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Jo Ann Robbins

The growth, yield, and berry weight of nine June-bearing strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) cultivars (`Allstar', `Cavendish', `Honeoye', `Jewel', `Kent', `Mesabi', `Mira', `Northeaster', and `Winona') and six floricane fruiting (summerbearing) raspberry (Rubus idaeus) cultivars (`Algonquin', `K-81-6', `Lauren', `Nova', `Qualicum', and `Reveille') grown in southern Idaho were compared. `Cavendish', `Mesabi,' and `Winona' established quickly and maintained their spring vigor. Strawberry cultivars grew well during the summer but some cultivars had low spring vigor ratings. The most reliable yielding cultivars were `Cavendish' and `Mesabi' in spite of spring frosts, which damaged blossoms. `Mesabi' yielded best during a season where plants suffered spring freeze injury. Only `Mesabi' yielded above 6 tons/acre (2001). Spring freezing and relatively low yields are limiting factors in strawberry production in southern Idaho. Berry weight averaged 5.5 to 8.8 g in the second year of the study and may be too small for consumer acceptance and other commercial competition. `Cavendish' and `Mesabi' fruited earliest and `Honeoye' and `Winona' were latest. Raspberry shoot and cane growth was strong in all years. Over the course of the study, highest yielding in 2001 was `Nova' (7.65 tons/acre) and in 2002 `K-81-6' (10.4 tons/acre). In the second year of harvest (2002), all cultivars produced greater than the projected commercial production requirement of 3 tons/acre. Raspberry bloom occurred after the spring frosts. Berry weight was largest in `K-81-6' (3.3 and 2.5 g in 2001 and 2002, respectively) and smallest in `Algonquin' (1.8 and 1.5 g in 2001 and 2002, respectively). Early fruiting cultivars were `Nova' and `Reveille'.

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Jo Ann Robbins and Carol Blackburn

A solarization site was established on the grounds of the Sawtooth Community Garden south of Ketchum, Idaho, in 1995. Feasibility of solarization for weed control was determined in a region of sunny, warm days and cool nights. Elevation of the site was 1829 m, with a growing season of 90 days. Treatments of double and single layers of clear and IRT plastic were applied 23 May 1995. These solarization treatments were compared to hand-hoeing, glyphosate sprays, and no control. Highest soil temperatures were reached under the double clear plastic, where daily peak temperatures ranged from 19 to 46C. Plastic treatments were removed on 30 Aug. 1995. Weed growth and growth of peas, green beans, carrots, and beets were recorded during the summer of 1996. Weed growth on 14 June 1996 ranged from 0.3 to 0.8 weeds/m2 in the solarization, hand-hoe, and glyphosate treatments and was 22.4 weeds/m2 in the no control treatment. On 20 Aug., weeds/m2 ranged from 1.4 to 2.0 in the solarization, hand-hoe, and glyphosate treatments and was 20.4 weeds/m2 in the no control treatment. At both dates there was no significant differences between weed control treatments, and any weed control method was significantly better than no control. Weight per plant of beets and beans was no different across all treatments. Carrot and pea plants were smaller in the no control treatments, and some variable differences were noted between weed control treatments. Results indicate that solarization in short-season, cool climates will result in little to no advantage over hand-hoeing or herbicide control of weeds, and no subsequent differences in crop growth can be expected.

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Patrick P. Moore and Jo Ann Robbins

A crumbly fruited clone of `Centennial' red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) had fewer drupelets per fruit and smaller fruit than normal-fruited `Centennial'. Although there was more abortive pollen in the crumbly clone of `Centennial', there was no difference in drupelet set between the two `Centennial' clones when used as paternal parents. Thus, in `Centennial', the mechanism causing crumbly fruit was primarily a maternal effect. There was no evidence of disease as a cause of the crumbly fruited `Centennial' clone and observations were consistent with a somatic mutation.

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Jo Ann Robbins and Patrick P. Moore

During storage for 16 days at 0 or 4.5C or storage for 8 days at 20C, fresh raspberry (Rubus idaeus L. var. idaeus) fruit became darker, less red, and more blue as recorded in L* a* b* CIE coordinates. Cultivars maintained their relative at-harvest ratings throughout storage. Rates of change for cultivars during storage did not differ. Color changes depended on temperature, with rates of change fastest at 20C, especially during the first 4 days. Fruit stored 16 days at OC was more red and less blue than that stored at 4.5C. Maximum color change was reached after 8 days at 0 or 4.5C and after 4 days at 20C.

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Jo Ann Robbins*, Susan Bell, Tim Davis and Kevin Laughlin

Master Gardener training was first offered in Idaho in 1976. Univ. of Idaho (U of I) Master Gardener trainings are held in various counties and organized by county extension faculty. The number of Master Gardeners in Idaho is estimated at 1800. In 1993, U of I published the first edition of the Idaho Master Gardener Handbook. This 23-chapter state-specific handbook is revised annually. The first chapter outlines the Idaho Master Gardener guidelines. These were the first statewide guidelines. The Idaho program requires a minimum of 30 hours of classes and 30 hours of practicum/hands-on training (the volunteer commitment). Certification is received after these requirements are met and is good for one year. Annual recertification is provided through participation in Advanced Master Gardener trainings and activities. These recertification programs differ; depending on wants and needs within Idaho. The U of I Horticulture Programming Topic Team loosely organizes all county efforts, but there is no statewide Master Gardener program in Idaho. Each region and county brings a unique framework to the title Master Gardener. Hands-on training in many counties includes problem solving services to phone and office visiting clients. Other horticultural community and extension projects are the balance of the hands on hours. Idaho Master Gardeners also serve as uniquely qualified educators in a state as geographically diverse as Idaho. In 2001, the Idaho Junior Master Gardener Program began in cooperation with Idaho Master Gardeners and Texas A&M Univ.. Over 2000 youth and 200 adults have been involved in Idaho.

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Patrick P. Moore, Jo Ann Robbins and Thomas M. Sjulin

The field performance of micropropagated and runner-propagated subclones of `Olympus' strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) was compared. The yield of micropropagated plants was not greater than that of runner-propagated plants. There was significant variability among micropropagated subclones, with the highest yielding subclone having 68% higher yield than the lowest yielding subclone in each of the first 2 years. However, after runner propagation for 4 years, selected subclones showed no differences in yield. Differences among subclones of `Olympus' were not stable and were most likely transient responses to the micropropagation environment. The apparent superiority of the subclones was not genetic.

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Max Patterson, M. Ahmedullah, Frank Younce, Jo Ann Robbins and Yaguang Luo

Blueberries were exposed to a series of atmospheric gas mixtures using an automated, computerized, gas-mixing, monitoring, controlling and recording system. Nitrogen was obtained from a PSA generator, O2 from an in-house air compressor and CO2 from compressed gas cylinders. Precise mixtures were made by introducing source gas streams into electronic gas-mixing valves where they were pre-mixed at desired concentrations and directed to fruit chambers. Gas mixtures giving maximum decay control and retention of harvest quality at 0°C were determined. Mixtures preserving fruit without causing fermentation or toxicity were also determined. Quality was retained in excess of 60 days at optimum gas levels. Increasing the fresh market period of blueberries with CA storage and prolonging shelf life and extending shipping distances with MA packaging appears promising.

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Patrick P. Moore, Wendy Hoashi-Erhardt, Bruce Barritt, Thomas Sjulin, Jo Ann Robbins, Chad E. Finn, Robert R. Martin and Michael Dossett