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  • Author or Editor: Elizabeth Golden x
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Bare-root transplants received from high latitude nurseries for Florida production have limited root systems, very long petioles and wilt soon after planting. Further dessication occurs when leaves come in contact with black plastic mulch used in the annual production system. Conventional irrigation practices for the establishment of bare-root transplants of strawberry consist of overhead water application for at least 8 hours/day for 10-14 days after planting. Plant growth regulators (PGRs) have been used to modify the growth characteristics of many plants species. A split-block experiment was implemented at the GCREC-Dover, Dover Fla., to determine the effect of the use Prohexidione-Ca (PC) and IBA [(indole-3) butyric acid] on growth, yield and establishment of strawberry. Main blocks consisted of over head establishment irrigation for 4, 8, and 12 days, and sub-plots consisted of treatments of PC applied in the nursery at a rate of 62.5 mg·L-1 2, 4, or 6 weeks before digging, PC applied in the nursery at 31.25 mg·L-1 2 weeks before digging, a root dip of transplants in 100 mg·L-1 IBA just prior to transplanting. The experiment was conducted for four growing seasons. Data were recorded for marketable yield, number of marketable berries (>10g), and disease incidence. Significant differences were detected for duration of establishment irrigation and growth regulator treatment. No interaction was shown between establishment irrigation and growth regulator treatment.

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Three separate field trials were conducted to determine the most appropriate planting dates for intercropping cucumber (Cucumis sativus), summer squash (Cucurbita pepo), and muskmelon (Cucumis melo) with strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa), and their effect on ‘Strawberry Festival’ strawberry yields. ‘Straight Eight’ cucumber, ‘Crookneck’ summer squash, and ‘Athena’ muskmelon were planted every 15 days from 25 Jan. to 23 March. None of the three intercropped species affected strawberry yield up to 60 days before the end of the season on 25 March. Cucumber yield responded quadratically to planting dates, rapidly increasing from 25 Jan. to 23 Feb. and declining afterward. Warmer temperatures favored summer squash yield, with the highest yields when planted on 23 Feb. or later. Muskmelon yields decreased as air temperatures increased, and the best planting dates were between 25 Jan. and 9 Feb. In summary, cucumber and summer squash seemed to be favored by planting under warmer temperatures, whereas muskmelon thrives under cooler weather.

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