ESA Annual Meetings Online Program

0566 Effect of pruning transplants and re-using synthetic mulch on arthropod populations and marketable yields of strawberries

Monday, November 14, 2011: 11:03 AM
Room A5, First Floor (Reno-Sparks Convention Center)
Teresia Nyoike , Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Oscar E. Liburd , Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Field experiments were conducted in strawberries to determine the sustainability and cost effectiveness of different management practices as well as the effect on marketable yields. Two field experiments were conducted between September 2010 and April 2011 to investigate the effect of pruning old leaves on strawberry transplants, re-using plastic mulch and leaving strawberry thatch (old strawberry plant crowns and roots) on plant growth, arthropod populations and marketable yields of strawberries. Experiment 1 consisted of two-130 m2 plots with a 9 m buffer zone. In one plot, old diseased leaves on transplants were pruned one week after transplanting while on the second plot the leaves were not pruned. Similarly, experiment 2 had two plots, each approximately 630 m2 . Both plots had 2-year old black synthetic mulch with strawberry thatch from the previous season. During transplanting, one plot had all strawberry thatch removed with new planting holes on surfaces of the mulch, while the other plot had strawberry thatch with planting holes made at random. In both experiments, plant growth, twospotted spider mites and marketable yields were recorded. Results in experiment 1 indicate that strawberry plants on pruned plots were larger, accumulated more biomass with higher yields than un-pruned plots. In experiment 2, there were no significant differences in twospotted spider mite population, insect pests, natural enemies and marketable yields between strawberry plot with and without thatch. Growers can save up to $7500 per ha by re-using the plastic mulch without affecting marketable yields.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.59635