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Bulletin - Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station (Volume no.379-398) online

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the test represents but a single winter, the hardiness of the plants of Mme. Edouard
Andre, Elsa Spath, and Duchess of Edinburgh is promising.

Powdery Mildew on Garden Phlox. (Harold S. Tiffany, Waltham.) A spray
control program of Bordeaux mixture 1-1-50, Hammond's Copper Solution
1-150, Basi-Cop 1-50, and Wettable Sulfur 23^^-50 was applied to plantings
of Phlox paniculata from May to the time of flowering. Applications were
made at intervals of 7 to 10 days.

Hammond's Copper Solution, with no residue, was again superior in both
control and appearance to Bordeaux Mixture, which left some residue on the
plants. Wettable sulfur gave better results than did Basi-Cop.

Factors Influencing the Hardiness of Evergreens. (Harold S. Tiffany, Waltham.)
Records of terminal growth averages on Taxiis haccata repandens after the first
season of cultural treatments showed a definite correlation of growth with treat-
ment. Sod with no cultivation afforded fairly normal growth, yet the plants lost
much of this growth by the next spring. Cultivation wath no fertilizer gave a
normal amount of growth, and these plants suffered least from winter injury.
The spring application of nitrate of soda at the rate of 300 pounds per acre gave
the most growth, yet the plants were not injured comparably. As expected,
greatest winter injury came from manure, 15 tons per acre applied in May and
in August.

Winter injury is calculated by (a) the number of terminals entirely winter-
killed, (b) terminals killed approximately two inches from tip down, (c) tip
injury to the bud with approximately ten needles killed, and (d) number of re-
tarded terminals after growth has started. After trying several methods of
measuring winter injury, this means appears to hold fairly constant.

In 1941 additional fertilizer was given with the late August application of
manure for still further contrasts. A cover crop of annual r^'e grass was planted
in August on the nitrate of soda plot to check growth early and encourage harden-
ing after a rapid early growth.

The dry 1941 season consistently lessened growth averages by approximately
25 percent. An exception to this was plants of Taxus canadensis stricta, which
showed more average growth than in the previous season in all plots. Explana-
tion may be that the plants had not become fully established at the end of the
first season of treatments, or that they withstand drought better than either
Taxus baccata repandens or Taxus cuspidata.

Propagation of Mugho Pine. (Harold S. Tiffany, Waltham.) A series of cut-
tings of Mugho pine, Pinus mugo var. Mughus, was given preliminary tests in
1939-40, and the work for 1941 was based on the results of these tests.

Lots of five cuttings each of one-year wood taken in January were placed in
open benches, in a rooting medium' of one-third peat and two-thirds sand, with
temperatures averaging 65° and 62° F. Dip treatments consisted of Formula
No. 66 and Hormodin No. 3; immersion treatments, of honey 25 and 50 percent


solutions, Hormodin A at 30, 45, 60, 75 BTI units, indolebutyric, indoleacetic,
and naphthalencacetic acids at concentrations of 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50,
and 60 mg./lOO c. c, Roche No. 202 at unit concentrations of 25, 50, 75, 100,
125, 150, 175, 200; and an untreated lot. Each immersion treatment was con-
tinued for 16, 24, and 40 hours.

A series of fifteen cuttings to the lot was taken in February and run in sand
and sand-peat at a constant temperature of 65° F. Treatments were Hormodin A
at 90, 105, and 120 BTI units, with additional test treatments of indolebutyric
acid. Results were slightly better from the sand-peat medium than from the
sand, and from a higher temperature of the rooting medium. Highest rooting
percentage was 80 with indolebutyric acid at 40 mg./lOO c. c. for 24 hours at
65° F. in sand-peat. Immersion treatments for 24 hours with Hormodin A at 90
BTI units (in sand) and at 120 BTI units (in sand-peat) gave 66 percent rooting;
and at 90 BTI units (in sand-peat) 65 percent rooting at 60° F. In the un-
treated lots a single 13 percent rooting occurred at 65° F. in the sand-peat
medium. Rooting from other lots was negligible.

