James Boodley, professor emeritus of floriculture and ornamental horticulture at Cornell University and a recipient of the Society of American Florists’ Alex Laurie Award for Research and Education, died Feb. 12 in Kent, Ohio. He was 88.
Boodley, along with Cornell colleague Raymond Sheldrake, developed the Cornell Peat-Lite Mixes – which came to be known simply as Cornell Mix – that transformed the greenhouse industry in the 1960s.
Boodley and Sheldrake based their soil-less mixes on peat moss and perlite and/or vermiculite combined in various proportions with limestone, fertilizer and other ingredients to match the needs of different greenhouse crops. From poinsettias to potted bulbs and orchids to tomato transplants, these lightweight artificial soils provided good drainage, were free of weed seeds and reduced disease problems for growers.
Boodley was elected a fellow in American Society for Horticultural Science in 1982 and received numerous other awards and recognitions, including the Alex Laurie Award in 1982. The award is presented annually to an individual who has made broad-scope, long lasting contributions to research or education in the floriculture industry
After retiring from Cornell in 1983, Boodley continued his career as manager of horticulture research and product development at the Smithers-Oasis Co. in Kent, Ohio.
Boodley asked that donations be made to Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Horticulture Excellence Fund. Read more.