POST HARVEST HANDLING OF TRANSPLANTS

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  • 1 University of Florida, Vegetable Crops Department, Gainesville, FL 32611

Transplants are grown and shipped locally or over long distances. Shipping conditions and time in transit depend on the distance travelled. Local growers may receive transplants in trays they were grown in while those shipped long distances are pulled and packed in boxes. Plant field performance is directly correlated with seedling vigor at the time of transplanting. Factors which can affect transplant vigor during growing and shipping include the plant hardening techniques employed, mechanical injury at any stage of plant growing, shipping and planting, length and conditions of transit, and storage prior to transplanting. Mechanical injury begins as soon as the plants are removed from the tray, while reduced watering and/or nutrition during hardening may have a long term effect on plant productivity. High temperature during shipping, packing plants too densely, and prolonged storage in the dark can reduce subsequent yields. Knowledge of proper conditions for transplant pre- and post-harvest handling and shipping are not clearly understood by many transplant producers and growers. Such knowledge can greatly improve transplant vigor and potentially give growers better yields.

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