Fruit thinning in 'BH-65' and 'Intenzza' papaya grown in greenhouses
Papaya (Carica papaya L.) is a tropical fruit crop of growing interest owing to its high productivity and early yielding. Its profitability is largely determined by the choice of cultivars and management, with establishment of optimal crop loads and fruit size being important, especially for the European market, which demands fruits of medium size. Having this demand in mind, we performed a fruit thinning experiment in greenhouses of Almería (south-east Spain) on BH-65 and Intenzza, cultivars that produce small and large fruits, respectively, with the aim of determining the convenience of fruit thinning and the optimal number of fruits per node. Our results show that, despite significant differences in fruit length, soluble solids content and skin color obtained in response to thinning, the magnitude of the changes does not justify economically fruit removal in papaya BH-65 and Intenzza. This is because the improvements did not compensate for yield losses (47 and 19% less for BH-65 and Intenzza, respectively) and the higher cultivation costs caused by heavy thinning (one fruit per node).
Salinas, I., Hueso, J.J. and Cuevas, J. (2019). Fruit thinning in 'BH-65' and 'Intenzza' papaya grown in greenhouses. Acta Hortic. 1250, 193-196
Carica papaya, protected cultivation, crop load, fruit set, yield, fruit quality