Grant B. Snyder in Charge

Variety Studies. (W. H. Lachman and G. B. Snyder.) These studies are con-
ducted each year to ascertain the adaptability and general usefulness of the
newer introductions in comparison with the standard vegetable varieties. The
weather conditions at Aniherst during the summer of 1941 were very near to the
average for the last 50 years and were ideal for proper growth and development.

Especially noteworthy was the new "Summer Pascal" celery which produced
a medium large plant weighing a little over two pounds and measuring about
20 inches in height. This variety produced a crisp, succulent stalk with an ex-
cellent nutlike flavor.

There were 62 strains and varieties of tomatoes included in the trials. Particu-
larly outstanding were "Stokesdale," an early mid-season variety which yielded
well and had good shape and size, and "Rutgers," a late, high-yielding, very
attractive tomato which is especially valuable for canning. The varieties "Vic-
tor" and "Bounty" which are earlj' varieties proved a little disappointing because
of poor fruit color and sparseness of foliage. "Pan American," a new introduction
of the U. S. D. A., is reported to be highly resistant to fusarium wilt. This
variety has excellent foliage, but from the experience gained by limited trial,
large plantings are not suggested because of only a moderate yield and variable
fruit shape and size when grown either pruned and trained or unpruned and

During the summer, eight varieties of tomatoes were tested for vitamin C,
with the following results:

Ascorbic Acid
Variety and Source (mg. per gram of


Bounty— N D. Agr. Expt. Sta 15

Early Rutgers— N. J. Agr. Expt. Sta 20

Gradwell — Scott 21

Marglobe — Landreth 17

Ohio Red— Ohio Agr. Expt. Sta 16

Pan American — U. S. Dept. Agr 21

Victor — Harris 17

Waltham Forcing — Waltham Field Station 23


Also important among the newer vegetables was the "Yankee Hybrid" summer
squash. This variety is from three to seven days earlier than standard varieties.
It has a straight neck, good quality, uniformity, and gives an exceptionally high
yield over a long season. The "Delicious" and "Golden Delicious" varieties of
winter squash were outstanding in quality and store moderately well.

Shape Index Studies of Tomatoes. (W. H. Lachman.) Five years ago a quan-
tity of seed was obtained of eight varieties of tomatoes that displayed major
differences in the shape of their fruits. Each year small plantings have been made
from the original stocks of seed to determine the effect of the various weather
conditions in modifying the shape of tomato fruits. While considerable data
have been collected, it is felt that more information is necessary before the results
are summarized.

Tomato Breeding. (W. H. Lachman and G. B. Snyder.) The tomato breeding
project has been confined to the problem of incorporating the uniform ripening
gene into otherwise desirable tomato varieties. The uniform ripening character
is inherited in a simple manner and is dependent upon one pair of genes for its
expression. During the past season an F2 population of 293 individuals was
grown and the ratio was 3.37 normal green-shouldered individuals to one of the
uniform ripening. The uniform character appears to be a recessive, and these
results agree with the work of other investigators.

Many single plant lines have been established, some of which are in the Fe
generation. The main difficulty has been to obtain lines which have sufficient
foliage to provide an ample coverage for the fruits and thus prevent sunburning.
Many of the original lines were determinate in habit of growth; that is, the main
stem grew for a short distance and then was terminated by a blossom cluster.
Any subsequent growth was made by lateral branches.

Most of the more recent selections made have been indeterminate in habit
and thus the coverage of foliage is much better. Also, this type of plant can be
pruned and trained to a much greater degree of satisfaction. It is planned to
multiply the seed of the three best lines so that they can be sent out for trial
among a number of vegetable growers.

Sweet Corn Breeding. (W. H. Lachman.) The object of the corn breeding
program has been to develop a hybrid which would provide earliness, produc-
tivity, disease resistance, and quality. During the past five years a system of
inbreeding has been practiced in an effort to obtain superior inbred lines with
characteristics which are sought in the hybrid. Approximately 100 such inbred
lines have been obtained and the work now consists of testing the inbreds in
various combinations of crosses to ascertain which of the combinations are most

During the past summer 40 such combinations were planted and carefully
studied during the growing period. Five of these performed especially well and
have been recommended for further trial. If they grow and produce as well in
another season, the seed stock will be multiplied and sent out for trial among a
number of vegetable growers. More combinations of the inbreds have been
made and will be tested further.

