The objective of this work was to evaluate the influence of crown diameter and growing period of runner tips in 128 cell-trays on growth and yield of strawberry in the field. Treatments consisted of three classes of runner tip crown diameters, between 2.0 to 3.9 mm; 4.0 to 5.5 mm and 5.6 to 7.0 mm, respectively, and four growing periods in trays, 24; 39; 54 and 69 days, respectively. Higher shoot dry mass of transplants at planting and earlier yield of plants in the field were obtained in transplants grown for 69 days in trays. Larger runner tips lead to more vigorous transplants at planting and plants with higher vegetative growth in the field, with minor impact on yield. Increasing the growing time of runner tips in trays improved early fruit yield and decreased plant vegetative growth in the field.
Fragaria x ananassa; early yield; propagation; plug plants