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Abstract

The use of trellises to support vine crops such as tomato, squash and cucumber may result in increased fruit quality compared to the conventional practice of allowing the vines to run freely on the ground. Other stated advantages of the trellis system include better canopy light interception, better control of pest and ease of harvesting. However, there is still much debate over whether the use of trellises results in increased yield. The objective of this study was to determine the performance of trellis grown cucumber vs. conventional practice. A two year study was done at the FAMU research and extension center, Quincy Florida. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with three treatments: A-frame trellis, wire trellis and conventional practice as a control. Parameters measured included fruit size (length and circumference), fruit quality and total yield. Treatment effects were evaluated by Analysis of Variance and Fisher's exact test. Despite numerically higher numbers of spoiled fruits from the conventional practice, the results showed no significant treatment effect. The study concluded that the use of trellises provided no advantage over the conventional system with respect to the parameters measured.

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