Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/15/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Tomato plants are very responsive to the ratio of far-red relative to red light received during growth and development. The ratio can be altered by far-red reflected from nearby plants or by reflection from different colored soil covers. Black plastic mulches are commonly used in production of tomato and other high value crops to conserve water and control weeds with less applied herbicides. Alternate colors of mulch can be used to reflect predetermined far-red to red ratios while keeping the water conservation and weed control benefits. We compared a specially formulated red plastic with traditional black plastic and with surfaces that were painted. Tomato plants were grown in trickle-irrigated field plots over the different colored surfaces. Quantity and quality of upwardly reflected light were measured. Fruit number, size, and quality were determined. Relationships among colored mulches, wavelength ratios in reflected light, and tomato fruit production will be discussed.