Yield and Fruit Size of `Bluecrop' and `Blueray' Highbush Blueberries at Three Plant Spacings

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture and Forestry, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701

The influence of in-row plant spacing on the yield and fruit size of `Blueray' (erect growing) and `Bluecrop' (spreading) highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) was studied. Plants of both cultivars, spaced at 0.61 m within the row, had significantly higher yields per hectare than plants grown at wider spacings (0.92 and 1.22 m) in each of five harvest years. On a per-plant basis, however, plants spaced at 1.22 m had higher yields in the last two harvest years of the experiment than plants spaced more closely, which indicated that interplant competition reduced per-plant yields of closely spaced plants as plants grew larger. Over the 5-year harvest period, plots with 0.61-m plant spacing produced a cumulative total yield of 17.24 t·ha more than plots with the conventional 1.22-m spacing. Plant spacing did not affect fruit size in this experiment.

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