Overview

The overall goal of the proposed research is to initiate the establishment of guidelines for increasing environmental, social, and economic sustainability in horticulture. The proposed research utilizes two production inputs, plant containers and irrigation management, to achieve three objectives:

  • Evaluate the sustainability of plastic container alternatives in mechanized systems
  • Evaluate sustainable irrigation management practices and
  • Evaluate the impact of biodegradable and plantable pots on landscape performance of selected perennial and woody plants.

The project terminated in 2014 and culminated in an invited workshop at the American Society for Horticultural Science Annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. The workshop lectures will be available on-line in 2015 at http://horttalks.ashs.org/

Most of the papers generated from the project will be published together in 2015 in a special section of HortTechnology. The references from the entire project are listed below:

Wang, X., R.T. Fernandez, B.M. Cregg, R. Auras, N. Gong, A. Fulcher, D.R. Cochran, G. Niu, Y. Sun, G. Bi, S. Nambuthiri and R.L. Geneve. 2015. Physical properties and compostability of alternative containers for nursery production. Scientia Horticulturae. 

Nambuthiri,S., A. Fulcher, A. Koeser, R.L. Geneve and G. Niu. 2015. Moving towards sustainability with alternative containers for greenhouse and nursery crop production: A review and research update. HortTechnology, in press. 

Nambuthiri, S., R.L. Geneve, R.T. Fernandez, G. Bi, G. Niu, and X. Wang. 2015. Substrate temperature in black plastic, wood pulp, keratin, and fabric root pouch nursery containers. HortTechnology, in press.

Wang, X., R.T. Fernandez, B.M. Cregg, R. Auras, A. Fulcher, G. Niu, Y. Sun, G. Bi, S. Nambuthiri and R.L. Geneve. 2015. Multi-state evaluation of plant performance in plastic containers and alternative biocontainers. HortTechnology, in press.

Li, T., G. Bi, G. Niu, S. Nambuthiri, R.L. Geneve, X. Wang, R.T. Fernandez, A. Fulcher, Y. Sun, X. Zhao, R.J. Stewart. 2015. Feasibility of using biocontainer in pot-in-pot system for a two-year nursery production of Betula nigra. HortTechnology, in press.

Brumfield, R.G., A.J. DeVincentis,X. Wang, R.T. Fernandez, S. Nambuthiri, R.L. Geneve, A.K. Koeser, G. Bi, Y. Sun, G. Niu, D. Cochran and A. Fulcher. 2015. Economics of utilizing alternative containers in ornamental crop production systems. HortTechnology, in press.

Evans, M.R.,A. Koeser, G. Bi, S. Nambuthiri, R. L. Geneve, K. Jacobsen, S. Lovell, and R. Stewart. 2015. Impact of biocontainers with and without shuttle trays on water use in the production of a containerized ornamental greenhouse crops. HortTechnology, in press.

Koeser, A., S.T. Lovell, M. Evans, J.R. Stewart. 2013. Biocontainer water use in short-term greenhouse crop production. HortTechnology 23:216-219.

Koeser, A.K., S.T. Lovell, A.C. Petri, R.G. Brumfield and J.R. Stewart. 2014. Biocontainer use in a Petunia ×hybrida greenhouse production system: a cradle-to-gate carbon footprint assessment of secondary impacts. HortScience 49:265-271.

Fulcher, A., G. Niu, G. Bi, M. Evans, T. Fernandez, R. Geneve, A. Koeser, S. Nambuthiri, N. Pershey, R. Stewart, S. Verlinden, and X. Wang. 2015. Pulp or plastic. American Nurseryman, Feb. pp. 20-24.

University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service:  Alternative Containers for a Sustainable Greenhouse and Nursery Crop Production. 2013.

S. Nambuthiri, R. Schnelle, A. Fulcher, R. Geneve, A. Koeser, S. Verlinden and R. Conneway

Impact of biocontainers with and without shuttle trays on water use in the production of a containerized ornamental greenhouse crops. HortTechnology, in press.

Evans, M.R.,A. Koeser, G. Bi, S. Nambuthiri, R. L. Geneve, K. Jacobsen, S. Lovell, and R. Stewart. 2015. 

Economics of utilizing alternative containers in ornamental crop production systems. HortTechnology, in press

Brumfield, R.G., A.J. DeVincentis,X. Wang, R.T. Fernandez, S. Nambuthiri, R.L. Geneve, A.K. Koeser, G. Bi, Y. Sun, G. Niu, D. Cochran and A. Fulcher.