ASHS Press Releases

American Society for Horticultural Science

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Scientists learn more about bacterial wilt that devastates crops on Virginia’s eastern shore

Four trials were conducted on the Eastern Shore of Virginia to determine the temporal and spatial distribution of bacterial wilt throughout commercial tomato fields. The researchers found that as bacterial wilt incidence increased, either by contact between roots of adjacent tomato plants or movement of the pathogen in surface irrigation water, symptomatic plants become more clustered within rows. The study recommended reducing irrigation frequency as a possible answer to limiting incidence of the disease.

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Alternative containers found effective for bedding plant production, landscape applications

Biodegradable and plastic containers were evaluated for greenhouse and landscape production of 'Score Red' geranium, 'Grape Cooler' vinca, or 'Dazzler Lilac Splash' impatiens. Plants grown in all tested containers produced marketable plants; results showed that plants grown in 5-inch plastic or paper containers generally performed better than those grown in other containers. The results indicated that direct plant biodegradable containers can provide landscapers with suitable alternatives to plastic or compostable containers.

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Horticulture students, faculty find service-learning project valuable

A project assessed whether the addition of service learning to an introductory pomology class could teach horticultural techniques while meeting university learning objectives such as communication, teamwork, and community involvement. Evaluations of the service component, in which grafting skills were taught to high school students and community members, showed that the pomology students increased their grafting knowledge and skills. Students also gained confidence, a desire to continuing volunteer work, and increased interest in fruit science.

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Removing dead turf clippings before mesotrione treatments recommended

A study evaluated the effect of adding urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) to mesotrione plus non-ionic surfactant (NIS) and raking to remove dead tissues on creeping bentgrass. Removing the dead clippings by raking improved the creeping bentgrass control from 60% to 73% averaged over rates, timings, adjuvants, and years. Adding UAN to NIS plus mesotrione improved creeping bentgrass control from 78% to 98% with three sequential applications at 70 g·ha–1.

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