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Uniform fruit size as an indicator of plant energy levels

Very healthy plants with an abundance of energy will have very uniform blossom size and fruit size in each cluster, or on each head, in the case of grain. The higher the degree of uniformity, the more energy a plant has. For those crops where we prune fruit or prune clusters, such as tomatoes and grapes, less fruit needs to be removed and yields can easily be increased once plants reach higher energy levels.

Higher energy levels become obvious when plants begin storing surplus energy in the form of lipids, and reach level three on the plant health pyramid.

How bud uniformity can reduce harvest labor

When plants have high energy, buds become very uniform in size and maturity, and blossoms open and pollinate close to the same time. All of this can result in a condensed harvest window, which is valuable for both machine harvested and hand picked crops.

We have observed as much as 30-35% reduction in harvest time window on a number of varieties, which leads to much greater harvest efficiency.

Here is an example of blueberry buds which will produce uniformly ripe fruit in a time window of a few weeks.

 

What healthy plants actually look like

For most crops, we don’t even know what vigorous and healthy plants actually look like anymore.

We are used to observing eggplant with a single blossom per node, and leaves that are six to eight inches across, and consider that to be normal. I suppose that depends on how you define normal.

Here are some eggplants from an AEA grower in 2005, an example of the potential healthy plants can deliver. Four uniformly sized buds on a single node instead of the usual one, with a leaf size that can deliver enough photosynthates to size all of them and bring them to market.

2020-06-24T07:06:22-05:00April 28th, 2020|Tags: , , , |

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