Hybrid Sweet Corn Trials. (W. H. Lachman.) Hybrid corn has taken the
country by storm. Many varieties have been introduced lately and the list
grows longer each year. It has been recognized, however, that each hybrid has
a narrow range of adaptability because they are susceptible to very small changes
in environment. Hence, regional tests must be made before any hybrid can be
recommended for production within very narrow limits or localities.


Therefore, tests are conducted each year, particularly of the yellow varieties,
to observe earliness, yield, quality, disease resistance, and general adaptability
for this locality. Of the hybrids that have been tested for the past three years
four are especially noteworthy.

Spancross (C4XC13) is an e.xtra early, very productive hybrid, and matures
in about 70 days. It has good quah'ty, is very uniform and has a medium-sized
ear measuring about 634 inches in length. This variety is two or three days earlier
than Golden Early Market.

Marcross (C6XC13) has a large ear, about eight inches long and is an early-
maturing variety. It is only four or five days later than Spancross but not quite
so good in quality.

Marcross (P39XC13) also known as Carmelcross Is a mid-season variety
which matures in 80 to 82 days. This variety' produces a large ear and has ex-
cellent quality and appearance.

Golden Cross Bantam is a late market corn which matures in 85 to 89 days. It
produces a good crop of cylindrical, well-filled ears that are of exceptionally fine
quality. This variety is highly recommended.

The Effects of Mulching Tomatoes and Peppers. (W. H. Lachman and G. B.
Snyder.) Each season soil moisture becomes one of the most limiting factors in
the production of vegetable crop plants. Any treatment or practice which will
aid in conserving soil moisture for plant use during critical periods becomes es-
pecialh- significant to the vegetable grower.

Various mulches have been applied to the soil and compared with clean cultiva-
tion in the culture of tomatoes and peppers. Straw, banana fibre, and horse
manure were the materials used. Based on the results of the tests for two years,,
it is doubtful whether mulches have a significant influence on yield, cracking, or
quality of the fruit.

If mulching was continued for several years it is conceivable that the increase
in organic matter might e.xert a mere marked influence on growth and production.
The applications of banana fiber changed the soil pH from 5.7 to 7.0, but this
change was not reflected in the growth of the plants.

Samples of soil were taken from each of the plots and chemical analyses made
by Philip H. Smith of the Control Service. The results show that the various
treatments had a rather insignificant influence upon the mineral content of the
soil. The soil under the banana fiber mulch is considerably higher in potassium,
but other differences are cither lacking or not significant.

Cucumber Seed Treatment. (O. C. Boyd and W. H. Lachman.) Samples
of pickling cucumber seed were obtained and treated to control seed-borne diseases
as well as diseases caused by soil-inhabitating organisms. Dusting the seeds with
red copper oxide, whether they had been previously soaked in mercuric chloride
solution or not, just doubled the stand of seedlings. The principal benefit of this
treatment was the prevention of seed decay and pre-emergence damping-off,
rather than the prevention of post-emergence damping-off. There was no evi-
dence of injury to germination by any of the treatments.

Sources of Organic Matter for Greenhouse Tomatoes. (W. H. Lachman and
G. B. Snyder.) The scarcity of animal manures as a soil amendment has led to
a search for substitute materials. The main object was to find a cheap material
which would provide a good source of organic matter and support the growth of
greenhouse tomatoes. Straw and peat moss were the two materials best suited
for the problem. Straw has proved to be the better of the two materials and is
more economical. Both materials, however, must be supplemented with sufficient
commercial fertilizer to compensate for the nutrients supplied in manure.


Tri-State Cooperative Vegetable Variety Project. (G. B. Snyder and W. H.
Lachman.) This project is conducted in cooperation with the Rhode Island
and Connecticut Experirnent Stations. The object is to ascertain the influence
of the various climatic and edaphic factors upon several strains of beans, sweet
corn, peppers, cabbage, celery, tomatoes, and carrots. The data for four years
are now being summarized.

Bean Culture. (W. H. Lachman and G. B. Snyder.) One of the limiting factors
in the culture of lima beans has been the sparse stand of plants obtained because
of poor germination. A rather comprehensive test was made of the value of
"Spergon," a commercial preparation used as a dust on the seed. The seed
treatment increased the germination about 25 percent and the treated plants
were more robust and healthy than the untreated lots.

