ISSN: 0041-3216

ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 66 Number 2
Research Papers
Optimal picking date of avocado in Dominica, W. Indies, in relation to flowering, fruit-growth and chilling
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The time of flowering in seven of ten varieties of avocado in Dominica was the same in 1984 and 1985. Full flower and full fruit set, however, were delayed by 2-5 and 2-4 weeks, respectively, in all varieties in 1985 and the flowering period was extended by some four weeks for eight of the varieties examined. Attainment of maturity, assessed by taste, was delayed by a corresponding period in nine of the ten varieties. Fruit growth of six varieties of avocado measured by increases in length and diameter slowed as fruits approached maturity. Fractional growth rates were used to predict date of maturity, but predictions differed by several weeks from dates of maturity assessed by taste. The prediction of optional picking date by fruit growth measurements is unreliable for fruit grown in Dominica. Three of the varieties evaluated showed no signs of chilling injury when subsequently ripened at 22°C after storage for 11 days at 8°C; one showed 90% chill-damaged fruits after storage at 8°C, one showed 100% chill-damaged fruits after storage at 8°C or 10°C; and five showed increased susceptibility to chilling as the season progressed.
Keywords: Avocado; Flowering maturity; Picking date; Growth; Chilling sensitivity; Dominica