618 Effect of Preplant Hot-water and Fungicide Treatments on Tuber Development of Caladiums

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  • 1 Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Bradenton, FL 34203

Intact tubers of Caladium cv. Florida Elise were soaked for 30 min in water at 24 or 50 °C in l998 and manually cut into cubes with 2-cm sides. Propagules were planted on 15-cm centers in raised sand beds covered with white plastic. Tubers were harvested in 6 months, air-dried, cleaned, weighed, and graded. Yield of No. 2 tubers (>1.9 <3.8 cm diam) was increased 31%, total tuber weight was 13% greater, and the production index was 13% larger due to hot-water treatment. No differences were determined for other tuber sizes. Tubers harvested from both treatments were soaked for 30 min in 1999 in water at 24 or 50 °C or in water at 24 or 50 °C that contained the fungicide Systec 85WDG [thiophanate methyl(dimethyl{(1,2-phenylene)-bis(iminocarbonothioyl)}bis{carbamate}] at 33.6 g/20 L. Tubers were cut and planted as in l998 and harvested in 2000. Tuber yields and production indices were greater in all hot-water treatments, but were not increased by fungicides alone. Yields from tubers that were not hot-water treated in l998 but were soaked in hot water in l999 were similar to those tubers that were hot-water-treated in both years. Fungicides did not have an additive effect when hot-water was used.

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