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Rahmatallah Gheshm and Rebecca Nelson Brown

evaluate saffron crocus as a new specialty crop for New England, to determine whether winter protection was beneficial for saffron crocus production in Rhode Island (USDA zone 6a), and to evaluate corm planting densities for a mesic, high

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Fumiomi Takeda and David Handley

A combination of simple cultural practices, a modified rotatable crossarm (RCA) trellis system, and covering plants with insulation material in winter overcame the lack of cold hardiness in trailing blackberries that have been established at Kearneysville, W.Va. After tying canes to trellis wires and rotating the cross-arms to below horizontal, tied canes were close to the ground, allowing them to be covered with protective materials, such as floating rowcover and polyethylene plastic during winter. Covers were removed in early spring and the canes remained in the horizontal orientation until bloom, which promoted flowering laterals to grow upright. After bloom, the cross-arm was rotated beyond vertical to position the fruit on one side of the row and improve harvest efficiency. In Jan. and Feb. 2005, the daily minimum temperatures under the FRC+PE covers were about 3 °C higher than in the open. The covers also provided protection against the wind. Tissue damage in protected trailing blackberries was significantly less than for unprotected plants. `Siskiyou' plants in covered plots produced 3 to 5 times more fruit than plants in the open. Harvesting of `Siskiyou' fruit occurred during the red raspberry harvest season or 2 to 3 weeks earlier than for eastern blackberries. Our findings suggest that trailing blackberries can grow satisfactorily and produce fruit if the adverse effect of low temperatures and winds is mitigated with our trellis system and winter protection method. If practical cultural techniques for improving their winter survival become available, there is a potential for early-season high-quality blackberry production in the mid-Atlantic coast region.

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Michel Lamarre and Michel J Lareau

A 3-year study was carried out on the use of row covers as a substitute to straw for winter protection of five strawberry cultivars. Seven cover treatments were tested: “Agronet” removed on May 2, 12 and 19; “Kimberlay farms” removed May 19; perforated polyethylene removed May 16; conventionnal straw mulch removed in mid-April, and no row cover protection. Row covers advanced first harvest for all cultivars. There was a 10-day gain in earliness with perforated polyethylene followed in decreasing order by “Kimberley farms”, “Agronet”, straw mulch, and no protection. Treatments favoring early yields tended to shorten the period of production and to reduce total yield. Of the “Agronet” treatments, the May 12 removal increased the yield for the first 4 harvests compared to the May 2 and May 19 removals.

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J. Dionne, M. Laganière, and Y. Desjardins

Extensive winterkill of golf greens is a major problem in northern climates. In this study, the efficiency of several protective covering materials used to shelter Poa annua golf greens from winter damages was evaluated over 2 years. The bioclimatological environment under these protective covers was studied at crown level and at 5, 10, and 20 cm under the ground Treatments (permeable and impermeable covers, curled wood Excelsior mat, straw mulch protected by an impermeable cover, geotextile material with an impermeable cover, and air space under an impermeable cover) were compared to a control treatment without protection. Results indicate that temperature profile was strongly influenced by both winter protection covers and snow depth Temperatures at crown level were stable and just below 0C under plots covered with a significant amount of snow. However, temperatures varied considerably, when snow cover was <15 cm. Snow thermal conductivity was increased by periods of rain during the winter. Impermeable covers minimized the negative effect of this change in the insulation properties of the snow cover by limiting temperature fluctuations at the crown level. Temperature profiles under permeable covers were similar to profiles observed on control plots. Temperature profiles were comparable for 5 and 10 cm air space treatments and were not significantly different when compared to impermeable covers spread directly on the turf. Straw with an impermeable cover and Excelsior mats maintained crown level temperatures at >0C and the incidence of disease was higher under these highly insulative materials.

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Kerrie B. Badertscher and Harrison G. Hughes

Renewed interest in red raspberry production in Colorado has been limited by winter kill of canes. Winter kill in Colorado may be the result of extreme cold temperatures, desiccation, or a combination of the two. We are evaluating winter protection strategies to increase survival and to better understand the winter stress of raspberries. The four (4) cane treatments of red raspberry, Rubus ideaus L. cv. Heritage, used were (1) canes bent and wrapped with plastic; (2) canes bent and mulched with hay and soil; (3) canes upright with anti-desiccant spray; (4) a control of canes upright without protection. Moisture content and electrolyte leakage were evaluated at intervals. Relative moisture loss was greatest in the control as compared to the other treatments. The terminal sections of the canes exhibited greater moisture loss as compared to basal sections in the control with a similar trend in the other treatments. Relative survival as indicated by electrolyte leakage was monitored and will be correlated with moisture loss.

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David Mettler and Harlene Hatterman-Valenti

cultivar(s) for production in the northern Great Plains using the RCA trellis system and several types of rowcovers for winter protection. Materials and Methods Design. This experiment was conducted as a randomized complete block design and arranged as a

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Kaitlyn M. Orde and Rebecca Grube Sideman

fruit production and high yields during the second year. Straw mulch or rowcover have been used for winter protection by researchers and growers in the region, who report that winter survival rates vary from poor to excellent, depending on cultivar and

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J.M. Turner and K.K. Tanino

On average, one year in ten is a true test winter for screening winter hardy plants. Thus, screening of cultural practices under field conditions is often difficult, requiring many years data. In Saskatchewan, the two major winter stresses are low temperature and desiccation. Under controlled lab conditions, a rapid screening method for cultural practices on strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) plants was developed. Temperature profiles and survival under various row covers and mulches in this controlled system corresponded well to previous field results. Straw over plastic and snow over plastic row covers conferred the best low temperature protection on these plants.

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Joan R. Davenport, Markus Keller, and Lynn J. Mills

Although the inland Pacific Northwest has a warm climate during the growing season, grapes grown in this region may be exposed to colder than optimal temperatures at several times during the year. In addition to damage from spring and fall frosts, intermittent winters with little to no snow cover and subzero temperatures can cause vine dieback and death. Temperature patterns in the recent past indicate that both fall and midwinter are times when risk of bud damage from cold events is probable, making proper site selection and cultivar choice critical. Water is not used for frost protection in this climate, but wind machines have proven to be useful. In frost-prone sites, annual sucker growth with cane burying is practiced as an insurance strategy. Modifying pruning strategies has not been shown to be advantageous after fall cold events. If rootstocks are used, research has shown greater scion survival with higher graft positions.

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Norman Pellett and David Heleba

Chopped newspaper at 3.5 and 7.0 kg.m-2 enclosed in white polyethylene sheeting or enclosed in nylon netting at 3.5 kg.m-2 was compared with two layers of 0.64-cm microfoam as winter covering of four taxa of container-grown nursery plants. White polyethylene-enclosed newspaper moderated winter temperatures more than net-enclosed newspaper or two layers of microfoam under white polyethylene. All coverings provided protection against winter injury, as evidenced by container temperature, but net-enclosed newspaper at 3.5 kg.m-2 resulted in a minimal percentage of Daphne burkwoodii `Carol Mackie' plants with three or more shoots longer than 2 cm in the spring. Gaillardia grandiflora, covered by newspaper during winter, had less spring growth than plants covered by microfoam, but all coverings provided protection for Juniperus horizontalis `Prince of Wales' and Physostegia virginiana.