THE EFFECT OF SOIL SOLARIZATION ON GROWTH AND UNEVEN RIPENING OF `CARLOS' MUSCADINE GRAPES

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  • 1 1George Washington Carver Agricultural Experiment Station Tuskegee University, Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, 36088
  • | 2 2Department of Horticulture Auburn University, Auburn Alabama
  • | 3 3Southeast Missouri State University Cape Girardeau MO 63701-4799

In 1988 and 1989 a muscadine vineyard at Tuskegee, Alabama was treated by post soil solarization (PSS) (covering of moist soil around muscadine plants with clear polyethylene plastic mulch to achieve high soil temperature) for 30 and 75 days, respectively. The average soil temperature in 1989 of 50 and 35 C at 5cm depth for solarized and bare soil, respectively during PSS. The results showed no visible detrimental effect on `Carlos' muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia) from the increased heating of the soil. And the grape plants grown in solarized soils showed increases in growth response e.g. increased yield, revitalization of new softwood vines, vine weight/plant, etc. Uneven ripening of muscadine grapes was reduced on plants grown in PSS over bare soil as indicated by the increases in the percent soluble solids content of grape berries.

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