EFFECT OF DIFFERENT LOW TUNNEL COVERS ON TEMPERATURE CONDITIONS AND DEVELOPMENT OF SWEET PEPPER
The use of low tunnels are getting increasingly popular in the Hungarian field sweet pepper production but the effect of different covering materials have not been studied yet under Hungarian conditions. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of three low tunnel covering methods on temperature conditions (soil tempera-ture, air temperature, canopy temperature) and on the development of sweet pepper plants. Three treatments were applied: 1) clear unperforated polyethylene (PE) with daily opening and closing (aerated PE); 2) the same PE with drilled holes (perforated PE); 3) spunbonded polypropylene (PP). During the four-week long covering period, average soil temperature was significantly higher (23.1°C) for the perforated PE than for the other treatments. Average air temperature inside the tunnel was also the highest for the perforated PE cover (23.0°C), followed by the spunbonded PP (22.1°C) and the aerated PE (21.0°C) treatments. Canopy temperature results showed a similar tendency. However, plant dry weight growth rate during the covering period was exactly the same for the aerated PE and the perforated PE treatments, and was significantly the lowest for the spunbonded PP. This latter result could be explained by the lower PAR transmittance of this cover material. Ratio of optimal air temperature values (18-32°C) during the covering period was by far the highest (45.3%) in the aerated PE treatment. As a result, flowering was faster, and early marketable yield was higher (although not at a statistically significant rate) for this treatment. However, total marketable yield was the same for all the three treatments.
Ombódi, A., Kemenczei, E., Kassai , T. and Dimény, J. (2012). EFFECT OF DIFFERENT LOW TUNNEL COVERS ON TEMPERATURE CONDITIONS AND DEVELOPMENT OF SWEET PEPPER. Acta Hortic. 936, 347-354
polyethylene, spunbonded polypropylene, optimal temperature, growth rate, flowering speed, early yield