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D. Scott NeSmith

A series of field and greenhouse experiments were conducted at two locations in Georgia to determine how rabbiteye blueberries (Vaccinium ashei Reade) respond to different timings of application of the growth regulator [N-(2-chloro-4-pyridyl)-N′-phenylurea (CPPU)]. In all tests, a CPPU rate of 15 mg·L−1 was used, and timings of applications were based on days after flowering (DAF). Overall, results indicate that a positive response in fruit set or berry size can occur with applications of CPPU depending on cultivar and timing of application. As with many growth regulators, the effect can vary, and these experiments indicate that the timing of CPPU application is critical in achieving the most desirable response. Collectively, data suggest an optimum window of application of CPPU to rabbiteye blueberries is between 7 and 21 DAF with the most probable success being from an application made around 14 ± 3 DAF.

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D. Scott NeSmith

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D. Scott NeSmith

Summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) was grown under greenhouse conditions in 0.35, 2.00, or 7.60 liter containers with full light or with 50% full light to determine the effects of root restriction and reduced light on crop growth and development. Leaf area was determined nondestructively over the course of the experiment, and destructive plant samples were taken weekly to determine dry matter accumulation and partitioning. The experiment was repeated to validate results. There was a decline in production of plant leaf area and dry matter accumulation in response to increased root restriction under full light conditions. However, under 50% light, root restriction had less impact on plant growth when comparing the 2.00 and 7.60 liter container plants. Under the most severe root restricting conditions, light level had little impact on leaf area production and dry matter accumulation. There were no consistent differences in leaf chlorophyll attributable to root restriction or reduced light; however, there was a trend for decreased leaf weight per unit of leaf area under low light conditions. Fruit dry matter production was notably diminished under severe root restriction in full light, and under all root environments under 50% light.

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D. Scott NeSmith

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D. Scott NeSmith

A new southern highbush blueberry cultivar named `Rebel' was released in 2005 by The University of Georgia. It is a very early season cultivar with large fruit having a medium to light blue color, and a small, dry picking scar. `Rebel' berry firmness is good, while flavor is only average. The new cultivar flowers 3 to 4 days before `Star' and ripens 6 to 9 days before `Star' in south and middle Georgia. `Rebel' plants are highly vigorous, very precocious and have a spreading bush habit with a medium crown. Yield has been similar to or greater than `Star' in south Georgia. Leafing has been excellent, even following mild winters. Rebel has an estimated chill requirement of 400 to 450 hours (<7 °C). Propagation is very easily accomplished using softwood cuttings. Plants of `Rebel' are self-fertile to a degree, but should be planted with other southern highbush blueberry cultivars with a similar time of bloom for cross-pollination (`Emerald' and `Star' suggested). `Rebel' is new, so planting on a trial basis is recommended. `Rebel' requires a license to propagate. For licensing information and/or a list of licensed propagators, contact the Georgia Seed Development Commission, 2420 S. Milledge Avenue, Athens, GA 30606; or visit their web-site at www.gsdc.com.

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D. Scott NeSmith

Research over a two year period assessed the influence of planting date and location on time to flowering and number of flowers produced for five summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) cultivars. Heat units (HU) were calculated using a single equation to determine if this approach could account for a significant portion of the variability in time to onset of flowering over the range of environments. Depending on cultivar and flower sex, the number of days to flowering varied as much as 20 days. There were significant cultivar differences in HU required for the onset of both staminate and pistillate flowers. The use of HU instead of days reduced the variability of time to flowering as indicated by regression analyses and mean absolute differences between predicted and observed days to flowering. The total number of staminate flowers produced was more variable than that of pistillate flowers. The ratio of pistillate-to-staminate flowers was stable for two of the five cultivars; however, pistillate flower production for those two cultivars was severely restricted during hot weather. Thus environment has a considerable influence on both the onset of flowering and the number of flowers produced for summer squash.