Dianthus 'bouquet purple' as a potential cut flower for Florida is influenced by compost amended media as to growth, yield and quality

Everett R. Emino, Becky Hamilton

Abstract


Plug seedlings of 'Bouquet Purple' Dianthus (Dianthus Baratus × chinensis) were planted on 15 cm centers in 1.2 m wide beds amended with two applications of cured municipal solid waste/biosolids co-compost at rates of 1.5, 3.0, and 6.0 m/100 m of bed space on 9 January 2002. The experimental design was a randomized complete block design with three replications. 'Bouquet Purple' is an interspecific hybrid of two Dianthus species and is a tall cut-flower Dianthus with potential for cut-flower growers in Florida. The first flowers were harvested on 15 March 2002 and the experiment terminated on 6 May 2002. Maximum harvest occurred on April 8. Results showed that increased rates of compost amended media positively influenced growth parameters such as quality, stem length and yield. The control yielded 2.1 marketable stems (greater than 45 cm stem length) per plant and as compost rate increased yield was 3.6, 4.0 and 7.1 harvested quality stems per plant respectively. These findings were expected from results previously reported on sunflower and results on other crops in the extensive literature on compost amended media. After the end of April, the yield of non-commercial grades dominated production while stems greater than 45 cm ceased for all treatments. Further, the study demonstrates the potential for 'Bouquet Purple' as a specialty cut flower in Florida with high sustained yields of quality flowers as a cool season premium cut flower.

Keywords


compost; crop scheduling; floral preservatives; fresh flower food; postharvest; soil amendment; specialty cut flowers; vase life

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283