Cabbage [Brassica oleracea L. (Capitata Group) cv. Bravo] transplants were grown on raised beds at Fort Pierce, Fla., during Fall 1987 and 1988. Plants were spaced at 8, 15, 23, 30, and 38 cm within rows or populations equivalent to 123,000, 61,500, 41,000, 30,800, and 24,600 plants/ha. Individual root weights, total plant weights, and core length increased linearly as within-row spacing (WRS) increased in both experiments. Untrimmed head weights, trimmed head weights, head height, head width, and core width increased quadratically as WRS increased in both experiments. Head shape and core index did not differ among WRS in either experiment, except for a quadratic increase in the head height: bead width ratio (head shape) as WRS increased in the 1988 experiment. Coefficients of variability (cv) for most measured variables decreased as WRS increased, indicating a reduction in plant-to-plant variation. Optimum marketable cabbage head size (>1 kg) and lower plant-to-plant variation (cv < 20%) were obtained at WRS of 23 cm or wider. However, trimmed cabbage yields decreased linearly as WRS increased in both experiments. In this study, a lower plant population (WRS > 23 cm) was more conducive to a once-over cabbage harvest since plant-to-plant variation in head size and other yield and quality characteristics was reduced.
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