Effect of mulching systems on fruit quality and phytochemical composition of newly developed strawberry lines.

Fan, L., Roux, V., Dubé, C., Charlebois, D., Tao, S., and Khanizadeh, S. (2012). "Effect of mulching systems on fruit quality and phytochemical composition of newly developed strawberry lines.", Agricultural and Food Science, 21(2), pp. 132-140.

Abstract

The effects of selected growing techniques on total yield, average yield per plant, average fruit weight, soluble solids content (SSC), titratable acidity (TA), firmness and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) of two newly developed lines (‘Orléans’ and ‘Saint Pierre’), one advanced selection (‘SJ8976-1’) and two commonly used cultivars (‘Jewel’ and ‘Kent’) were evaluated. Results showed that plastic mulch with row cover (PMRC) generally increased yield per plant, average fruit weight, SSC, firmness and ORAC, but differences varied within harvest times. No significant differences in total yield and TA were observed under the selected growing techniques. Both PMRC and plastic mulch (PM) accelerated the harvest periods compared to matted-row system (MRS). ‘Kent’ and ‘Jewel’ had the highest total yield while ‘SJ8976-1’ and ‘St-Pierre’ had the highest average fruit weight. The highest SSC, TA and ORAC were found in ‘Jewel’. There was no interaction between the growing techniques and genotypes, indicating that the effect of production system is independent of cultivars. PMRC seems to be a better growing system, improving fruit quality and increasing the nutritional value of all genotypes. By allowing off-season fruit production in cool climates, PMRC can be an alternative method to the costly high tunnels.

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