THE PRODUCTION OF OUT-OF-SEASON STRAWBERRIES IN A HYDROPONICS SYSTEM
The chilled plants produced larger amounts of vegetative growth compared with the unchilled (leaf areas of 59.4 cm2 and 23.4 cm2 repectively), reached maximum berry weight earlier (75 days after planting compared with 105 days) and produced significantly less yield of berries (38.2 g/plant and 134.2 g/plant respectively).
No significant differences were detected between the rates of photosynthesis by leaves of the chilled and unchilled plants, suggesting that the former were accumulating photosynthate at least twice as fast as the latter. This additional photosynthate appeared to be mainly partitioned towards vegetative growth whilst reproductive development was both hastened and compressed.
The application of Cycocel(2-chloroethyl-trimethylammonium chloride) to unchilled plants was associated with the development of small leaflets on the achenes of the berries suggesting a re-partitioning of photosynthate towards vegetative growth.