Mulch Color Influence on Annual Hill Plasticulture Strawberries

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, 101 Funchess Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849

The effect of seven types of plastic mulches on total, early, and late season yield was evaluated for three years in the annual hill strawberry production system. Black plastic mulches differed only from the significantly reduced yields found on unmulched bare ground treatments. Although not significantly different in any year, the top performing mulch treatments varied with production year and cultivar. In the wet and warm harvest season of 1991, the highest yielding treatments were IRT-76, clear, and ALOR-brown. In the dry and cool 1992 season, the top performers were white on black, black, and ALOR-brown. For the cool and moderately wet 1993 season, the best performance was recorded on black, white on black, and clear. Average soil temperatures from warmest to coolest were found with black, black on white, clear, IRT-76, ALOR-brown, red, silver, white on black, and bare soil treatments.

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