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Charlie G. Summers, Jeffrey P. Mitchell*, and James J. Stapleton

Trials were conducted in 2002 and 2003 in California's San Joaquin Valley to determine the efficiency of reflective plastic and wheat straw in managing silverleaf whitefly and aphid-borne virus diseases in late planted cantaloupes. In 2002, the incidence of aphid-borne viruses was lowest in plants growing over reflective plastic followed by those growing over wheat straw and then those growing over bare soil. Wheat straw mulch was as effective as reflective plastic during the early part of the growing season in reducing the incidence of virus disease, but by mid-season, the reflective plastic was superior. The incidence of virus diseases in plants growing over wheat straw was significantly (P < 0.05) lower than that in plants growing over bare soil throughout the season. Whitefly numbers (nymphs per cm2) and aphid numbers were significantly reduced on plants growing over both reflective mulch and wheat straw mulch compared to those growing over bare soil. Yields of all sizes of melons were significantly higher in the reflective mulch plots and yield for the straw mulched and bare soil plots were not significantly different. Results in 2003 were similar to those of 2002. Both whitefly numbers and aphid numbers were significantly lower in plants growing over both mulches than in those growing over bare soil. Virus incidence was initially low but following an aphid flight in late August, the number of infected plants increased rapidly. Both the reflective plastic and straw provided equal protection form aphid-borne viruses throughout the growing season. Yields were highest in the reflective plastic plots, followed by the straw mulch and finally the bare soil. Differences were significant (P < 0.05) among all three treatments.

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J.E. Brown, R.P. Yates, W.T. Hogue, C. Stevens, and V.A. Khan

Yellow crookneck `Dixie' hybrid summer squash, Cucurbita pepo L. var. melopeop Alef., was evaluated at E.V. Smith Research Center, Shorter, Alabama. Summer squash was grown in single rows spaced 6 feet apart. Plants were seeded 18 inches apart within 20-foot row plots. Treatments were: 1) black plastic mulch (BPM), 2) yellow painted plastic mulch (YPM), 3) white plastic mulch (WPM), 4) bare soil (BS), 5) aluminum painted plastic mulch (APM) and 6) bare soil with Diazinon insecticide (BSI). Aphid traps caught more aphids in BS or BPM plots than those from APM or YPM plots. The onset of mosaic disease incidence of squash infected with the two viruses identified as zucchini yellow mosaic and cucumber mosaic was delayed by as much as three weeks when compared to BSI or BS. Summer squash planted in APM, WPM, YPM and BPM produced 96%, 98%, 75% and 21%, respectively, more total squash yield than that produced on bare soil (control). A higher percentage of green squash (virus infected) was produced from plants grown over BPM (72%), BSI (68%), BS (59%), YPM (57%) or WPM (57%) than from APM (39%)

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Mark G. Hutton and David T. Handley

light reflected up into the plant canopy ( Ham et al., 1993 ). Reflective mulches, such as aluminum foil and aluminum-painted plastic mulches, have had mixed results relative to increasing pepper yields compared with black plastic mulch. Reflective

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Ed Stover, Stephen Mayo, Randall Driggers, and Robert C. Adair Jr.

plastic mulch after installation in a citrus grove. Results and Discussion Although all surrounding trees were affected by the citrus disease HLB and the psyllid vector (Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri ) was abundant, only minimal

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Maurice Ogutu

Different colored plastic mulches can influence tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) growth and yield. A study was carried out to compare the effects of different colored plastic mulches and bare ground on growth and yield of tomato. Ten treatments, namely, control (bare ground), and plastic mulches (black smooth, red, black embossed, blue, olive, yellow, clear, white, and reflective) were replicated four times in a randomized complete-block design. Tomato variety `Sunstart' seeds were planted in flats filled with Jiffy Mix in a greenhouse in late Apr. 2004 and seedlings transplanted in early June 2004. The seedlings planted in white and reflective plastic mulches were taller than seedlings planted in black smooth, black embossed, clear, blue, red, and olive mulches by 24 July 2004. Weeds were growing underneath clear, yellow, and red plastic mulches, and squash bugs were observed in yellow plastic mulch treatment on 2 July. Cumulative marketable tomato yield was highest in plants grown in reflective and white plastic mulches, and lowest in plants grown in yellow plastic mulch. Marketable fruits from plants grown in reflective and white mulches were larger than fruits from other treatments. In comparison with black embossed plastic mulch, plants grown in reflective and white plastic mulches had 2 and 1.2 tons/acre higher marketable yields, respectively, than plants grown in black embossed plastic mulch.

