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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effect of Plugging Date on Fall Flowering and Fruiting in Some Short-Day Strawberry

Authors
item Takeda, Fumiomi
item Newell, Michael - UNIV OF MD, WYE RES/CTR

Submitted to: International Journal of Fruit Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 8, 2006
Publication Date: September 1, 2007
Citation: Takeda, F., Newell, M. 2007. Effect of plugging date on fall flowering and fruiting in some short-day strawberry. International Journal of Fruit Science. 6(4):103-117.

Interpretive Summary: In the mid-Atlantic coast region, there is interest in meeting market demand for locally produced fresh strawberries from September to December. However, varieties that can produce high quality fruit or practical methods to produce plants that will flower and fruit during that time are not available. We conducuted studies from 2002 to 2005 to determine whether changing the time when runner tips were rooted would promote flowering in June-bearing varieties that normally flower in spring. We took runner tips in early July or August and rooted them in containers. These transplants were established in the field in early September. By November, nearly all of 'Chandler' and 'Sweet Charlie' plants that were propagated in early July had flowered compared to just a few among August-plugged plants. None of 'Northeaster' plants flowered in fall. These studies showed that the time of runner tip plugging is important for forcing fall flowering in some short-day cultivars. Our method for promoting fall flowering in June-bearing varieties is more practical and does not require artificial lighting or cooling.

Technical Abstract: From 2002 to 2005, we conducted studies to force June-bearing strawberry plants to flower in the fall and early winter under the mid-Atlantic coast region growing conditions in attempt to crop them twice in one season. Mother plants were grown in a soilless system under protected cultivation and runner tips were harvested in early July or August and inserted in cell packs for rooting. These transplants were established in plasticulture beds in early September in the open or under protected cultivation. By November, flowers and fruit were present on about 80 to 100 percent of 'Chandler' plants that were plugged in early July while none were present on plants propagated in August. None of 'Northeaster' plants flowered in fall. 'Sweet Charlie' transplants started in early July produced more fruit in November and December than transplants that were plugged in August. Under protected cultivation ‘Sweet Charlie’ produced fruit well into late December. Our results indicate that the time of runner tip harvest and plugging have a profound effect on fall flowering in several short-day strawberry cultivars. July-plugged 'Sweet Charlie' and perhaps 'Chandler' transplants can produce fruit from early November to late December. In spring, July-plugged plants produced more fruit than transplants propagated in August. Short-term cropping systems improve opportunities for farm diversification and help farmers to produce strawberries for niche market in off-season. Income from fall and spring fruit production can raise farm profitability.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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