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  • Author or Editor: Margaret L. Shore x
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Carbonated water (CW) application has enhanced yields of tomato. However, little is known about the mechanism of this response. Our objectives were to determine if strawberry would respond to CW application and the effect of soil pH modification on the expression of a yield response. Two different soils were used; a calcareous soil (5% CaCO3, pH 7.9), with a Zn content 0.8 ppm and a non-calcareous soil (< 1% CaCO3, pH 6.5) with a Zn content 8.8 ppm. The carbonated water temporarily lowered the pH of the calcareous soil to 6.7 and the non-calcareous soil to 5.9, at both extremes of the optimal range (6.0-6.7) for strawberry. Application of carbonated water increased production of marketable fruit as compared to the tap water control on both soils, and the magnitude of the response to CW was similar for both soils. Soil and water treatment effects on leaf tissue Zn levels will also be discussed.

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Carbonated water has recently been under study as a potential means of increasing photosynthesis in the field situation. Cahn (1989) and Novero (1991) have demonstrated that carbonated water lowers soil pH in strawberries and tomatoes, respectively. Novero showed greater uptake of zinc and increased marketable fruit yields. Currently, we are evaluating the influence of carbonated water on strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa cv Muir) growth using a high pH, high calcium soil and a low pH, low calcium soil in the greenhouse. Carbonated water applied to a high pH, high calcium soil significantly increased leaf, bud and open flower number, as well as greater crown and leaf dry weights.

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