623 Does the Aquadome Ameliorate Diural Fluctuations

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  • 1 Department of Horticultural Science, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108

A major limitation to plant growth in spring is low night temperatures. A variety of plant protection systems have been developed to keep the temperatures around the plant warmer than the ambient air. One system that has been developed for use with individual plants is a double walled stiff plastic tent. The space between the walls can be either filled with water or air. The top of the tent can be either open or closed. The objective of this investigation is to quantify the effect of these protection systems under controlled environmental conditions. Two wash-tubs filled with wet soil were placed in a controlled environment growth chamber. One tent was placed on the soil surface of each tub. The chamber was programmed to simulate a cold night. Temperatures started at 20 °C and then decreased to –5 °C at a rate of about 4 °C/h. During this time, ambient air temperature, jacket temperature, soil temperature, and air inside the tent was measured continuously with self-contained data loggers. Water filled tents delayed the time it took for the inside temperature to reach the outside temperature by 2 hours. There was not apparent effect on soil temperature. The effect of water vs. air-filled jackets and the effect of capping the top will also be presented.

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