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American Society for Horticultural Science

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Study Finds Two Biodegradable Mulches to be Suitable Polyethylene Alternatives

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Pretillage, postincorporation mulch deterioration measured in broccoli growing experiments

Scientists evaluated three potentially biodegradable plastic mulch products over two growing seasons of broccoli to determine deterioration before and after soil incorporation. Pretillage mulch deterioration was evaluated in both growing seasons by rating the percent visual deterioration. Postincorporation mulch deterioration was measured for 13 months at the end of the first growing season. Results showed that two of the mulches could be suitable alternatives to polyethylene mulch for broccoli production in the Pacific Northwest.

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Tiger Lily Heights Controlled with Flurprimidol Preplant Bulb Soaks

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Recommended concentrations of plant growth regulator can increase tiger lily production, transportability

Researchers evaluated the appropriate concentration of flurprimidol for 'Orange Tiger' tiger lily, and tested for residual effects of flurprimidol the following year. They found that flurprimidol used at optimal concentrations does not affect plant growth or flowering during the second season. The team also found differential responses to flurprimidol for three other tiger lily cultivars, and recommended that growers conduct preplant bulb soak trials to determine optimal concentrations before applying flurprimidol to an entire crop.

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Sensor-based Irrigation Systems Show Potential to Increase Greenhouse Profitability

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Study finds irrigation control based on moisture sensor data substantially reduces production time, crop loss

Using data from experiments on gardenia production, researchers determined and applied benefits/costs formulas for assessing profitability of sensor-based irrigation systems. Results showed that sensor-controlled irrigation cut production time and crop losses by more than half. The researchers concluded that controlling irrigation using wireless sensor systems is likely to substantially increase profitability in greenhouse and nursery growing operations.

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Report Details Multiple Commercial Uses of Wireless Sensor Networks

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Cases studies show WSNs used for both monitoring, controlling irrigation in container nurseries

A review examines three on-farm case studies of product development, deployment, and implementation of wireless sensor networks (WSN) as a means to increase irrigation efficiency in commercial horticulture operations. The report focuses on the use of capacitance-based soil moisture sensors to both monitor and control irrigation events, describing the implementation and use of soil moisture-based irrigation hardware and software developed as part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crops Research Initiative Project.

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Can Workshops on Household Water Use Impact Consumer Behavior?

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Study finds mixed results for outreach workshops' effectiveness

Researchers studied the effectiveness of workshops designed to focus on residential water conservation using a sample of irrigation water use data for 57 workshop participants and 43 nonparticipants. Results indicated that the 2-hour workshops were effective in reducing attendees' irrigation water use; however, the effect was short lived. Results also showed that effects of workshop attendance depended on the household sample, and found that water use increased for some low-use workshop participants.

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Gardening Provides High-to-Moderate Physical Activity for Children

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Study reveals exercise intensities of gardening tasks, informs garden-based therapeutic interventions for youth

The metabolic cost of 10 gardening tasks was measured in children to determine associated exercise intensities. The children performed the tasks while wearing a portable telemetric calorimeter and a heart rate monitor to measure oxygen uptake and heart rate. Results showed digging and raking to be high-intensity, while the other activities were determined to be moderate-intensity. The data can facilitate the development of garden-based exercise programs for children that promote health and physically active lifestyles.

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