ASHS Press Releases

American Society for Horticultural Science

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Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Urban Lawns

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Changing lawn management methods can significantly improve carbon sequestration

Researchers developed a model to investigate the potential of carbon (C) sequestration in home lawns. The model contrasted gross C sequestered versus the hidden C costs associated with three typical lawn maintenance practices. Results showed that lawns can be a net sink for atmospheric CO2 under all evaluated levels of management practices with a national technical potential ranging from 25.4 to 204.3 g C/m2 per year.

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Rapid Ebb and Flow Watering System Deemed Effective

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Method produces uniform plants, conserves water and fertilizer

Researchers tested a rapid ebb and flow watering system on container-grown geranium and chrysanthemum plants on a greenhouse flooded floor. The system reduced water and fertilizer use by 20% to 30% compared to the control slow-cycle control. The method did not affect the rate of flower development or plant nutrient composition. The findings show that rapid ebb and flow systems can effectively produce uniform crops of container-grown plants while conserving water and fertilizer.

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People–plant Relationships Affect Worker Competitiveness, Well-being

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Study shows ornamental plants can reduce worker stress, enhance coping strategies

A study revealed information about how ornamental plants in workplaces can influence work environment and employee well-being. People–plant relationships were found to affect three levels in the workplace: competitive power, working environment, and individual well-being. Results showed that employees can use plants to either actively manipulate aspects of their surroundings or cope with demands from the surroundings. The presence of plants was also associated with worker efficiency, productivity, and stress reduction.

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Rambutan Fungal Attackers Revealed

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New research provides vital information for Hawaii’s exotic fruit industry

Rambutan is a tropical fruit that has increased in value in the niche market of exotic fruits, but pre- and postharvest quality of rambutan has been limited by fungal disease. Scientists investigated the causes of fruit rot of rambutan in Hawaii and identified four main causal fungal pathogens. The study recommends management practices such as field spraying, postharvest fungicide applications, and careful handling to help to minimize the development of fruit rot in rambutan.

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Plant Root Growth Affected by Container Color

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Light-colored containers recommended for production of heat-sensitive plants

Studies evaluated effects of container color on growth of roots and shoots in bush beans, red maple, and eastern redbud. Results suggested that heat-sensitive plants benefit from being grown in white containers or from painting the outer surfaces of green and black containers white. The study recommends the development and use of an economical, durable white-colored container to benefit the nursery industry, especially for use with heat-sensitive plant species.

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Growing No-till Tomatoes: Less Plastic, More Rye

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Rye cover crop earns praise as water-conserving alternative to plastic mulch

Experiments using different tillage practices were conducted to determine the impact of plastic mulch, rye and crimson clover cover crops, and subsoiler shanks on tomato yield. Tomatoes planted into rye residue produced significantly higher total and marketable yield compared with plastic mulch and clover during drought, indicating that rye is better for conserving soil water. Use of rye cover crops was found to be a feasible alternative to plastic for tomato production.

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