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  • Author or Editor: Jim F. Price x
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The objective of this study was to compare plant health and growth in Florida fruiting fields of `Sweet Charlie' plants from 10 different plant sources. Bare-root plants from Ontario, Nova Scotia, Massachusetts, Oregon, North Carolina, Alabama, and Florida and plug plants from North Carolina and Florida were compared in a RCBD of four replicates. Plants were rated for vigor, production, diseases, and pests throughout the 1995-96 season. Crown size of transplants ranged from 7 to 12 mm. Plants from northern sources exhibited angular leaf spot (Xanthomonas fragariae) and gnomonia (Gnomonia spp.) while southern-raised plants were infected with phomopsis (Phomopsis obscurans) and anthracnose (Colletoctrichum spp.). Initial ratings confirm the potential for aphids and two-spotted spider mites (Tetranychus urticae) to be introduced on transplants. Plants from northern origins flowered 10-14 days earlier than plants produced in southern regions. Total season marketable fruit production was not statistically different among the eight bare-root treatments. Monthly fruit production was significantly different among treatments for all months except February. Performance of plug plants compared to bare-root plants of the same geographic origin were inconsistent. Initial crown size, average berry size, and cull fruit production were significantly different among the plant sources. In summary, clear differences in foliar diseases and monthly fruit production were strongly associated with transplant source. A strawberry farmer may maintain more stable production throughout the year by using transplants from several geographic origins.

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