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Black or blue? Mulch color affects okra growth, yield
Date:4/19/2010

ngs", Gordon noted. Early yield was generally greatest with dark mulch colors and the combined total yield was greatest when black and blue plastic mulch were used.

Another dimension of the study involved the use of floating spun-bonded polyester row covers. Row covers have been shown to alter other vegetables' microenvironment by increasing temperatures for the crop during the day and into the night. In the okra study, plants grown in soil under a row cover were taller and generally more robust than plants grown without row covers. Marketable yield was greater with the use of a row cover, but early yields were reduced by the presence of row coveran outcome the research team attributed to the high air temperature in late May during the study.

Data analysis revealed no significant economic advantage to using either blue or black plastic mulch for growing okra. The report noted that "the positive (economic) effect may be more pronounced with leafy vegetables". The scientists recommended that more research be done to determine what effect row covers with various colored plastic mulches have on the earliness and production of vegetable crops.


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Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert

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