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  • Author or Editor: Charles O'Dell x
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Diane Relf, Charles O'Dell and Mosbah Kushad

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Lewis W. Jett, Ronald D. Morse and Charles R. O'Dell

Consumer attitudes and preferences towards fresh market broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. Group Italica) are changing. Consumers desire large-head broccoli with more florets per unit weight, which we term single unit broccoli. Single unit broccoli could be field established by transplanting, alleviating the problems of poor stand establishment encountered with direct-seeded broccoli in the Southeast. The objectives of this research were to determine the feasibility of producing single unit broccoli and the optimal plant arrangement and spacing to maximize the yield of single unit broccoli. Two spatial arrangements (single vs. twin row) and five plant densities (10.8, 7.2, 5.4, 4.3 and 3.6 plants/m2) were examined in 1990 and 1991 for production of single unit broccoli. Spatial arrangement had no significant effect on any measured variable, although the twin row arrangement resulted in less plant damage with each multiple harvest. For exclusive production of high quality, single unit broccoli with high yields of marketable florets, a planting density of 3.6 plants/m2 (46 cm within row spacing) should be used in a twin row arrangement.

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Lewis W. Jett, Ronald D. Morse and Charles R. O'Dell

There is a strong consumer demand for single-head broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) that yields more florets per unit weight than bunching broccoli. Two spatial arrangements (single vs. twin row) and five plant densities (10.8, 7.2, 5.4, 4.3, and 3.6 plants/m2) were examined for single-head broccoli production. Spatial arrangement had no significant effect on any measured attribute, although the twin-row arrangement resulted in less plant damage with each harvest. For exclusive production of quality, single-head broccoli with high yields of marketable florets, 3.6 plants/m2 (46-cm within-row spacing) should be used.

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Lewis W. Jett, Gregory E. Welbaum, Charles R. O'Dell and Ronald D. Morse

The effect of matric and osmotic seed priming on stand establishment and maturity of broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) was investigated in three years at two locations in Virginia. Seeds (`Earlidawn') were primed at 1.1 MPa (68F for 7 days) either osmotically in polyethylene glycol (8000 molecular weight) or metrically in vermiculite (horticultural grade no. 2). In the frost year of the study, seeds were hand-seeded in August into crustprone soil with a mean temperature of 82F, and there were no differences in the percentage or mean time of seedling emergence between osmotic- and matric-primed seeds. Under cooler temperatures during the remaining two years of the study, priming increased the percent emergence and decreased the mean time of emergence by about 15 hours. Primed seeds did not increase yields or accelerate maturity in two out of three years. In the third year, the spread of seedling emergence times was less for primed seeds, which reduced plant-to-plant competition and hastened maturity. The primary benefit of primed broccoli seeds was faster emergence, which increased stands by reducing exposure to stresses that decrease emergence.