Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Agroambientali, Universita degli Studi di Bologna, Via Fanin 44, 40127, Bologna, Italy. Dipartimento di Agronomia Ambientale e Territoriale, Sezione di Orticoltura e Floricoltura, Universita degli Studi di Palermo, Via
Journal of Applied Horticulture, 2009, volume 11, issue 1, pages 73-77.
Abstract: New cultivars (F1 hybrids) of cauliflower (Brassica olearacea L. var. botrytis L.) were evaluated at four crop densities (1.3, 1.7, 2.2 or 3.3 plants m-2) for spring harvest crop in a Southern Mediterranean area (western coast of Sicily). The F1 hybrids ('White-Flash', 'Milky-Way' and 'White Excel') having white head, usually cultivated in Northern Italy and Europe in the autumn, were used. The aim was the introduction of new varieties which can fill the gap from mid May to mid July, now existing in the Sicilian cauliflower production, which is based on autochthonous ecotypes of green head varieties, e.g. 'Cavolfiore Verde di Palermo'. Crop density significantly influenced the growth and the phenology of the new hybrids. It was positively correlated to earliness, total marketable yield and inversely to unmarketable product percentage and head size. The best crop density was found to be 2.2 plants m-2. Among the cultivar tested 'White Flash' and 'Milky Way' appeared particularly suited for a spring harvest in the experimental environment. They gave high yields with a minimum discard and uniform heads of approximately 1 kg of weight each.