Main content area

Effect of plastic mulches on yield and fruit quality of strawberry plants grown under high tunnels

Medina, Y., Gosselin, A., Desjardins, Y., Gauthier, L., Harnois, R., Khanizadeh, S.
Acta horticulturae 2011 no.893 pp. 1327-1332
air temperature, altitude, cultivars, fruit quality, fruit yield, fruits, growing season, latitude, microclimate, plant growth, plastic film mulches, soil air, soil depth, strawberries, Quebec
High tunnels are gaining in popularity in Canadian northern climates to prolong the growing season, increase yields and improve the quality of fruits and vegetables. An experiment in 2006 and 2007 was conducted under high tunnels and open fields to determine the effects of various plastic mulches on microclimate conditions, growth, yields and fruit quality of day-neutral strawberry. High tunnels (8.4 m wide, 4.8 m high and 145 m long) developed by Industries Harnois inc. were used at Les Fraises de l’Île d’Orléans inc. near Quebec City, Canada (latitude 47°, altitude 137 m). Four plastic mulches (green, grey on grey, white on black and black) obtained from Ginegar Plastics Products Ltd. were compared. Treatments were replicated four times and each experimental unit consisted of 26 strawberry plants of cultivar ‘Seascape’. Soil at a depth of 10 cm and air temperatures at a height of 20 cm were measured with Hobo temperature sensors obtained from MicroDaq Ltd. Plant growth was measured periodically, while yields were measured three times per week. All mulch treatments under the high tunnels produced higher yield than the outdoor control. Black mulch caused excessive soil and air temperatures in tunnels, but was found adequate for the open field.