Semester of Graduation

Spring 2018

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

The School of Plant, Environmental, and Soil Sciences

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Bagged media products are readily available at garden retails. However, most need to be amended or have supplemental topsoil combined for use in raised beds. Three media mixes were evaluated for the growth and yields of lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower. Two tested media were commercially available purchased products and the third was developed at Louisiana State University Agriculture Center (LSU AgCenter) specially designed for raised bed vegetable production. The LSU AgCenter medium produced greater yield and plant growth in all three crops (p ≤ 0.05) as compared to the commercially available media. The commercial products without additional amendments were found to lack appropriate nutrients and texture to produce quality vegetables, whereas the LSU AgCenter media containing micronutrients and dolomitic lime produced a quality product. Additionally, raised bed gardening was incorporated in a juvenile detention center garden workshop series to determine if horticulture focused lessons improved students’ science based knowledge and emotional state of being. Garden lessons were developed and implemented for three consecutive days, once a month for seven months. Each lesson was paired with pre and post mood selection charts and two pre and post knowledge based questions. Two lessons with hands on activities were conducted each day on all three days totaling 6 lessons. Additional time was dedicated to providing gardening opportunities that tied into the lessons. Participants’ mood was elevated two of the three days (p ≤ 0>05) each month and post-test scores were increased by 20% (p ≤0.05).

Date

4-3-2018

Committee Chair

Bush, Edward

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