Submitted to: Wye Strawberry Twilight Meeting Booklet
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2003
Publication Date: May 19, 2003
Citation: TAKEDA, F. REPORT ON USDA-ARS PLASTICULTURE STRAWBERRY RESEARCH PLOTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND WYE RESEARCH AND EDUCATION CENTER IN QUEENSTOWN, MD.. WYE STRAWBERRY TWILIGHT MEETING BOOKLET. 2003. Technical Abstract: There is increased interest for annual hill strawberry production in colder climates. This has prompted scientists and nurserymen to develop new approaches for producing timely, disease-free nursery transplants. The problem to date has been to generate enough runner tips for production of transplants that must be established in the field from mid August to mid September. This report is to provide growers attending the University of Maryland Strawberry Twilight Meeting on 21 May 2003, an update of USDA-ARS research on producing strawberry transplants for annual plasticulture system. We determined the quality of transplants produced from fresh harvested runner tips and those stored at low temperatures in ambient or modified gas atmosphere for six weeks. In the second study, we determined the quality of transplants that were produced in July and either left in the greenhouse or stored in a cold-room until field planting in September. In the third study, effects of runner tip size or their position on stolon strings on rooting capacity, transplant production, and field performance was determined using tips taken from August-harvested strings. We also evaluated three strawberry selections and studied whether planting of container plants can be delayed until spring. Preliminary data analysis suggests that all tips produced adequate adventitious roots in the first week under mist. Fewer of cold stored type either in ambient or modified gas atmosphere developed into field transplantable plugs than fresh rooted tips. Also, more of tips of moderate size and maturity developed into transplants than tips that were over mature or small. Fall plant growth was similar for all treatments. Fruit production in spring 2003 will be determined. It is likely that the way runner tips are handled at the nursery either before plugging under mist or after rooting will influence the quality of transplants. Once the transplants become established in plasticulture; however, they perform similarly in terms of their vegetative growth.