Strawberry Fruit Yield and Vegetative Growth and Pest Populations in Plantings with and without Cover Crops

in HortScience

`Totem' strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) were planted with clean-cultivated inter-rows or inter-rows planted with permanent cover crops of white clover (Trifolium repens L.) or `Manhattan' perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). There were no significant differences between treatments in the number of twospotted spider mites (Tetranychus urticae Koch), strawberry aphids [Chaetosiphon fragaefolii (Cockerell)], or Pratylenchus sp. or Xiphinema sp. nematodes on strawberry plants. The cover crops reduced strawberry yields relative to cultivation, although fruit size was significantly larger the second year. Root weight did not differ significantly in either year. Weight of above-ground vegetation was significantly higher in cultivated plots the first year, but not the second year.

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