Effects of Ethephon on Yield and Quality of Winter Squash, Cucurbita maxima Duch.1

in HortScience
E. C. BakerUniversity of Arkansas, Fayetteville

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G. A. BradleyUniversity of Arkansas, Fayetteville

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(2-Chloroethyl)phosphonic acid (ethephon) applied at 2- to 4-leaf stages on winter squash cultivars ‘Boston Marrow’, ‘Golden Delicious’ and ‘Hybrid 530’ resulted in pistillate flowers at most early nodes, but these generally aborted. Ethephon applications usually resulted in greater numbers of marketable squash which tended to be smaller in size. The only instance of a significant yield increase occurred on ‘Golden Delicious’ with 2 applications of 150 ppm ethephon. Earlier appearing nodes on ethephon treated plants produced marketable fruit and harvest, based on external color, could have been made up to a week earlier. Presently, ethephon seems to be of limited commercial promise for winter squash under Arkansas conditions.

Contributor Notes

Received for publication April 24, 1975. Approved for publication by the Director, Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station. In part from M.S. thesis of senior author.

Research Assistant and Professor and Head, Department of Horticulture and Forestry. The authors acknowledge assistance of J. N. Cash, D. R. Motes. W. A. Sistrunk and H. H. Vose. They also thank Gerber Products Company for financial assistance for this research.

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