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An evaluation of containerized plants for strawberries growing in a subtropical environment.

Menzel, C.M. and Toldi, A. (2010) An evaluation of containerized plants for strawberries growing in a subtropical environment. HortTechnology, 20 (4). pp. 786-793.

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Organisation URL: http://horttech.ashspublications.org/

Abstract

The productivity of containerized and bare-rooted plants of strawberry (Fragaria * ananassa) was investigated over 4 years in southeastern Queensland, Australia. In the first experiment, plants in small, 75-cm3 cells were compared with bare-rooted plants of 'Festival' and 'Sugarbaby'. A similar experiment was conducted in year 2 with these two cultivars, plus 'Rubygem'. In year 3, plants in large, 125-cm3 cells were compared with small and large bare-rooted plants of 'Festival' and 'Rubygem'. Treatments in each of these experiments were planted on the same date. In the final experiment, plants in large cells and bare-rooted plants of 'Festival' were planted in late March, early April, mid-April, or early May. The plants grown in small cells produced 60% to 85% of the yields of the bare-rooted plants, whereas the yield of plants in large cells was equal to that of the bare-rooted plants. Containerized plants are twice as expensive as bare-rooted plants (A$0.60 vs. A$0.32) (A$=Australian dollar), and gave only similar or lower returns than the bare-rooted plants (A$0.54 to A$3.73 vs. A$1.40 to A$4.09). It can be concluded that containerized strawberry plants are not economically viable in subtropical Queensland under the current price structure and growing system. There was a strong relationship between yield and average plant dry weight (leaves, crowns, and roots) in 'Festival' in the last three experiments, where harvesting continued to late September or early October. Productivity increased by about 18 g for each gram increase in plant dry weight, indicating the dependence of fruit production on vegetative growth in this environment.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© American Society for Horticultural Science.
Keywords:Container grown plants; crop yield; plant production; crown; dry matter; economic viability; growth; leaves; prices; returns; roots; strawberries; subtropics; Fragaria ananassa; bare-rooted; economic returns; nursery material; propagation.
Subjects:Plant culture > Fruit and fruit culture > Berries and small fruits
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural economics
Deposited On:07 Dec 2010 07:06
Last Modified:04 Feb 2015 04:38

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