Submitted to: Small Fruit Reviews
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2003
Publication Date: 4/1/2003
Citation: Spiers, J.D., Matta, F.B., Marshall, D.A. 2003. Effects of kaolin clay particle film on southern highbush (vaccinium corymbosum l.) blueberry plants. Small Fruit Reviews. vol.2(4):pp.29-36 Interpretive Summary: These results indicate that an application of kaolin clay particle film at pre-fruit (50% bloom)can provide horticultural benefits to blueberry plants. When applied before fruit set, yield enhancement can be obtained without any significant residue on the berries. Kaolin clay can be used to increase fruit set without affecting fruit quality. The application of kaolin can promote growth of blueberry plants without affecting pollination. Kaolin that is not amended with prohibited substances can also be a viable method of increased growth, fruit set and enhanced yield for certified organic farmers.
Technical Abstract: Two seperate studies were conducted to report the effects of kaolin applications on southern highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L.). When applied to mature blueberry plants, kaolin clay emulsion dried to form a white reflective film and affected bud development, fruit set and development, plant growth, fruit yield, but had no effect on fruit quality parameters. 'Cooper' received a single application of kaolin during flowering (bud stages 3-6) which increased fruit set and reduced the rate of flower bud development. Berry size was reduced with kaolin, perhaps due to increased number of fruit present. 'Magnolia' received a single application of kaolin at four different stages of maturity resulting in a linear increase in plant volume with early application. When kaolin was applied before fruit set, yield was increased with no significant residue left on the fruit.