Shelterbelts Best for Protecting Transplants ?

In a study of treatments designed to reduce transplanting stress of muskmelons, researchers in Nebraska found that planting close to shelterbelts worked best. The warm and wind-free conditions provided by the shelterbelt increased the proportion of the seedlings that survived transplanting and also promoted their subsequent growth. Coating the root system of the seedlings with a super-absorbant polymer prior to transplanting also enhanced transplant survival. These polymers have the ability to hold large amounts of moisture; this moisture becomes available to the root system during periods of moisture stress. Anti-transpirant sprays designed to slow moisture loss from the leaves did not enhance either survival or subsequent growth. It should be noted that both heat and moisture stress after transplanting were limited in these trials. Research conducted at the University of Saskatchewan indicated that treating seedlings with long lasting abscisic acid analogs was very beneficial in enhancing seedling survival and re-growth after transplanting. The anti-transpirant effects of the ABA analogs were particularly beneficial if hot and dry conditions were experienced after transplanting.

Source : Hodges, Daningsih and Brandle (2006). HortScience 41:361-366.