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  • Author or Editor: Harpreet Singh x
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The color of horticultural shade nets is known to influence crop growth and quality because of variations in the amount and quality of light. Four ornamental plant species (celosia, begonia, gerbera, and fountain grass) were grown under aluminet, pearl, and red shade nets plus black as the control at 50% shade intensity for 8 weeks. Black had the least transmittance (∼10% to 30% of ambient) within the red spectrum (620–750 nm), whereas red had the greatest at ∼70% to 80%. Aluminet and pearl resulted in a similar reduction in photosynthetic photon flux at ∼50% to 55% and ∼55% to 65% of ambient, respectively. Aluminet increased the shoot dry weight for begonia and celosia, whereas no differences among shade nets were seen for gerbera or fountain grass. The chlorophyll concentration was greatest under aluminet for each species except begonia. Shade net color did not affect flower number.

Open Access

Colored shade nets are known to alter the light quality and quantity and thus can influence plant growth and nutritional quality of crops. Lettuce (‘Lollo Antonet’ and ‘Green Forest’) and basil (‘Aroma-2’ and ‘Genovese’) were grown in ebb-and-flow hydroponic tables for 4 weeks. Colored shade nets of aluminet, black, pearl, and red with 50% shading intensity along with a control (no-shade) were used in this experiment. Data for plant growth and leaf quality attributes were collected at harvest time. The no-shade treatment showed increased shoot fresh and dry weight, sugar, and relative chlorophyll content in both lettuce and basil cultivars, whereas plant height and net photosynthesis rates were increased under aluminet, pearl, and red nets. In basil, calcium and sulfur were greatest under no-shade, whereas zinc and copper were greatest under aluminet. Zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, and manganese concentrations were greatest under no-shade in lettuce. The pearl-colored net increased leaf soluble solids content. No-shade produced the greatest starch values in basil, whereas pearl shade net produced the greatest starch in ‘Lollo Antonet’ in the fall. Light spectra varied with shade net resulting in 90%, 65%, 50%, 30%, and 70% of incident light occurring between 400 and 700 nm for no-shade, pearl, aluminet, black, and red shade nets, respectively. Overall, lettuce and basil plants under no-shade (daily light integral of 20 to 24 mol·m−2·d−1 and temperature of 26 to 30 °C) had increased plant growth and leaf quality in late spring and fall, compared with colored shade nets.

Open Access

Pansy (Viola ×wittrockiana) is a greenhouse crop commonly grown under black shade net; it often requires the use of chemical plant growth regulators to maintain a compact growth habit. Nonchemical efforts to alter plant morphology, such as height, would provide a more sustainable solution than chemical application. The objective of these studies was to evaluate the effects of different colors of shade nets on controlling growth and flowering of pansy. In Expt. 1, ‘Clear Yellow’, ‘Buttered Popcorn’, and ‘Deep Orange’ pansy plugs were placed under 30% blue or black shade net or, as a control group, where grown with no shade net. In Expt. 2, the same three cultivars of pansy were grown under 50% black, red, pearl, or aluminized shade net. Data were collected on plant height, plant width, flower number, plant survival, soil plant analysis development chlorophyll meter (SPAD) readings, and light quality. In Expt. 1, the blue shade net reduced height to flower and height to leaves, but also decreased flower number and plant survival as compared with black shade net. All plants under no shade died. In Expt. 2, SPAD, an indicator of plant quality by estimating leaf greenness, was found to be lower under black shade net, whereas pearl shade net led to a decrease in plant height and no effect on the number of flowers. Light quality, including red-to-far-red ratio, varied among shade treatments, whereas light intensity was reduced under aluminized, black (50%), and red shade nets compared with other shade treatments. Blue and pearl shade nets both reduced plant height, but blue shade net also reduced plant survival and flowering.

Open Access