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  • Author or Editor: Gavin G. Weis x
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`Raritan' and `Guardian' strawberry were grown in the matted row system with controlled plant densities of 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 plants/0.09m2 for comparison to a non-thinned matted row averaging 9 plants/0.09m2. Nitrogen treatments were superimposed on plant spacings at 3 week intervals in preharvest and postharvest applications. Total seasonal available N was 0, 36, 54 and 76 kg/ha. Fruit yield per plant decreased as plant population increased. Berry size declined with increased plant population but number of fruit per plant was not influenced. For both cultivars, plant populations of 4 to 5 plants/0.09m2 resulted in maximum fruit yield. Number of branch crowns for all treatments was 2.5-3.5/plant in the second growing season. Branch crown numbers were reduced with higher plant populations. N effects were independent of plant population effects and did not compensate for lower yields at low plant populations in more or larger berries. Optimum water management may be more important than N fertilizer in determing strawberry plant growth and yield.

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