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Research Project: Genetic Enhancement of Watermelon, Broccoli, and Leafy Brassicas for Economically Important Traits

Location: Vegetable Research

Title: Maximizing plant density affects broccoli yield and quality

item WARD, B - Clemson University
item Farnham, Mark
item SMITH, P - Clemson University
item Stansell, Zachary
item JAMES, S - Clemson University

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2014
Publication Date: 9/1/2014
Citation: Ward, B., Farnham, M.W., Smith, P., Stansell, Z.J., James, S. 2014. Maximizing plant density affects broccoli yield and quality. HortScience. 49(9):S211.

Interpretive Summary: N/A

Technical Abstract: Increased demand for fresh market bunch broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) has led to increased production along the United States east coast. Maximizing broccoli yields is a primary concern for quickly expanding southeastern commercial markets. This broccoli plant density study was carried out over 2 years using a hybrid cultivar ‘Emerald Crown’ on a commercial farm in Summerton, SC, and at Clemson Coastal Research and Education Center in Charleston, SC, to determine maximum yields and quality under three environments with the primary focus on within row spacing of 10.2 cm, 15.2 cm and 20.3 cm and between row spacing of 30.5 cm. Results from this study suggest that increased plant density of 10.2 cm within row spacing significantly increases overall yields/Ha over the 15.2 and 20.3 cm spacing respectively, despite inter-row competition for resources. Overall quality affected by plant density trends toward marginal significance with increased overall quality at lower plant densities. Ultimately, increased plant density of 10.2 cm within row spacing is recommended for maximum yields regardless of environment with little effect on overall quality.