Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Plants, Soils, and Climate
Demand and production of specialty cut flowers is growing across the U.S., but research is lacking in the U.S. Intermountain West, where the semi-arid and high elevation climate offers unique challenges for growers. The goal of this study was to evaluate the stem quality, harvest timing, and yield of snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) ‘Chantilly’, ‘Potomac’, and ‘Rocket’ and peony (Paeonia lactiflora) ‘Coral Charm’ as cool-season cut flower crops under high tunnel and field production in North Logan, Utah. Snapdragons were transplanted at three-week intervals beginning in early-February in high tunnels and ending in late-May in the field. Peony low-tunnel and soil heating treatments were implemented February-March within the high tunnel and field. High tunnels advanced snapdragon production by 5-8 weeks and resulted in 31% more sellable stems than the field, while field production extended harvest 2-8 weeks later. ‘Chantilly’ production began the earliest (4 and 6 May), while ‘Potomac’ produced the most stems longer than 91 cm, and ‘Rocket’ produced the highest marketability (90%) for later transplant dates. For peonies, high tunnels advanced production by 26 days compared to natural field conditions. Soil heating and low tunnels advanced production up to nine days compared to control treatments within the high tunnel and field, but also reduced stem quality by increasing insect damage and leaf burn from warmer temperatures. The use of high tunnel and field production combined with other methods to stagger harvest resulted in harvest season lengths of 4.5 months for snapdragons and six weeks for peonies, allowing growers to meet both early- and main-season market demands.
Lewis, Maegen A., "Season Advancement of Cool Season Cut Flower Crops Snapdragon and Peony" (2021). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 8121.
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