorrhizal Technology: Benefits for Container-grown Plants

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Fungi enhances nutrient uptake, reduces nutrient leaching for native California nursery plants

Researchers investigated the effects of mycorrhizal colonization on nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) leaching from plants grown in nursery containers. The experiment showed that mycorrhizal colonization increased growth and nutrient uptake of two native California plants. The authors recommend mycorrhizal inoculation of these nursery container plants to reduce N and P leaching and decrease fertilizer application rates.

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New Device Measures Water Retention, Irrigation Properties of Spagnum Peat

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Study finds physical properties of growing medium change primarily after first drying cycle

Scientists have found a new method to simultaneously and continuously determine water retention and shrink/swell properties of plant growing media during drying and wetting cycles. The experiments performed on slightly decomposed Sphagnum peat showed encouraging results. The researchers found that the simple, fast method allowed for a fairly accurate measurement of the physical properties of growing media that varied over time during the same experiment.

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New Research Produces Guidelines for Efficient Irrigation of Greenhouse Plants

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Plant size and light found most important in predicting daily water use

A study using greenhouse-grown petunias found that plant size and light are the most important factors affecting daily water usage (DWU) by plants. Researchers discovered that daily light integral is the most important environmental factor affecting DWU. A quantitative model developed during the study provides guidelines for accurate watering of greenhouse plants and may improve irrigation scheduling and reduce water consumption.

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Alternative Organic Fungicides Don’t Measure Up for Apple Scab Management

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Three potential fungicides show "no advantage" over standard programs

Alternative Organic Fungicides Don’t Measure Up for Apple Scab ManagementA study compared the efficacy of three potential alternative fungicides (potassium bicarbonate, neem oil, and Bacillus subtilis) with the standard organic sulfur/lime-sulfur (SLS) fungicide program and a non-treated control for management of apple scab. Results showed that the alternative fungicides did not offer advantages over the standard SLS fungicide program in organic apple production, and in some cases had distinct disadvantages in terms of non-target impacts.

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