A number of varieties of edible soy beans have been tested for two years.
The varieties "Giant Green" and "Willomi" performed especially well and have a
very pleasing flavor. One of the reasons why the public has hesitated to accept
soy beans as a vegetable is because they are so difficult to shell. It has been
found that the beans shell very easily if they are first boiled for about three
minutes. The beans can then be cooked and served much the same as lima beans.

Asparagus Investigations. (Robert E. Young, Waltham.) The yields of 450
plants in five different lines derived from previous selections were in a somewhat
different order from those of last year. The yields did not increase as would
be expected for asparagus plants that have been cut only two full cutting seasons.
The strain that produced the greatest yield last year was second in 194L

Although the production of the best strain was about double that of the poorest
strain and of plants from commercial seed growing alongside, the results of these
individual cutting records show that there is a wide variation in the performance
of the plants of even the best strain. That the yield can be doubled in one gen-
eration establishes great possibilities in asparagus breeding.

Increasing the yield gave a slight increase in the percentage of extra large stalks,
and a slight increase in the average weight. In checking the performance of the
25 highest yielding plants it was found that there was a great variation in the
type of spears produced. Some plants produced very few large spears but many
small ones, while others giving as much in total yield produced mostly large-sized
stalks, although when the strains were taken as a whole this difference did not
show to any great extent. In the best strain 24 percent of the plants produced
a bunch of asparagus (1.25 pounds), while in the commercial strain only 2.5
percent produced as much.

At the time of the fall stalk count, quite a number of plants had rust in varying
degrees of severity, including the commercial line of Mary Washington, sup-
posedly rust resistant. The percentage of rust present in the selected strains
in the order of their yield was 14.2, 17.0, 13.0, 5.0, 3.3, compared to 39.7 percent
for the commercial strain. This would indicate that progress can be made in
obtaining not only better yield but also better resistance to the rust disease.

The various characteristics of yield, size, bud shape, height of branching,
spreading of tips, and color are so variable that new selections will be made next
year to secure more uniformity.

Vegetable Breeding for Improvement of Quality. (Robert E. Young, Waltham.)

Trellis Tomato. The program of developing better internal and external fruit
quality in our two strains of trellis tonaatoes has been continued. For reasons not
wholly understood, the yield of the 1941 tomato crop was only about 50 percent
of last year's although the plants set and the care given were better. Poor tomato
crops were reported all along the eastern seaboard. The dry weather, no doubt,


had its effect, but our plants were irrigated and did not suffer for water. The
earliness was not affected but there was a general lack of vigor and insufficient

A number of hybrids were made in the greenhouse last year in order to intro-
duce certain characters of quality, also to test other varieties as to their value in
combining with our strain to produce a satisfactory hybrid. One of the varieties
used was Victor, a new determinate type, early, with uniform ripening of the
fruit. At that time it was thought that the uniform ripening character was a
desirable one for our strains. The hybrids of this cross did not have the usual
vigor of the other tomato hybrids. The stems were weak and small. Insufficient
replicates were grown to make possible an accurate determination of yield but
the yield of early fruit was not so heav^^ as would be expected. During the season
observations were made of the way the fruit of the Victor, and other varieties
having uniform ripening character, colored and there is now a question whether
this character is desirable in our trellis types. A cross between Trellis No. 22 and
a late, vigorous Comet was much later than would be expected. This cross was
made to obtain more foliage for a tomato of the No. 22 tj'pe.

From the behavior of these and other hybrids, it would seem that our trellis
type tomatoes exert very little effect on the hybrids in which they are used.

It has recently been reported that the hybrid vigor of summer squash exhibited
in the Fi generation was carried over into the F2 population. This F2 lot of
plants, while showing segregation as to size and shape, still had earliness and yield.
If this fact should be true for tomatoes, it would be easy to produce the F2 popula-
tion from a few hand-pollinated hybrid fruits. To determine whether tomatoes
will behave in this way several plots were grown of the parents Fi and F2 of
Waltham Forcing X Early Rutgers. The poor crop made it difficult to evaluate
the results but it would seem that the F2 of this hybrid was about as good in
production as the Fi. Further study will be made of this factor and a rating of
the desirability of other varieties as parents in such a program.

