|Authors: ||X. Hao, A.P. Papadopoulos, S. Khosla|
|Keywords: ||light intensity, cucumber, plant density, fruit pruning, multi-stem|
A high-wire cucumber production system on raised-troughs was developed in the last three years to meet consumer’s demand for year-round supply of high quality produce.
Effects of light intensity and other growth factors such as plant density, fruit load and stems per plant on plant growth and fruit yield were investigated to optimize fruit production under supplemental lighting.
The optimum fruit to leaf ratio for high-wire cucumber production under supplemental lighting or at ambient light conditions was 1:2, i.e., one fruit every other node.
High plant density (3 to 4.0 stems m-2) was required to achieve high yield potential with the high-wire production system, as compared to the traditional low-wire umbrella training system (1.2 to 1.8 plants m-2). The optimum plant density varied with light conditions.
Plant density up to 4.0 plants or stems m-2 may be required for high-wire cucumber production under summer light conditions (21–24 MJ m-2 day-1) in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
In winter production, the fruit yield increased linearly with 0 to 16 klx (200 µmol m-2 s-1 PAR) supplemental lighting.
Significantly higher yield was achieved with a high plant density (3 plants m-2) than with a low plant density (2 plants m-2) when supplemental lighting was used.
To reduce the crop start-up costs associated with high plant density, a twin-head V high cucumber production system (two stems per plant trained into a V system) was also developed.
The system achieved the same fruit yield as the single-head (one stem per plant) high-wire production system but halved the crop start-up costs.
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