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M.M. Gaye and A.R. Maurer

Field studies were conducted to determine the effects of row covers (no row cover or Agryl P-17), seeding date, and seeding method (seeding in a furrow or into a smooth soil surface) on the development, harvest date, and yield of brussels sprouts [Brassica oleracea L. (Gemmifera Group)] grown in southwestern British Columbia. The treatments were applied to the plants in the seedbed after which the plants were transplanted in the field and grown to horticultural maturity. In both years, row covers increased soil temperatures and advanced seedling development and transplanting dates compared with uncovered treatments. Leaf weight ratio (LWR) decreased, specific leaf area (SLA) increased, and leaf area ratio (LAR) was unaffected by the application of row covers. Early seeding also promoted early transplanting. In 1987, plots were harvested when plants reached horticultural maturity. There was a linear effect of seeding date on harvest date, early seeding promoted an early harvest, and row covers advanced the sprout harvest of plants seeded earliest (24 Mar). In 1988 all treatments were harvested from 17 to 19 Oct. and marketable yield was improved by early seeding and by row covers. Seeding method did not influence plant growth or yield.

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M.M. Gaye, G.W. Eaton, and P.A. Joliffe

The effects of rowcovers and plant architecture on fruit development and spatial distribution were assessed in a study of field-grown bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L. cv. Ace Hybrid). A forced regression procedure indicated that rowcovers advanced anthesis and delayed harvest dates on the lower nodes and increased the duration of maturation (over all branches and nodes). Rowcovers did not influence total fruit yield. Fruit were obtained from as many as nine node locations, but the largest portion of the total yield was obtained from the first five nodes. Fruit frequency declined with later nodes and lateral branches, compared with the main branch. Fruit produced after lateral branch four on uncovered plants were below an acceptable market size. Marketable fruit were obtained from all nodes, with the exception of node six of covered plants.