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  • Author or Editor: James C. Sumler Jr. x
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Cold-stored (frigo) plants of `Irvine' and `Seascape' and non-chilled plug plants of `Sweet Charlie' and FL 87-123 were planted on August 31 on raised beds covered with white-on-black polyethylene mulch. Very little water was needed for establishment of these plants (compared to that which is normally needed for the establishment of foliated bareroot plants). `Irvine' and `Seascape' produced more runners and were later to initiate fruit production than `Sweet Charlie' and FL 87-123. `Sweet Charlie' and FL 87-123 started producing a small amount of marketable fruit in late October, while `Irvine' and `Seascape' did not produce any marketable fruit until mid and late January respectively.

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The use of locally grown transplants in Florida strawberry (Fragari×ananassa Duchesne) production has increased since the release of the cultivar Sweet Charlie by the University of Florida in 1992. Previous research has shown that nursery region can influence production patterns of other strawberry cultivars through differences in photoperiod and temperature exposure. Transplants of `Sweet Charlie' strawberry (bareroot and plug plants) from sources representing northern (Canada, Massachusetts, Oregon), southern (Alabama, Florida) and mid latitude (North Carolina) transplant production regions were compared for plant vigor, production, and pest incidence at Dover, Fla. in 1995-96 and 1996-97. Total fruit production was not significantly different forplants among the plant source regions in 1995-96, but total yield from southern source plants in 1996-97 was significantly lower than northern and mid latitude plant sources. Monthly production of marketable fruits varied among the three plant source regions in December, January, and February, during which time market prices fell 46% in 1995-96 and 56% in 1996-97. Plants from northern and mid latitude sources produced significantly greater fruit yield in December than plants from southern sources. Differences among plant sources were detected for early flowering, initial crown size, incidence of foliar disease, arthropod pests, mortality, and fruit weight. Geographic location of strawberry transplant sources influenced fruiting patterns and other components that may affect profitability of `Sweet Charlie' strawberry production in west central Florida.

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