Photo-selective plastic nets in pomegranate orchards

S. Crescenzi, M. Zucchini, V. Giorgi, G. Vaccaro, D. Neri
Photo-selective anti-hail plastic nets have spread in southern Europe for multifunctional purposes. These nets can influence the spectral composition of natural light and modify the responses of plants to extreme values in the summer. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) nets have different shading factors with specific differences in light spectra. The present work studied the effects of photo-selective anti-hail nets on pomegranate trees (Punica granatum L.) ‘Akko’ in southern Italy (Montalbano Jonico, MT). The two-year-old ‘Akko’ plants are grown with a vase-shaped training system. Photo-selective nets: yellow, red, pearl, fluo; and grilux (gray) compared with a not covered control have been installed from fruit set (end of July) until complete fruit maturation on an arched structure. Hail nets affect several environmental factors: light, airflow and temperature. The installation of all the nets late in the summer season did not affect the production, but it preserved fruit quality by reducing hail damage and sunburn, controlling soil temperature, wind speed and hail damage, and shadowing from excess light. It was possible to observe a generally positive performance of the photo-selective nets (yellow, fluo, red, pearl) on photosynthesis and an anticipation in leaf fall limited only to grilux, red and fluo nets.
Crescenzi, S., Zucchini, M., Giorgi, V., Vaccaro, G. and Neri, D. (2022). Photo-selective plastic nets in pomegranate orchards. Acta Hortic. 1349, 105-112
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2022.1349.15
light spectrum, photosynthesis, transpiration, sunburn, hail nets

Acta Horticulturae