Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 21, 2011
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Higher percentages of transplants of short-day cultivars 'Chandler', 'Carmine', 'Strawberry Festival', and 'Sweet Charlie' from runner tips plugged in early July rather than the standard time (early August) bloomed in the fall. Nearly 100% of the transplants produced in early July flowered in the fall, but less than 30% of the August-plugged transplants flowered in the fall. Under protected cultivation, July-plugged plants produced fruit in October, November, and December. Illuminating the crowns of July-plugged transplants with red light in August delayed bloom by several months. In another study, growing transplants under red photoselective nets in August delayed flowering until January. The results of these studies suggested that floral bud initiation can be induced even under long photoperiod if the light illuminating the strawberry crown lacks red and shorter wavelength light. Excessive red light transmittance either with red LED lights or growing transplants under red photoselective shade net in August affected the light signal needed for flower bud initiation. The colored nets did not affect runnering during the fall months. The nursery industry can use the non-flowering transplants as stock plants, because periodic flower removal is not needed for preventing infection by Colletotrichum species. The new techniques for propagating strawberry transplants will create an opportunity for fruit production from SD cultivars in fall and early winter, and again in the spring (double cropping) in the mid-Atlantic coast region.