John M. Englert
USDA NRCS - Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center
Bldg. 509, BARC - East, E. Beaver Dam Road
Beltsville, Maryland 20705
|Family Scientific Name:
|Family Common Name:
||Shenandoah National Park
||Maine to northern Florida; west to central Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and Mississippi. Found in dry clearings and open woodlands.
|Time To Grow:
||Stock Type: Container plugs.
Height: 4-6” at outplanting after cutbacks.
Root System: Firm full plug; roots fill container.
||Collected in Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive, Mile 5.6, Signal Knob Overlook by J. Englert on 10/21/92; seed production block at the NPMC by the NPMC staff in 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999.
||Seed Processing: For aster species that are grown in NPMC production fields, seed is harvested with a modified Trac-Vac which removes only the seed with pappus from the stem. Seed harvest may be performed with any other vacuuming process such as a shop vac or modified leaf blower. In cleaning, the pappus is removed from the seed by a debearder modified by NPMC staff for small seed lots. For ease of cleaning, large seed lots are first run through a large clipper before being further refined in a desk top clipper. Either machine will need a solid bottom screen and top screen with holes large enough for the seed to fall through. Fan speed is set low enough to blow only empty seed out. Removing the pappus from the seed of aster sp. reduces the cleaned seed weight approximately by 10 times and seeding rates will have to be adjusted accordingly since seed with pappus may average 240 plugs per gram, while seed without pappus may average up to 2,000 plugs per gram.
Germination: Not determined.
Purity: 54% in 1998.
||Seed Treatments: Seed germinates in light, therefore it should be surface-sown.
|Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Propagation Environment: Greenhouse with alternating day/night temperatures; daytime temperatures varied from 70-90ºF depending on natural solar; night temperatures averaged around 65-68ºF. Plugs were grown under 14-16 hour long day conditions using high pressure sodium lighting from 4:30-10:30 p.m.
Seed Propagation Method: Seed was hand-sown into germination trays. If seed had pappus still attached it was surface sown over tray cells in small clumps. Cleaned seed without fluff was mixed with talc and surface-sown using a salt shaker.
Container Type and Volume: 392 or 406 germination plug trays. See Sowing Technique for further discussion. Seedlings are transplanted into Ropak Multipots (67 cell) or 72 trays.
Growing Media: Seed is sown into germination mix. Seedlings are transplanted into Sunshine #1 (72’s) or #5 (multipots). The potting mix is amended with 20 oz. per bale of 18-6-8 180 day Nutricote SR (0.15 lb./cu. ft.).
||Sowing Date: Winter, depending on time of planned outplanting in the spring.
% Emergence and Date: Not tracked for this planting.
Sowing/Planting Technique: Seed is small and difficult to sow evenly. Uniformity of germination is greatly enhanced by keeping germination trays moist and warm. If trays are covered with clear plastic and placed on heat mats set at approximately 75ºF, seedlings emerge in about 3-5 days. We have not direct-sown aster seed into final containers because cells have historically germinated irregularly or too thickly and there is often uneven growth and maturation of the seedlings. Selecting plugs from the germination trays that are at the same stage of development provides reasonable assurance that contract goals and deadlines will be met. Since we started using the above protocol, germination occurs much more quickly (in days rather than weeks), more seedlings germinate and seedlings grow more evenly. We have had to decrease our seeding rates as a result.
Establishment Phase: seedlings in germination trays need to be kept evenly moist. We have put trays under mist, but slowing of growth may occur if left too long. Pulling plugs
is easier if there are multiple seedlings in each cell and this can be done early. Seedlings seem to grow more rapidly the sooner they are bumped up to plug trays containing larger cells, potting media and fertilizer. Thinning of crowded seedlings may be required to allow one seedling to dominate the cell.
|Active Growth Phase:
||Rapid Gowth Phase: Transplanted plugs are lightly fertilized approximately bi-weekly, or as needed, with a soluble fertilizer (Technigro 16-17-17 @ about 100 ppm). Cutbacks are performed to keep top growth uniform and strong, to prevent shading of smaller leaves, and to control insect pests and fungus. Foliage does attract typical greenhouse pests (aphids, mites, whiteflies) so treatment may been needed.
||Hardening Phase: Approximately 2 weeks prior to outplanting, temperatures are reduced in the green house or plants are moved outdoors to a sheltered location, weather permitting, and fertilization is stopped.
|Harvesting, Storage and Shipping:
||Harvest Date: Seed is harvested in October or November, after some frosts. Plugs are outplanted in the spring.
Total Time to Harvest: about 12-14 weeks from germination to finished plug.
Seed storage: Cleaned seed is stored in seed bags in the NPMC cooler at 40ºF, 35% relative humidity. Seed of some aster species has been stored from 1994 and still germinates well.
Storage Conditions: Plugs are grown and outplanted the same season and are not overwintered.
|Length of Storage:
|Outplanting performance on typical sites:
||Outplanting Site: Skyline Drive, parking lots.
Outplanting Date: Spring.
||Brown, M. L. and R. G. Brown. 1984. Herbaceous Plants of Maryland. Port City Press, Inc.
Gleason, H. A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada, 2nd edition. New York Botanical Garden.
USDA-NRCS-NPMC. 1998. Shenandoah National Park Annual Report.
|Davis, Kathy M.; Kujawski, Jennifer L. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of container Aster undulatus plants (1+0 containers); USDA NRCS - Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center, Beltsville, Maryland. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org (accessed 10 December 2013). Moscow (ID): University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery.|