During winter meetings with the growers the question has been asked as to
the value of using early started tomato plants. Certain growers felt that an older
plant will produce earlier. To test this contention seed of the Waltham Forcing
tomato was sown on February 15. The plants were carried along slowly and trans-
planted several times, but at setting time they were really overgrown. They
were not potted but dug out of the bed with a ball of soil. These plants had
%-inch fruits at setting time. The regular crop was started April 1 and trans-
planted in a bed in the greenhouse 2X2 inches, then to the coldframe 4 X4 inches.
These plants also were set with a ball of soil. It is true that the early started plants
had ripe fruits very early, but they were small; during the first three pickings
they produced an average of 8.5 fruits that weighed .92 pound per plant, com-
pared to 11.3 fruits weighing 1.6 pound per plant obtained fron the regular
crop. The total yield from the early started plants was 1.95 pounds compared
to 2.69 pounds from the plants started at the regular time, and from these results
it would seem that if plants are to be started early they must be grown in pots
or baskets. These plants were very slow to start growth after setting.

Greenhouse Tomatoes. During the year trials of various hybrid tomatoes have
been made to see which will combine with the Waltham Forcing and Bay State
to produce a good tomato with hybrid vigor. An F2 generation of a cross between
Waltham Forcing and Michigan State Forcing was also grown, and the results
indicate that the F2 plants are vigorous. The yield was very high although the
fruit was not very uniform.

A discovery that may make the production of hybrid seed much easier is that
the tall non-productive plants that have frequently been found in the Waltham
Forcing strain in the greenhouse are only partiall}' sterile. Pollen from good


plants will cause the sterile plants to set seed. If these plants can be used, there
will be no need of emasculating the flower to obtain hybrid seed.

Slimmer Pascal Celery. This year 20 different single-plant selections of Summer
Pascal celery were tested to determine whether a longer petioled strain could be
obtained; and no irrigation was supplied after the paper for bleaching was ap-
plied, in order to determine whether there were differences in the susceptibility to
heartburn. Some of the single-plant selections showed almost 100 percent heart-
burn, while the best had only 25 percent. This severe heartburn provided an
opportunity to make selections that did not heartburn for the supply of stock

The results of trials in past years have shown that seed from selected celery
plants grown in the fall cannot be raised in time for the next year's crop. Ex-
perimental work with light and heat has not hastened the seed stalk development
to any extent. A crop of seed was raised outside to provide ample supply of
stock seed for our growers. The demand for Summer Pascal celery is greatly

Greenhouse Lettuce. The third generation of a cross between Bel-May and an
English variety, Cheshunt Giant, was grown at the Waltham Field Station and
in two growers' houses. Selections were made and seed produced of the most
promising. The hybrids have darker green color and better overlapping of leaves
on the bottom, and are slower bolting to seed. It will require another generation
or so to completely remove the off-type plants from the strain.

Rutabaga or Cape Turnip. A good crop of turnips was produced on the Field
Station grounds. As a result three distinct types have been selected, and sufficient
seed will be grown to enable the growers to try them on their own farms. Type
No. 1 has white flesh with white or light green shoulder, and the root is almost
uniformly colored from top to bottom. Type No. 2 has white flesh with a slight
purple shoulder. Type No. 3 has yellow flesh but is otherwise of the same charac-
ter as Type No. 2. Most yellow-fleshed turnips have a dark purple shoulder.

The t3'pe of soil at the Field Station is such that a good turnip crop is not
assured each year and if further work is needed it should be done in the turnip
sections such as Bristol County.

Wyman Crosby Beet. There seems to be a definite correlation between speed
of growth and color in beets. The larger roots of the Wyman Crosby strain of
beet always seem to be of poor color, while the small roots are usually a dark red
color. Twenty-five different selections of single and mass roots were grown and
several proved to be very uniform and somewhat of a compromise in that they
were of dark color and medium speed of growth. It will require time to build up
sufficient seed to try these out. on a large scale.

Greenhouse Cucumbers. About 30 different strains and varieties were grown

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