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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Influence of Daughter Plant Size and Position on Strawberry Transplant Production and Field Performance

Authors
item Takeda, Fumiomi
item Hokanson, S. - UNIV OF MISSESOTA
item Enns, John

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 18, 2004
Publication Date: December 6, 2004
Citation: Takeda, F., Hokanson, S.C., Enns, J.M. 2004. Influence of daughter plant size and position on strawberry transplant production and field performance. Hortscience. 39: 1592-1595. 2004

Interpretive Summary: Strawberry growers in the mid-Atlantic coast and Midwest regions need fresh transplants from middle of August to early September to establish strawberry plantings in annual plasticulture system. Cold-stored, dormant transplants have not performed satisfactorily in this system and fresh-dug plants from field nurseries in Canada are available after mid September. A greenhouse system for producing daughter plants using a multiple harvesting technique resulted in daughters of uniform maturity and size, but did not result in large quantities of daughter plants. In this study, we evaluated the potential of one-time harvest of daughter plants produced on mother plants growing in a hydroponic system in a greenouse in late July. Our research showed that large quantities of daughter plants could be produced in less than 3 months when a hydroponic greenhouse system is used, but it resulted in a wide range of daughter plant maturity and size. The resulting daughter plants were plugged in containers and misted to encourage root formation. Fewer of small daughter plants produced adequate roots when they were plugged in containers. More of the container plants generated from daughter plants that were older and close to their mothers were field ready than those that were small and distant from their mothers. Among transplants that were established in the field in mid August, vegetative growth during the fall was not affected by either daughter plant maturity or size. However, large daughter plants produced more branch crowns in the fall than small daughters. In spring, 'Chandler' plants from large daughters produced more fruit than those from small daughters. A better understanding of daughter plant biology has resulted from this study, but the difficulty of handling large daughter plants with many roots and sorting daughter plants by size or weight may deter nurserymen from adopting this system for producting strawberry transplants. Economic analysis of various components of the greenhouse hydronponic system for one-time harvest of daughter plants is needed to determine whether this system is economically viable option for commercial strawberry propagators.

Technical Abstract: Strawberry (cv. Chandler) plants were grown in a hydroponic culture system from 27 April to 20 July in a greenhouse to produce stolons with several daughter plants. By 20 July each 'Chandler' plant had developed 30 daughter plants on 12 stolons with one to six daughter plants on each stolon. Daughter plants varied in size from < 0.9 to > 10 g. Daughter plant size and their position on the stolon affected new root development during the first 7 days under mist irrigation. At 3 weeks, 87% of daughter plants that weighed < 0.9 g and >96% of larger daughter plants were rated acceptable for field transplanting, respectively. The percentage of daughter plants from first to fifth position that were rated acceptable for field planting ranged from 98 to 88%, respectively. Among all container plants established in plasticulture, stolon production during the fall was not affected by either position on the stolon or size at the time of daughter plant harvest and larger daughter plants produced more branch crowns than did smaller daughter plants in the fall. Transplant survival in the field was 100%. In spring, 'Chandler' plants produced 10% greater yield from daughter plants that weighed 9.9 g than those that weighed only 0.9 g.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014