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  • Author or Editor: Max E. Austin x
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Naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) treatments were applied to pruned and hedged vigorous plants of rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei Reade). NAA application delayed shoot growth and resulted in earlier flowering and ripening of larger-sized fruit. NAA treatments effects lasted up to 3 years.

Open Access
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Is horticulture more popular than jogging? The results of a Don Bowdren Associates survey indicate that 52% of the population is engaged in some form of horticulture, compared to only 27% that jog. These people have discovered what we have long known —that horticulture is everywhere. Horticulture is a science, an art, a profession, a business, an industry, a vocation, an avocation, a way of life involving millions of people! As that way of life changes—and people's needs change—horticulture adapts.

Open Access
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A field planting on a Leefield loamy sand soil of clone T-110, a mature rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei Reade.), was subjected to 6 types of fertilizer using various carriers of N and/or different supplements. The rates of fertilizer applied were 0 (no fertilizer), 1 (N at 67.25 kg·ha−1), and 2 (N at 134.5 kg·ha−1) over an 8-year period. Yield and fruit size were responsive to plant age, fertilizer rate, and the rate of annual precipitation. The 6 fertilizer formulations did not vary in their effects on blueberry yield or fruit size.

Open Access
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Three field experiments were conducted to determine short- and long-term effects of hydrogel mixed with peatmoss, milled pine bark, or soil on growth and yield of blueberry. Rabbiteye blueberry cultivars (Vaccinium ashei Reade) Delite, Tifblue, and Climax, and southern highbush cultivar (V. corymbosum L.) Georgiagem were used as test plants. Hydrogel mixed with soil was detrimental to plant survival. Hydrogel with or without peatmoss or pine bark did not influence yield or berry weight of 3- to 4-year-old `Delite' and 2- to 3-year-old `Tifblue' plants. The southern highbush, `Georgiagem', grown in peatmoss + hydrogel, produced plants of larger volume than those grown in peatmoss alone. Yield or berry weight was not affected significantly by soil amendments. Genetic differences between cultivars affected growth, yield, and berry weight, but the cultivar x soil treatment interaction was not significant.

Free access
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Abstract

Three hundred shoots with flower buds were collected from three blueberry types to determine the influence of chilling hours on flower bud expansion. The three types were rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei Reade) ‘Brightwell’ and clone T-110, and low-chill highbush blueberry (V. corymbosum L.) ‘Georgiagem’. Chilling hours in this study ranged from 0 to 700 and were defined as accumulated hours of temperatures < 7.2°C. Flower bud expansion of all three blueberry types was influenced significantly by levels of accumulated chilling. The mathematical relationships between bud width and chilling hours were either linear or quadratic. Largest bud expansion occurred after 400 chilling hours for ‘Brightwell’ and ‘Georgiagem’ and after 550 hr for T-110. Overall, ‘Brightwell’ had the smallest bud width, ‘Georgiagem’ was intermediate, and T-110 the largest.

Open Access

Cultivars of the economically important rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei Reade) were differentiated at the DNA level using the technique of randomly amplified polymorphic DNA. Single decanucleotide primers of arbitrary sequence were used to amplify genomic DNA by the polymerase chain reaction. All cultivars tested exhibited a unique set of collective amplified fragments of distinct molecular weight. A blind fingerprinting experiment resulted in identification of unknown samples without ambiguity. We also clarified the genetic identity of two wild selections of rabbiteye blueberry, `Ethel' and `Satilla', which have been maintained as two different selections, hut are considered by some blueberry breeders to be of the same genetic constitution. The technique also verified the probable identity of two cultivars in a commercial blueberry field by comparing their amplified DNA patterns with those of standard cultivars. No variation was observed between the amplification profiles of `Brightwell' and its presumed sport. A cultivar key based on 11 markers amplified by four primers is presented.

Free access

Abstract

Hedging reduced yield and increased fruit size of rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei, Reade) for one or 2 years following hedging, but yields and fruit size were similar to unhedged plants after 4 years. The best hedging treatment time was February, with evaluation taking place over a 5-year period following hedging.

Open Access

Abstract

Rabbiteye blueberry plants (Vaccinium ashei, Reade) which had been planted in 1947 and fertilized with complete fertilizers until 1962 were neglected for 14 years. Because of the vigorous growth, good foliage color, and quality fruit production of these unfertilized plants, soil and leaf nutrient levels were examined 20 and 21 years after the last fertilization. Whereas the soil pH was optimum at 4.5 both years, the soil P was very high in 1982 and medium in 1983. The soil K was medium in 1982 and low in 1983; the soil Ca and Mg were low both years. Soil micronutrients were low and typical for unfertilized Coastal Plain soils. Generally, all leaf nutrient constituents were on the low end of the ranges reported in the literature. Nonetheless the plants continued to grow and produce well, indicating that some old, deep-rooted rabbiteye blueberry plants require less fertilizer than had been thought previously.

Open Access

Abstract

Rabbiteye blueberry plants (Vaccinium ashei Reade) are generally vigorous and adaptable to a wide range of soil textures. Reduced growth and yield are associated with high soil pH in most instances. Experiments were conducted to elucidate the relationship between soil pH of a sandy clay loam soil and growth yield of 2 rabbiteye cultivars. Yields of ‘Delite’ and ‘Tifblue’ were decreased with increasing pH from 5.1 to 6.3. ‘Delite’ plants had good observed growth and foliage color at soil pH 5.0 to 5.5. Observed growth appeared to decrease and chlorosis increase with increasing pH up to 6.5 Growth of ‘Tifblue’ differed little among the soil pH treatments, because all plants were slightly to severely chlorotic. Higher yields were obtained from ‘Tifblue’ than from ‘Delite’.

Open Access