EFFECT OF GROUND MULCHING ON FLOWERING AND FRUIT DEVELOPMENT OF LITCHI
In order to stimulate initiation of flower-induced litchi buds, ground plastic mulching, was spread under the litchi trees on January 25, 2011. Soil temperature and humidity were monitored. Shoot bud conditions were observed and recorded every 3 to 5 days. Results indicated that ground mulching effectively increased soil temperature and soil moisture. The temperature was 2°C higher at 20 cm under mulched soil surface than in non-mulch soils, while at 30 and 60 cm depth under mulch, the soil moisture was 3.4 and 3.8 kPa, respectively, higher than the control. In Feizixiao, flower panicle primordia in mulched trees developed 2-4 days earlier compared to control. There was a significant difference in the percentage of flowering terminal shoots and the fruit size between mulching and the control, whereas no significant difference was observed in the number of female flower production. For the late cultivars Guiwei and Nuomici, there was no significant difference in the phenology, percentage of terminal flowering shoots, fruit size, number of flowers per panicle and number of female flowers between mulching and the control. The results of the investigation suggested that ground mulching could be used as an effective treatment for promotion of litchi floral initiation in early spring. However, application time of mulching may need further tests.
Su, Z.X., Li, R.F., Huang, J., Zhang , R. and Chen, H.B. (2014). EFFECT OF GROUND MULCHING ON FLOWERING AND FRUIT DEVELOPMENT OF LITCHI. Acta Hortic. 1029, 237-243
soil temperature, soil moisture, flower bud initiation, flowering terminal shoot, fruit size