171 GROUNDCOVER AND SUPPLEMENTARY IRRIGATION INFLUENCES THE ESTABLISHMENT OF PRIMOCANE-FRUITING RED RASPBERRIES

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  • 1 Department of Horticultural Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. N1G 2W1

A study examining the influence of trickle irrigation (TI), IRT-76 plastic film (PF) and straw mulch (SM) on the establishment of Rubus idaeus L. cv. `Heritage' micro-propagated raspberries was initiated at Cambridge, Ontario in 1993. Environmental, nutritional, vegetative and reproductive data were collected. Soil temperature and soil water status were greatly affected by TI, PF and SM. TI lowered soil NO3-N and increased soil NH4-N and Mg. PF increased soil NO3-N and NH4-N. Foliar N decreased by 10% with TI and increased by 8% with PF. Foliar P and Ca increased by 45 and 6% respectively, with TI. Node number was not influenced by TI, PF or SM. PF however, increased cane height, cane diameter, dry weight and leaf area by 14, 17, 77 and 11% respectively, and TI increased cane diameter by 13%. Although TI increased the number of fruiting laterals by 63%, there was no effect of TI, PF or SM on harvested berry number or weight.

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