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Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 7:31-32 (article 14) 1984

Effect of End Borders on Plot Yield of Once-over Harvested Pickling and Fresh-market Cucumbers

T.C. Wehner

Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609

Yield of pickling and fresh-market cucumbers from plots harvested once-over is an efficient measure of yield in multiple-harvest trials (Wehner and Miller, unpublished data). Smith et al. (1) found the correlation between once-over and multiple-harvest yield to be less useful (r=0.31) in their test of 9 cultivars of pickling cucumbers. In the early stages of a breeding program where many families are being evaluated for yield, it would be efficient to use small plots harvested once-over as the selection method. Since seed supplies are usually limited, and because plots are small (1.5 x 1.5m was found to be optimal), trials are often run with plots separated by 1.5 m alleys to make it easy to identify the area to be harvested. It would, therefore, be important to know that end borders on plots do not affect the ranking of families for yield. The objective of this study was to determine whether yield of different genotypes of pickling and fresh-market cucumbers is affected by plot end borders.

Methods. Six cultivars and lines of pickling cucumbers ('Calypso', 'Castlepik', 'Clinton', 'NCSU M201, 'Pikmaster', and 'Tamor'), and 6 cultivars of fresh-market cucumbers ('Bush Champion', 'Dasher', 'Early Triumph', 'Poinsett 76', 'Sprint 440', and 'Verino') were chosen to represent the diversity of genotypes often used in breeding programs. The types represented included hybrid vs. inbred, gynoecious vs. monoecious, and tall vs. dwarf. The plots were planted on raised, shaped beds with 0.5 m tops and 1.5 m apart (center to center) on April 29 at the Horticultural Crops Research Station near Clinton, NC. Plots were 1.5 m long with either 1.5 m alleys or 1.5 m borders at each end. Harvest areas were marked with flags. Plots were harvested once-over when most of the plots reached 10% oversize (June 28 for the pickling cucumbers, and July 6 for the fresh-market cucumbers). Fruit were graded into marketable and cull and counted to determine total yield and yield per plant. The experiment design was a split-split-plot in a randomized complete block with 6 replications. Whole plots were the 2 crop types (pickling vs. fresh-market cucumbers), subplots were the 6 cultivars and lines, and sub-subplots were the 2 border treatments (ends vs. none).

Results. In the absence of end borders, the number of total and marketable fruit per plot was inflated 7 and 19%, respectively (Table 1). Plots with end borders had a higher percent of cull fruit as well (35% more). However, there was no significant interaction between cultivar and border treatment. Therefore, if end borders are left off plots, yield will be inflated, but the ranking of cultivars or lines will not be significantly affected. Thus, plant breeders can safely choose to plant small plots without end borders in order to make it easier to identify the harvest area, or to save seed where supplies are limited.

Table 1. Fruit yield of 12 cultivars and lines in 1.5m plots harvested once-over where plots had either 1.5 m of border or of alley at each end.z

Cultivar or line

Plot end treatment

Yield (fruit/plot)

Culls (%)

Fruit per plant

Plants in harvest area

Total

Marketable

Pickling Cucumbers

Calypso

Ends

20

18

8

1.71

12

None

25

24

4

1.91

13

Castlepik

Ends

24

22

10

1.70

14

None

26

24

8

2.00

13

Clinton

Ends

18

18

0

1.52

12

None

17

17

0

1.49

12

M21

Ends

22

21

3

1.65

13

None

24

22

5

1.70

14

Pikmaster

Ends

20

18

7

1.54

13

None

25

24

6

1.81

14

Tamor

Ends

19

17

11

1.73

12

None

23

21

8

1.76

13

Fresh-market cucumbers

Bush Champion

Ends

16

13

20

1.31

12

None

17

15

12

1.41

12

Dasher

Ends

19

17

10

1.41

14

None

23

21

7

1.79

13

Early Triumph

Ends

20

19

8

1.49

14

None

27

26

3

1.92

14

Poinsett 76

Ends

17

14

17

1.28

13

None

18

17

8

1.42

13

Sprint 440

Ends

20

18

9

1.58

11

None

22

20

12

1.79

11

Verino

Ends

22

19

10

1.79

12

None

27

24

11

2.11

13

F ratio (line x treatment)

1.06ns

1.20ns

1.52ns

0.58ns

0.69ns

LSD (5%)

3

3

4

0.27

1

CV (%)

17

17

65

20

12

Mean

Ends

20

18

9

1.60

13

None

21

21

7

1.76

11

zData are means over 6 replications.

Literature Cited

  1. Smith, O.S. and R.L. Lower. 1978. Field plot techniques for selecting increased once-over harvest yields in pickling cucumbers. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 103:92-94.
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Page citation: Wehner, T.C., Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative;
Created by T.C. Wehner and T. Ng, 1 June 2005; design by C.T. Glenn;
send questions to T.C. Wehner; last revised on 11 December, 2009