INFLUENCE OF WINTER PROTECTION ON EARLINESS OF STRAWBERRY PRODUCTION

in HortScience
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  • 1 Agriculture Canada, 801 Rte 344, C.P. 3398, L'Assomption, Québec, Canada, JOK 1GO

A 3-year study was carried out on the use of row covers as a substitute to straw for winter protection of five strawberry cultivars. Seven cover treatments were tested: “Agronet” removed on May 2, 12 and 19; “Kimberlay farms” removed May 19; perforated polyethylene removed May 16; conventionnal straw mulch removed in mid-April, and no row cover protection. Row covers advanced first harvest for all cultivars. There was a 10-day gain in earliness with perforated polyethylene followed in decreasing order by “Kimberley farms”, “Agronet”, straw mulch, and no protection. Treatments favoring early yields tended to shorten the period of production and to reduce total yield. Of the “Agronet” treatments, the May 12 removal increased the yield for the first 4 harvests compared to the May 2 and May 19 removals.