Submitted to: Plant and Soil
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 6, 2003
Publication Date: October 10, 2003
Citation: Burelle, N.K. 2003. Effects of transplant type and soil fumigant on growth and yield of strawberry in florida. Plant and Soil Journal. 256:273-280. Interpretive Summary: The loss of methyl bromide as a soil fumigant will significantly impact strawberry production in the United States, particularly in California and Florida. The objectives of this research were 1) to evaluate strawberry transplants grown as bare root, plug, and plugs amended with growth enhancing bacteria, for earliness and yield and 2) to evaluate the three transplant types in combination with methyl bromide alternative soil treatments. Research was conducted over three growing seasons in central Florida, and consistently demonstrated that use of plug transplants resulted in better root growth, healthier roots, earlier yields, and higher total yields, than bare root transplants. The addition of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) to plug transplants resulted in enhancement of growth and yield that differed slightly between the two cultivars tested. Trends consistently seen in both cultivars were that plugs and plugs with PGPR produced the largest and healthiest root systems and earlier yields while bare root plants had the smallest, least healthy roots and began producing berries approximately two weeks later than either type of plug plant. Methyl bromide and Telone performed consistently and were comparable with respect to producing vigorous, healthy roots and acceptable yields while treatment with Plantpro 45, a new unregistered compound, resulted in plants with smaller, less healthy roots and reduced yields compared to plants grown in untreated soil. The combination of methyl bromide or Telone with LS213 plugs produced the healthiest plants and the highest yields. New research on use of biological agents for the improvement of strawberry root health indicates potential for incorporation of this strategy into strawberry production systems.
Technical Abstract: The effects of transplant type and soil treatment on growth and yield of strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.) produced in annual hill culture were evaluated for three years in Florida field trials. 'Sweet Charlie' and 'Camarosa' strawberry transplants were propagated as bare root, plug, and plugs amended with a plant growth-promoting rhizobacterial (PGPR) treatment, LS213. The transplant treatments were evaluated in combination with methyl bromide, 1, 3-dichloropropene (Telone II), an unregistered iodine-based compound (Plantpro 45), and untreated soil. 'Camarosa' plugs amended with LS213 had higher overall yields than bare root transplants in all three years. Both 'Camarosa' and 'Sweet Charlie' plug and LS213 plug plants produced yields approximately two weeks earlier than bare root transplants in all years. Regardless of transplant type, and in both consecutive years of Plantpro 45 and Telone application, treatment with Plantpro 45 resulted in smaller and less healthy root systems than other soil treatments, and treatment with Telone resulted in yields comparable to methyl bromide.