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  • Author or Editor: Brent Black x
  • Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science x
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Balancing vegetative growth with fruiting is a primary concern in strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) production. Where nursery plant selection and preconditioning are inadequate for runner control, additional approaches are needed. The gibberellin biosynthesis inhibitor prohexadione-Ca (commercial formulation Apogee) was tested over two seasons for suppressing fall runners of `Chandler' plug plants in a cold-climate annual hill production system. Prohexadione-Ca was applied as a foliar spray at active ingredient concentrations ranging from 60 to 480 mg·L-1, either as a single application 1 week after planting, or repeated at 3-week intervals. The lowest rate resulted in inadequate runner control, with some runners producing malformed daughter plants. Higher rates resulted in 57% to 93% reductions in fall runner numbers, with a concomitant increase in fall branch crown formation. There were no effects of the prohexadione-Ca treatments on plant morphology the following spring, and no adverse effects on fruit characteristics or yield. Chemical names used: prohexadione-calcium, calcium 3-oxido-4-propionyl-5-oxo-3-cyclohexene-carboxylate.

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Bottom ash from a coal-fired power plant and two composts were tested as components of soil-free media and as soil amendments for growing highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.). Combinations of ash and compost were compared to Berryland sand, and Manor clay loam, and compost amended Manor clay loam. The pH of all treatment media was adjusted to 4.5 with sulfur at the beginning of the experiment. In 1997, plants of `Bluecrop' and `Sierra' were planted in 15-dm3 pots containing the pH-adjusted treatment media. The first substantial crop was harvested in 1999. At the end of the 1999 season, one half of the plants were destructively harvested for growth analysis. The remaining plants were cropped again in 2000. Yield and fruit size data were collected in both seasons, and leaf and fruit samples were collected in 1999 for elemental analysis. The presence of coal ash or composted biosolids in the media had no detrimental effect on leaf or fruit elemental content. Total growth and yield of both cultivars was reduced in clay loam soil compared to Berryland sand, whereas growth and yield of plants in coal ash-compost was similar to or exceeded that of plants in Berryland sand.

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The effects of NAA, BA, or Accel on CO2 assimilation of shoot leaves of mature bearing Redchief `Delicious' and `Empire' apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) trees were evaluated over two seasons. BA at 50 mg·L-1 did not significantly affect any of the gas-exchange parameters measured. NAA (15 mg·L-1) consistently suppressed CO2 assimilation rate (from ≈10% to 24% below that of the control). This suppression was NAA-concentration dependent, continued for >15 days after treatment, and was completely overcome in `Empire', but only partially or not at all in `Delicious' when BA was combined with NAA. These results are discussed in relation to fruit thinning and NAA-induced inhibition of fruit growth in spur-type `Delicious'. Chemical names used: 2-(1-napthyl) acetic acid (NAA); N-(phenyl)-1H-purine-6-amine (BA); BA + gibberellin A (GA)4+7 (Accel).

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The effect of temperature on uptake of C-labeled NAA was determined using detached apple leaves. Uptake by both adaxial and abaxial surfaces was measured at 15 and 35C over a 24-hotm period. Foliar absorption of NAA by the abaxial surface was greater than that by the adaxial surface. Absorption by the abaxial surface increased linearly (P < 0.001) with temperature over the range of 15 to 35C. These results are discussed in relation to fruit thinning. Chemical name used: 2-(1-naphthyl)acetic acid (NAA).

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