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11 > Image 11 of Kentucky fruit notes, vol. 4, No. 1, January 1949

Part of Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station

SCINEIHJ. ALEUHVA Aaaelumvals A _ 11 A _ _ly1_e__1La_rii_c_al_s_e2Ln_gi ln 1946 and 1947 Lester Harris of Kevil, Kentucky, Set his strawberry field with a tobacco setting machine with excellent results and a great saving of time. Renovation: This same grower also is using his tractor with hydrolic- controlled0mTng device to work out his strawberry fields after harvest. This was done at a great saving of time and results were entirely satisfactory. By adjusting the tiller so that two teeth run in each middle and by making a round trip to each row, it was not necessary to remove any of the mulch from the middles before starting operations. Here again best results were obtained when the work was done immediately after harvest. However, where the work was delayed until grass and weeds had grown considerably, the tractortil1er still worked nicely. At that stage, work with a horse or mule and singlerow cultivation equipment was very, very slow and difficult. There was no special 1 attempt with the tractor-tiller to narrow the fruiting row of plants. However, this operation took out excess berry plants, weeds and grass and the hard middles were softened up so that row cultivation the remainder of the season could be easily done. Fall setting: Some recently reported research work from New York shows that for several years strawberry plants set in late October or early November have produced more satisfactorily than spring set plants, The fall set plants had to be mulched after setting but, in the spring, they grew off _ earlier and made more satisfactory fruiting rows. Some work along this line is planned for our state. ; i STRAWBERRY l\/lUL.CH W. D. /\r1r1st.rong Cooperative mulching tests made with commercial strawberry growers and started in 1938 indicate that 3 out of 4 years fall mulching of strawberries will pay a handsome profit over spring mulching. For the 9-year period, fall mulching has produced an average of 30 crates per acre more than spring mulching. The greatest increase was 80 crates per acre, in the spring of 1940, following a period when temperatures went to 100 and 120 below zero with no snow on the ground. As a result of that cold period, many non-mulched plants were killed or the crown and roots were so badly injured that very low production resulted. In February and early March of 1947 the near -zero temperatures resulted in much crown and root injury to non~mulched straw- berries over the entire state. SUGGESTIONS: ln order to prevent infesting the fields with rye, wheat, or cheat, it is suggested that the baled straw be taken to the patch in October 2 or early November and the wires clipped so that the straw will soak up the fall rains and germinate any grain before spreading. This straw is then V ready to spread in late November or early December when it seems that the temperature will go down to 150 to 200. These dates vary and may be later in southern Kentucky and earlier in the northern portion. One and one -half tons of straw per acre seem about right for the Purchase Area, with about 2 1 tons around Henderson, Greenville, and Bowling Green, and from Z to 2- l/2 tons per acre around Louisville and Covington.