Pennsylvania Flower Growers #203
In 1964 Dr. John Mastalerz and Dr. White began advocating high levels of watering and fertilization to get increased growth and better quality pot mums. Since that time, the watering and fertilization of pot mums has been completely automated. One of the objectives of this experiment was to determine if the geranium was adaptable to automatic watering and fertilization. Cambell and Love reported, in an unpublished article, that there was a reduction in the length of the main shoot and an increase in the basal branching as well as earlier flowering in "Nittany Lion Red" when the plants were treated with Cycocel. Several investigators have reported that "Nittany Lion" grows too tall for an acceptable 4 inch pot plant. The primary objective of the experiment was to determine if automatic watering and fertilization would promote rapid growth while using Cycocel to prevent excessive tall growth. The experiment was conducted using six varieties, "Nittany Lion Red" and five introductions from Pan American Seed Company "Rose", "Dark Salmon", "Coral", "White" and "Scarlet". The plants were grown in a 2:1:1 (soil-peat-perlite) soil mix which was supplemented with 8 ounces of dolomitic lime and 8 ounces of superphosphate (0-20-0). The soil mix was steamed at 160°F for a half hour. The seeds were sown February 4 on a thin layer of finely ground sphagnum moss covering the soil mix in market trays which were placed in chambers where they received 1,000 foot candles of fluorescent for 18 hours a day. The temperature was maintained at 60°F during the night and at 70°F during the day.
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