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M.M. Gaye, G.W. Eaton, and P.A. Joliffe

The effects of rowcovers and plant architecture on fruit development and spatial distribution were assessed in a study of field-grown bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L. cv. Ace Hybrid). A forced regression procedure indicated that rowcovers advanced anthesis and delayed harvest dates on the lower nodes and increased the duration of maturation (over all branches and nodes). Rowcovers did not influence total fruit yield. Fruit were obtained from as many as nine node locations, but the largest portion of the total yield was obtained from the first five nodes. Fruit frequency declined with later nodes and lateral branches, compared with the main branch. Fruit produced after lateral branch four on uncovered plants were below an acceptable market size. Marketable fruit were obtained from all nodes, with the exception of node six of covered plants.