Effects of plant size on mechanical clipping of pickling cucumbers
Previous studies of mechanical clipping, or topping of canning tomato plants grown for mechanical harvesting showed that this technique could be used satisfactorily to spread harvest dates and obtain plant uniformity. Since a onceover or single harvest method is also being used in the mechanical harvesting of pickling cucumbers, the purpose of these tests was to determine whether a similar delayed-maturity effect might occur that would aid growers in scheduling cucumber plantings for mechanical harvesting. Field trials were conducted at Davis during a three-year period (1966-68) and in the greenhouse during the winter of 1967. The monoecious pickling cucumber variety SMR-58 was used in all experiments. In addition to the SMR-58 variety, the gynoecious hybrid Piccadilly was used in the 1967 and 1968 field tests and in the greenhouse study. The field plot work of 1967 with the variety SMR-58 represents the results of these findings and is reported here. The plots were seeded May 29 in double rows on 40-inch beds. Germination was on June 3 and plants were thinned June 8 leaving three plants per clump, 6 inches apart.