J.C. Gázquez, D.E. Meca, J.C. López, E.J. Baeza , J.J. Pérez-Parra
In many greenhouse crops the fruit set can be achieved by natural pollination (i.e. bees or bumblebees) or induced by the exogenous application of phytohormones/ biostimulants. In zucchini greenhouse production the applications of phytohormones/ biostimulants still predominates over the use of natural pollinators, which are already more and more present in the rest of greenhouse horticultural crops. One important reason to study the implementation of natural pollination on zucchini crops is that the frequency of harvests is very high, being sometimes even daily, which causes a problem because most of the phytohormones have a very long pre-harvest interval. Several experiments have been performed both in autumn and spring growing cycles from year 2002 until 2009 to compare different strategies of fruit set induction in zucchini, this is, the use of phytohormones or biostimulants vs. the natural pollination (bees or bumblebees). The main conclusions derived from the experiments show that although the use of biostimulants at the beginning of the cycle is a good strategy to increase earliness, their use does not improve the final marketable yield achieved with Bombus terrestris or Apis mellifera. Therefore, the use of natural pollinators in zucchini is a very efficient alternative to the use of phytohormones/biostimulants.
Gázquez, J.C., Meca, D.E., López, J.C., Baeza , E.J. and Pérez-Parra , J.J. (2012). COMPARISON OF DIFFERENT STRATEGIES FOR FRUIT SET IN GREENHOUSE ZUCCHINI (CUCURBITA PEPO L.) . Acta Hortic. 927, 187-194
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.927.20
bee (Apis mellifera), biostimulants, bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), phytohormones, pollination

Acta Horticulturae