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James E. Brown, James M. Dangler, Floyd M. Woods, Ken M. Tilt, Michael D. Henshaw, Wallace A. Griffey, and Mark S. West

Silver reflective plastic mulches were compared with conventional bare-ground culture of yellow crookneck summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L. var. melopepo Alef.) for reducing aphids and the following mosaic virus diseases: cucumber mosaic, watermelon mosaic I and II, zucchini yellows mosaic, and squash mosaic. Plants grown on silver plastic mulch produced higher marketable yields than those grown on bare ground. Other colors (white, yellow, and black with yellow edges) of plastic mulch were intermediate in their effects on aphid population and virus disease reduction. Silver reflective mulch alone and silver reflective mulch with insecticide were superior to other colors of plastic mulch in reducing aphid populations. Silver reflective plastic mulch, with or without insecticide, resulted in 10 to 13 days delay in the onset of the mosaic diseases noted.

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Maurice Ogutu

A study was carried out to compare the effects of different colored plastic mulches (black smooth, red, black embossed, blue, olive, yellow, clear, white, and reflective) and bare ground on bell peppers (Capsicum annum) yield and fruit characteristics. Pepper varieties `Crusader' (2004 trial) and `Boynton Bell F1' (2005 trial) seeds were planted in flats filled with Jiffy Mix in a greenhouse in late Apr. 2004 and 2005, and the seedlings transplanted in early June 2004 and 2005, respectively. In 2004, pepper fruits were harvested once in early September, and reflective and black embossed plastic mulch treatments had higher U.S. No. 1 fruit weight than other treatments. Pepper fruits harvested from reflective plastic mulch treatment were longer and larger than fruits in other treatments. In 2005, pepper fruits were harvested three times in late September to early October, and plants grown in reflective and red plastic mulch treatments had higher Fancy fruit weights while olive and white plastic mulch treatments had higher U.S. No. 1 fruit weights than other treatments. Fruits from reflective and red plastic mulch treatments were longer and larger than fruits from other treatments. The total marketable yield (Fancy and U.S. No. 1 fruit weight combined) was higher in olive, reflective, white, and red plastic mulch treatments. In comparison with black embossed plastic mulch, plants grown in reflective and olive plastic mulches had higher yield in 2004. However, in 2005, yield followed the same trend, with plants grown in olive, white, and reflective plastic mulches having higher yield than other treatments.

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Maurice Ogutu

Colored plastic mulches can influence muskmelon (Cucumis melo L.) growth and yield. A study was carried out at the St. Charles Horticulture Research Center, St. Charles, Ill., to compare the effects of different colored plastic mulches on vine length and yield of muskmelons. An experiment was carried out with 10 treatments, namely, control (bare ground), and plastic mulches (black smooth, red, black embossed, blue, olive, yellow, clear, white, and reflective) in a complete randomized block and replicated four times. Muskmelon variety `Athena' seeds were started in the greenhouse in late Apr. 2004 in flats filled with Jiffy Mix, and transplanted in mid-May 2004. Seedlings planted in black embossed, olive, red, blue, and white plastic mulches had longer vines than seedlings transplanted in black smooth, reflective, clear, and yellow mulches by 24 July. Seedlings planted on the control (bare ground) had much shorter vines compared to seedlings in other treatments. The cumulative fruit number and weight was higher in blue, olive, red, and black embossed plastic mulches than in plants grown in clear, yellow, and reflective plastic mulch treatments. Plants grown in white and reflective mulch treatments had larger fruits than plants in other treatments. In comparison with black embossed plastic mulch, plants grown in blue, olive, and red plastic mulches had higher fruit number and yields.

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Juan Carlos Díaz-Pérez and Erick Smith

, mineral nutrition, fruit yield and quality, and incidence of soilborne diseases in plastic-mulched bell pepper grown under shading nets ( Díaz-Pérez, 2014 ). WHITEWASH Application of a solution of whitewash and water to the plastic film cover of the high

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J.R. Andino and C.E. Motsenbocker

Colored plastic mulches were evaluated for their effect on the production of a triploid (`Honeyheart') and a diploid (`Sangria') watermelon cultivar during the spring growing season. Colored mulches affected cucumber beetle populations; the SRM-Red (Selective Reflective Mulch) and yellow plastic mulch plots had among the highest cucumber beetle populations recorded in both cultivars while the silver-reflective and the silver-on-black plastic mulches had among the lowest. In general, most mulched plots had longer vines than the bare-ground treatment, with few differences in vine length among treatments by 4 weeks. There were no differences among mulch treatments in first and total `Honeyheart' harvest while the IRT-100 (infrared transmitting; green), PST (photosynthetic reduced transmitting), and silver-on-black plastic mulches had the highest first `Sangria' harvest and among the highest total `Sangria' harvest. Plants in plastic mulch treatments had higher yields as a result of higher fruit number per area. Fruit weight, length, and diameter and total soluble solids for both cultivars were not affected by colored plastic mulch treatments.