ASHS Press Releases

American Society for Horticultural Science

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Community Grafting Project Helps Students Gain Skills, Confidence

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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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New Eco-friendly Foliar Spray Provides Natural Anti-freeze

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Biodegradable solution enhances plants’ innate cold-resistance

A new, biodegradable foliar/floral spray that increases plant resistance to both cold damage and cold mortality has been introduced to the commercial market. The spray improved cold tolerance by approximately 2°F to 9°F, depending on the variety of plant and the duration/ intensity of frost or freeze. Use of the non-toxic spray could add the equivalent of approximately 0.25 to almost 1.0 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone to the cold hardiness rating of plants.

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Fertilizer Additive, Raking Improves Herbicide Effectiveness on Creeping Bentgrass

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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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Growstones Ideal Alternative to Perlite, Parboiled Rice Hulls

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Substrate made from waste glass performs well in greenhouse applications

A study determined the properties of an aggregate produced from ground waste glass and compared the component with perlite and parboiled rice hulls. Experiments determined how Growstones affected root substrate properties and evaluated plant growth in different substrates. Results showed that Growstones had an air-filled pore space (AFP) higher than that of both peat and perlite, and that Growstones added to peat at a concentration of at least 15% increased AFP of the peat-based substrate.

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Reducing Irrigation Pressure Shows Benefits in Tomato Production

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Higher yields, reduced nutrient leaching among advantages found in study

A study determined the effects of irrigation operating pressure, N fertilizer rate, and irrigation rates on fresh-market tomato plants. Higher yields were obtained at a reduced irrigation operating pressure in one year with reduced fertilizer rate and irrigation rates without affecting the N and K nutritional quality of the plants. When the crop cycle was longer, the higher operating pressure and N rate produced greater yields and the irrigation rates could be reduced.

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Accelerating Adoption of Agricultural Technology

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Survey assesses barriers to technology implementation for tree fruit professionals

A research initiative designed to accelerate technology adoption by tree fruit professionals included an information technology survey. The survey was created to better understand concerns and design effective outreach methods for the industry, specifically issues related to barriers to technology implementation. Researchers said the survey results will help the project team better address grower concerns and uncertainty on a regional and national level, and improve technology adoption speed and rates in agricultural industries.

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