|Authors: ||M.G. Palha, J.L. Campo , P.B. Oliveira|
|Keywords: ||Fragaria × ananassa, 'Elsanta', vegetative growth, flowering, harvest index|
Plant growth, flowering and dry matter partitioning of four cold stored strawberry plant types of cultivar ‘Elsanta’ were assessed at three planting dates, in an autumn production system.
Tray plants had the highest initial total plant fresh weight, followed by waiting bed (WB) and A+ plants.
The A plants had the smallest initial plant size.
One month after planting, plants had an active period of growth, mainly of roots and leaves and less of crowns and flowers.
Two months after planting, plant biomass allocation was mostly to leaves, flowers and fruits, this effect being more significant for the first planting date.
All plant material types showed similar trends in dry matter partitioning throughout the season.
Earlier planting dates induced plants to accumulate more biomass.
The highest dry-matter accumulation was observed in tray plants, followed by WB and A+ plants, which also reflected the higher crown number, leaf area, inflorescence and flower number produced by those plant types.
The A plants showed the lowest vegetative and flowering response.
These results indicate that the initial size of planting material affects growth and flowering of ‘Elsanta’ during autumn season production, with earlier planting dates, inducing higher plant biomass accumulation.
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