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Iowa State University

Plant Sciences

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Horticulture

Publication Year

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The Horticultural Potential Of Wastewater-Grown Algae Fertilizers, J Austin Gimondo Jan 2018

The Horticultural Potential Of Wastewater-Grown Algae Fertilizers, J Austin Gimondo

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This thesis comprises five chapters and details the evaluation of wastewater-grown-algae-based materials as plant fertilizers in container-crop production. Chapter one provides context for the thesis followed by a detailed review of literature relevant to bio-based fertilization and the use of algae to treat wastewater. Chapters two through four are manuscripts intended for submission to HortScience. Chapter two details the production of three container-grown crops with pellets or pastes of wastewater-grown algae as a fertilizer source. Evaluation of extruded algae-and-bioplastic materials as fertilizers for three container-crops and for turfgrass are reported in chapters three and four, respectively. The final chapter synthesizes ...


The Growing Together Project: Understanding Impacts On Field Day Attendees And Iowa Master Gardeners, Laura Irish Jan 2018

The Growing Together Project: Understanding Impacts On Field Day Attendees And Iowa Master Gardeners, Laura Irish

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Citizen science has been shown to be an effective tool for increasing data collection, as well as a great benefit to those who participate in the research project. The rising costs and limited funding for conducting large-scale research projects make citizen science projects valuable assets for researchers. Understanding the impact of citizen science projects on the volunteers must be done to better engage with and retain the volunteers. The Growing Together project, a partnership between the ISU Extension and Outreach Master Gardener program and the Human Sciences Extension, was created to increase food security in Iowa. The two major components ...


Organic No-Till And Strip-Till Systems For Broccoli And Pepper Production, Dana Lipinski Jokela Jan 2016

Organic No-Till And Strip-Till Systems For Broccoli And Pepper Production, Dana Lipinski Jokela

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Organic farmers rely extensively on tillage to incorporate plant residues, prepare seedbeds, and control weeds. However, tillage may have adverse effects on soil health, and conventional no-till production methods, which rely on herbicide for weed control, are not compatible with organic farming, so research was conducted on organic no-tillage (NT) and strip-tillage (ST), which rely on terminating a cover crop with a roller-crimper. Field research was carried out over two years (2013–14 and 2014–15) to compare two organic, cover crop-based reduced tillage systems (NT and ST) with conventional tillage (CT) in the production of organic bell pepper and ...


Integration Of Summer And Fall Cover Crops In Vegetable Cropping Systems, Raymond Albert Kruse Jan 2015

Integration Of Summer And Fall Cover Crops In Vegetable Cropping Systems, Raymond Albert Kruse

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The demand for locally produced vegetables is growing in the Midwest, including Iowa. However, since vegetables are a small fraction of total cropland in the state, little research exists on approaches and techniques to increase the sustainability of vegetable production systems. Including cover crops in vegetable crop rotations can contribute to sustainability in vegetable cropping systems. This research investigated the integration of summer and fall cover crops in vegetable cropping systems to reduce weeds and nutrient leaching, improve soil chemical and biological properties, and enhance crop growth, yield, and produce quality. Cover crops studied in this research included buckwheat (Fagopyrum ...


Limited Irradiance, Artificial Fluorescent Irradiance, And Nitrate-N:Ammonium-N Impact On Biomass And Essential Oil Production Of Ocimum Basilicum L., Tara Marie Springer Jan 2015

Limited Irradiance, Artificial Fluorescent Irradiance, And Nitrate-N:Ammonium-N Impact On Biomass And Essential Oil Production Of Ocimum Basilicum L., Tara Marie Springer

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

In the United States, there is an increasing trend in consumer participation in herb gardening. One of the more popular herbs available, basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) is a culinary herb with a wide variety of uses and cultivars. With an increased need to support the growing demand for herbs, it is important to understand how various growing practices impact basil production. In particular, this research investigates several aspects of growing basil, including how limited irradiance, artificial fluorescent irradiance, and nitrate-N:ammonium-N fertilizer influences growth and essential oil production.

In our limited irradiance study, ‘Genovese’ basil plants were grown in a ...


Horticultural Evaluation Of Soy-Based Bioplastics For Container-Crop Production, Kenneth Gene Mccabe Jan 2015

Horticultural Evaluation Of Soy-Based Bioplastics For Container-Crop Production, Kenneth Gene Mccabe

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Petroleum-based plastics and synthetic fertilizers are commonplace in container-crop production, and their use raises concerns about the sustainability of plants produced in containers. Bioplastic materials have been developed as replacements that are more sustainable, but their use has been limited to date. Using materials made from composites of soy-based [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] ingredients and commercially-available bioplastics, we fabricated containers and pelletized fertilizers to understand nutrient-release characteristics of soy-based bioplastic composites while producing plants in container-crop production. My first objective was to evaluate the growth and mineral nutritional status of a common greenhouse species [marigold (Tagetes patula L.)] grown in ...


