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American Society for Horticultural Science

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Bigtooth Maple Studied for use in Water-conserving Landscapes

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Native tree shows potential for Utah's high desert region

Researchers in Utah selected superior accessions of native bigtooth maple (Acer grandidentatum) trees using aerial digital images taken during peak fall color. Trees were physically located using GPS technology then visually evaluated for initial selection; six trees were selected for propagation. Experiments showed that the optimum time for chip budding scions of wild accessions in northern Utah is July through mid-August, and that opportunity exists for successful budding of wild bigtooth maples in the region.

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Three Diverse Microclimates Used in Study of Organic Lettuce Production Systems

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Results show high tunnels can improve lettuce quality, yield

Three Diverse Microclimates Used in Study of Organic Lettuce Production SystemsField studies were conducted in diverse climates to compare high tunnel and open-field organic production systems for lettuce yield and quality. Experiments in Texas, Tennessee, and Washington found that high tunnels could be effective for protecting lettuce from severe or adverse weather at all three locations. The study suggests that high tunnels may be particularly advantageous in warmer climates to provide protection from the high winds and blowing dust common during spring growing seasons.

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To Water or Not to Water?

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Owning an in-ground irrigation system shown to affect residential lawn watering behaviors

To Water or Not to WaterA study compared lawn irrigation perceptions, knowledge, and behaviors of homeowners with and without in-ground sprinkler systems (IGS and NIGS, respectively). Homeowners with IGS watered more frequently than NIGS; 67% to 90% of IGS and 19% to 31% of NIGS homeowners watered two to three times per week or more. The authors recommend educational efforts for all homeowners to help conserve water and protect water quality, adding that efforts should concentrate more on IGS homeowners.

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Looking for Links between Urban Greenspace and Childhood Asthma

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Study examines relationship between youth asthma rates and tree cover, vegetation in Texas

Scientists compared vegetation rates and asthma rates in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) of Texas to determine if childhood asthma rates were related to tree cover and vegetation. Asthma rates for each MSA were mapped and compared to vegetation maps using geographical mapping software. Results showed no statistically significant relationships between normalized difference vegetation index, canopy cover, and asthma.

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Conservation Tillage Systems Contribute to California's Flourishing Processing Tomato Industry

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CT Systems Promising for Central Valley Tomato Industry

Conservation Tillage Systems Contribute to California's Flourishing Tomato ProductionTwelve years of research yielded a report on advances in conservation tillage (CT) systems for tomato processing in California's Central Valley and documented the history of technological developments in the region. The report includes pertinent information on opportunities and barriers for further adoption of CT for tomatoes. The authors project that if yield performance and bottom-line profitability can be maintained, CT systems will become increasingly popular among tomato producers in the Central Valley region.

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Urban Fertilizer Bans in Florida Could Have Unintended Consequences

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Scientific review answers questions about use of best management practices

Scientists reviewed the national literature regarding management of urban landscape fertilization to protect water quality, focusing specifically on fertilization practices during plants' active summer growth period, the time of year when some municipalities and counties have enacted bans on fertilizer use. The reviewers found potential unintended consequences of increased nutrient losses from urban landscapes, particularly turfgrass, when recommended fertilization and irrigation practices are not followed. They recommend that further research be done to demonstrate any potential environmental benefits of fertilizer bans.

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