Ground Covers Affect Raspberry Yield, Photosynthesis, and Nitrogen Nutrition of Primocanes

in HortScience

Raspberries (Rubus idaeus L.) were grown for 5 years with three floor management treatments: clean cultivation (CC) and ground covers of white clover (Trifolium repens L.) (WC) and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) (PR). Primocane growth was strongest with WC and weakest with PR. Fruit production did not differ between WC and CC treatments and was higher than with PR. On 22 Aug. and 10 Sept. in the last year, primocanes grown with WC were taller, had more nodes and a higher dry weight, contained more N, and had retained more leaves than those grown with PR. Net CO2 assimilation per unit leaf area was higher with WC than with PR, and the difference was greater at the more proximal position. The estimated net CO2 assimilation rate per primocane was more than twice as high with WC than with PR.

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