Strip Tillage And Rowcovers As A Potential Alternative To Black Plastic Mulch In Cucurbit Production, Jennifer Louise Tillman Jan 2015

Strip Tillage And Rowcovers As A Potential Alternative To Black Plastic Mulch In Cucurbit Production, Jennifer Louise Tillman

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The use of tillage and plastic mulch are common practices among cucurbit growers to provide warm, moist, weed-free soil around plants. However, there are environmental drawbacks to the use of plastic mulches, such as the material waste given that these products are used for a single season, and the reduced soil health and stability that can come from frequent and intensive tillage. As an alternative strategy, a biological mulch can be formed by rolling and killing a cover crop stand by using a roller crimper. Narrow, tilled strips can be formed within this mulch for the crop to grow in ...


Motivation And Retention Of Iowa’S Master Gardener Volunteers, Bryn Takle Jan 2015

Motivation And Retention Of Iowa’S Master Gardener Volunteers, Bryn Takle

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Retention of participants in volunteer organizations has been shown to be not only a challenge, but also a great benefit to the organization. Rising costs of training and continuing education make each interaction valuable from both perspectives. Volunteer opportunities are abundant but must be meaningful and engaging for the participants in order to keep them involved. Using electronic survey software, Iowa Master Gardeners were asked to respond to a series of questions investigating 1) the current demographics of the population, 2) reasons volunteers associate with the Master Gardener program, and 3) the continuing education topics and delivery methods most preferred ...


Horticultural Potential Of Nyssa Biflora Walt. (Swamp Tupelo), Frank D. Balestri Jan 2015

Horticultural Potential Of Nyssa Biflora Walt. (Swamp Tupelo), Frank D. Balestri

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Nyssa biflora Walt. (swamp tupelo) and Nyssa sylvatica Marsh. (black gum) are closely related species of trees native to North America. Although N. sylvatica is prevalent in the nursery trade, little is known about the horticultural potential of N. biflora. Because many authors referred to N. biflora as a variant of N. sylvatica, taxonomic confusion may have resulted in the overlooking of N. biflora for use as a horticultural plant. The overarching objectives of my research were to establish seed-propagation protocols for N. biflora and to characterize the responses of seedlings of N. biflora to water stress. We included N ...


Evaluation Of Creeping Bentgrass (Agrostis Stolonifera L.) Responses To An Amino Acid Containing Co-Product, Isaac Mertz Jan 2015

Evaluation Of Creeping Bentgrass (Agrostis Stolonifera L.) Responses To An Amino Acid Containing Co-Product, Isaac Mertz

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Tryptophan, an essential amino acid that acts as a building block in protein synthesis, is a biochemical precursor for serotonin, niacin, and auxin in most organisms. When soil moisture is limited, applying biosolids boosted with auxin from tryptophan may increase root production and endogenous hormone levels that can result in plant growth regulation. Tryptophan is produced industrially, which results in a significant amount of byproducts. Tryptophan byproduct (TRP-B) is considered a waste product, but its amino acid and nutrient content make it a possible growth promoter for turfgrasses. The objective of this research was to determine whether applications of TRP-B ...


Quantifying The Effects Of Hydroponic Systems, Nutrient Solution, And Air Temperature On Growth And Development Of Basil (Ocimum L.) Species, Kellie Jean Walters Jan 2015

Quantifying The Effects Of Hydroponic Systems, Nutrient Solution, And Air Temperature On Growth And Development Of Basil (Ocimum L.) Species, Kellie Jean Walters

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Basil (Ocimum sp.) is the most popular fresh culinary herb. An increased demand for locally grown food is causing greenhouse producers to expand production of hydroponically grown culinary herbs. Greenhouse basil producers often manipulate production parameters however, there is a lack of data characterizing the effect of parameters such as hydroponic production system, cultivar, daily light integral (DLI), nutrient solution concentration, and plant density on growth and development of hydroponically produced basil. Furthermore, the effect of temperature on basil production is not well modeled. Our objectives were to quantify productivity and characterize growth and development of basil cultivars grown in ...


Evaluating Horticultural Practices For Sustainable Tomato Production In Kamuli, Uganda, Sharon Mbabazi Tusiime Jan 2014

Evaluating Horticultural Practices For Sustainable Tomato Production In Kamuli, Uganda, Sharon Mbabazi Tusiime

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Tomatoes are a source of income and food security for small-landholder farmers across Uganda, including the Kamuli District. Studies regarding sustainable practices are needed to increase production of the crop and improve farmers' livelihoods. This study investigated three tomato cultivars, Heinz 1370, Nuru F1, and MT 56, pesticide application, staking, and mulching for their effect on yield, disease severity and gross margin of tomato production in the Kamuli District of Uganda. The treatments were tested in a randomized complete block design with a factorial and split-plot arrangement during two growing seasons in 2013. Total and marketable fruit number, marketable fruit ...


Values-Based Supply Chains: Local And Regional Food Systems In The Upper Midwest United States, Kevin Richard Duerfeldt Jan 2014

Values-Based Supply Chains: Local And Regional Food Systems In The Upper Midwest United States, Kevin Richard Duerfeldt

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

In recent years there has been growing public interest in sustainable food systems. One effect of growing interest is the proliferation of values-based supply chains or local food systems. The main limiting factor of local food systems is infrastructure for aggregation and access to supply chains. Food hubs have been identified as one solution. My purpose is to capture valuable data about the state of local foods industries in 2012 and inform organizations developing food hubs. To do this I surveyed characteristics of established food hubs and analyzed local Iowa vineyards and wineries, as a case study of an established ...