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Takashi Ikeda, Keisuke Yamazaki, Hiroshi Kumakura and Hiroshi Hamamoto

We demonstrated the effect of cooling of the medium on the fruit set of strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) grown on high benches for forcing culture. The cooling by water evaporation promoted by a fan enabled to cool the medium by an average of several degrees compared with no cooling. When runner plants were transplanted in late summer, cooling accelerated flower bud emergence almost 10 days on the primary axillary branch compared with plants grown in uncooled medium. Also, with cooling, fruit was harvested from the inflorescence of the primary axillary branch almost 10 days earlier. We expect that this technique will allow early transplanting around the end of summer and will shorten the time between fruit set on the terminal inflorescence and that on the inflorescence of the primary axillary branch.