Use of prohexadione-ca to increase early yield and reduce establishment irrigation of strawberry (fragaria xananassa

John R. Duval


Bare-root strawberry transplants received from northern nurseries often have long petioles, greater than 16 inches long, which wilt after planting. Further desiccation occurs when leaves come in contact with black plastic mulch used in the annual production system. Conventional irrigation practices for the establishment of bare-root transplants of strawberry consist of using extensive overhead irrigation 8-10 hours·day[sup-] for 10-14 days after planting. The plant growth regulator prohexadione- Ca, a gibberellic acid synthesis inhibitor, was used to control the canopy growth of strawberry transplants. Prohexadione- Ca is highly effective in very small quantities (a.i. at less than 0.1 lb/acre) and its effects dissipate after approximately 21 days. Strawberry transplants were grown and prohexadione- Ca treatments applied at the Atlantic Food and Horticulture Research Centre, Kentville, Nova Scotia. Post-digging treatments included exogenous applications of naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) or (indole-3) butyric acid (IBA) to the root systems of the transplants immediately before planting. A split block design was implemented to test the main effects of growth regulator treatments and over head establishment irrigation for 4, 8 or 12 days. Prohexadione-Ca treatments significantly increased early yields of strawberry compared to controls. Results indicate that the use of growth regulators may decrease the need to overhead irrigate by as much as 33% without a loss of yield.


transplant establishment; iba; naa

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283