Skip to main content Accessibility help

Influence of row covers and mulching interaction on leaf physiology, fruit yield and albinism incidence in ‘Sweet Charlie’ strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.)

  • Ram Roshan Sharma (a1), Rajbir Singh (a2), Dinesh Singh (a3) and Ram Kishore Gupta (a2)


Introduction. Under the sub-tropical climate of India, ‘Sweet Charlie’ strawberry is being grown on a large scale. However, under such climatic conditions, it is not possible to transplant runners before mid-October, because the environmental temperature is very high, and planting after mid-October is also not good because then winter sets in and affects growth, development, flowering and fruiting of strawberry. Under such circumstances, covering of strawberry beds with row covers and mulching with plastic mulch can be useful for early and high production by way of modifying the leaf physiology and producing marketable berries in high number. Materials and methods. Row covers of transparent polyethylene (100-µm thickness) were erected over beds after one month of transplanting of the runners. Mulching (black polyethylene, white polyethylene and paddy straw) was also applied after one month of transplanting of the runners; it was removed only after fruiting was over. Observations on different leaf physiological parameters were made. Results. Row covers and mulching individually or in combination significantly influenced plant physiology, growth, berry yield attributes and albinism incidence. Plants showed better growth and physiological attributes under row covers than without row covers. Plants had the best growth and physiological attributes under black polyethylene mulch. Berry weight and yield were the highest in plants under row covers and black polyethylene mulch. Although the [row covers × mulching] interaction showed the highest incidence of albinism, berry yield per plant (excluding albino fruit) was significantly the highest with that combination. Conclusion. Erection of row covers and mulching in winter is highly useful for better growth and production of strawberry under a sub-tropical climate.


Corresponding author


Hide All
[1] Sharma, R.R., Singh, S.K., Strawberry cultivation: a highly remunerative farming enterprise, Agro India 3 (1999) 20–22.
[2] Pollard J.E., The use of row covers to extend the strawberry-growing season, in: Dale A., Luby J.J. (Eds.), The strawberry into 21st century, Proc. 3rd North Am. Strawb. Conf., Timber Press, Houstan, Texas, USA, 1990, pp. 153–157.
[3] Pollard, J.F., Cundari, C.M., Over-wintering strawberry plants under row covers increase fruit production, HortSci. 23 (1988) 332–333.
[4] Pritts, M. P., Worden, K.A., Emes-Sheavly, M., Row cover material and time of application and removal affect ripening and yield of strawberry, J. Am. Soc. Hortic. Sci. 14 (1989) 531–536.
[5] Lareau M.J., Lamarre M., Effects of row cover and mulching in the production of day-neutral strawberry cultivars, in: Dale A., Luby J.J. (Eds.), The strawberry into 21st century, Proc. 3rd North Am. Strawb. Conf., Timber Press, Houstan, Texas, USA, 1990, pp. 162–164.
[6] Sharma, R.R., Sharma, V.P., Mulch types influences plant growth, yield and albinism incidence in strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa), Fruits 58 (2003) 221–227.
[7] Sharma, Y.K., Goswami, A.M., Sharma, R.R., Effect of dwarfing aneuploid guava rootstock in high-density orcharding, Indian J. Hortic. 49 (1992) 31–36.
[8] Marini, R.P., Marini, M.C., Seasonal changes in specific leaf weight, net photosynthesis, and chlorophyll content of peach leaves as affected by light penetration and canopy position, J. Am. Soc. Hortic. Sci. 108 (1983) 609–613.
[9] Panse V.G., Sukhatme P.V., Statistical methods for agricultural workers, 4th ed., Indian Counc. Agric. Res. (ICAR) Publ., New Delhi, India, 1984.
[10] Gast, K.L.B., Pollard, J.E., Over wintering strawberry plants under row covers: effect on development of yield contents, Acta Hortic. 265 (1989) 215–216.
[11] Renquist, A.R., Breen, P.J., Martin, F.G., Effect of polyethylene mulch and summer irrigation regimes on subsequent flowering and fruiting of Olympus strawberry, J. Am. Soc. Hortic. Sci. 107 (1977) 373–376.
[12] Tarara, J.M., Microclimate modification with plastic mulch, HortScience 35 (2000) 169–180.
[13] Gast, K.L.B., Pollard, J.E., Row covers and mulch alters seasonal carbon metabolism, HortScience 26 (1991) 421–424.
[14] Gast, K.L.B., Pollard, J.E., Row covers enhances reproductive and vegetative yield components in strawberry, HortScience 26 (1991) 1467–1469.
[15] Pollard, J.E., Gast, K.L.B., Cundari, C.M., Overwintering row covers increase yield and earliness in strawberry, Acta Hortic. 265 (1989) 229–234.
[16] Singh, R., Sharma, R.R., Goyal, R.K., Interactive effects of planting time and mulching on Chandler strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa), Sci. Hortic. 111 (2007) 344–351.
[17] Badiyala, S.D., Aggarwal, G.C., Note on effect of mulches on strawberry production, Indian J. Agric. Res. 51 (1981) 832–834.
[18] Gupta, R., Acharya, C.L., Effect of mulch induced hydrothermal regime on root growth, water-use efficiency, yield and quality of strawberry, J. Indian Soc. Soil Sci. 41 (1993) 17–25.
[19] Sharma V.P., Sharma R.R., The strawberry, Indian Counc. Agric. Res. (ICAR) Publ., New Delhi, India, 2004.
[20] Lieten F., Aardbei: albinisme, een nieuwe fysiologische ziekte? Fruitteelt (Den Haag) 2 (9) (1989) 39–41.
[21] Lieten, F., Marcelle, R.D., Relationships between fruit mineral content and the ‘albinism’ disorder in strawberry, Ann. Appl. Biol. 123 (1993) 433–439.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed