Plant Population Influence on Squash Yield, Sweetpotato Whitefly, Squash Silverleaf, and Zucchini Yellow Mosaic

in HortScience
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  • 1 Agricultural Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Box 248, Fort Pierce, FL 34954

Zucchini squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) fruit yield and the incidence of sweetpotato whitefly (SPWF) [Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius)], squash silver leaf (SSL) disorder, and zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) were measured during Spring and Fall 1991 in experiments containing various plant populations. In both experiments, as the within-row spacing increased from 30.5 to 76.2 cm or the number of plants per hill decreased from three to one, the number of marketable fruit per hectare decreased, and the marketable fruit per plant increased. Adult SPWF populations increased with decreased within-row spacing in the spring but not the fall experiment. The incidence of SSL or ZYMV infection was not affected by plant population in either experiment. The results indicate that increasing zucchini squash plant population can increase yield without affecting the incidence of SSL or ZYMV.

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