DELAYING BLOOM OF `LORING' PEACH BY FALL APPLICATION OF GIBBERELLIC ACID, ETHEPHON, AND GIBBERELLIC ACID PLUS ETHEPHON

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn University, AL 36849
  • 2 Chilton Area Horticultural Substation, Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn University, AL 36849
  • 3 Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn University, AL 36849

Four year old `Loring' peach trees on `Lovell' rootstock were treated with single applications of 0, 50, and 100 ppm GA3 alone and in combination with 100 ppm ethephon on 15 November 1988, 1989, and 1990 to determine the effect on bloom delay the following spring. Flower bud number was not affected by any of the treatments the next spring. Ethephon had the greatest effect on bloom delay the following spring. The 50 and 100 ppm GA3 treatments resulted in a slight delay of bloom. The combination of 50 and 100 ppm GA3 and 100 ppm ethephon resulted in less of a bloom delay than ethephon alone but greater than the GA3 treatments alone. Fruit set was increased by ethephon treatments in 1989 and 1991 but not in 1990. Ethephon treatments delayed fruit maturity whereas GA3 did not. Total fruit yield for 1989, 1991, and the three year average was not effected by treatments. However, in 1990 50 ppm GA3 resulted in the highest yields. Ethephon treatments reduced the average fruit weight in 1990 and 1991 but not in 1989 or the three year average.

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