Improving Irrigation Management for Strawberry Establishment in West-central Florida

Bielinski M. Santos, Teresa P. Salame-Donoso, Alicia J. Whidden, Maricruz Ramírez-Sánchez


A study was conducted to assess the use of kaolin clay-based crop protectants in combination with sprinkler irrigation for strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) transplant establishment. Bare-root strawberry transplants were set in fumigated, raised beds covered with polyethylene mulch. Seven treatments resulted from the combination of duration of sprinkler irrigation (8 h/day) and foliar application of kaolin clay: 4 d of sprinkler irrigation; 4 d of sprinkler irrigation plus kaolin clay on day 5; 6 d of sprinkler irrigation; 6 d of sprinkler irrigation plus kaolin clay on day 7; 8 d of sprinkler irrigation; 8 d of sprinkler irrigation plus kaolin clay on day 9; and 10 d of sprinkler irrigation (control). The results indicated that there were no significant differences in plant establishment and early fruit weight of strawberry between plants that were established with the application of 10 d of sprinkler irrigation and either 6 or 8 d of sprinkler irrigation plus foliar-applied kaolin clay. With the use of foliar-applied kaolin clay, water savings were between 3.7 and 5.6 acre-inch/acre of water, which might have a major impact on water management for strawberry production in west-central Florida.


Fragaria ×ananassa, sprinkler irrigation, kaolin clay, best management practices

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283

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