Plant growth, yield, and fruit quality of tomato affected by biodegradable and non-degradable mulches A., Pokluda R., Cozzolino E., del Piano L., Cuciniello A., Caruso G. (2019): Plant growth, yield, and fruit quality of tomato affected by biodegradable and non-degradable mulches. Hort. Sci. (Prague), 46: 138-145.
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Research in southern Italy assessed the effects of biodegradable mulch on fruit yield and quality of two greenhouse tomato cultivars, ‘Coronel F1’ and ‘Kero F1’. Three mulching types (two MaterBi biodegradable black films, MB N2/12 amnd MB N8; black polyethylene film, low-density polyethylene (LDPE)) and not mulched control were compared. ‘Coronel F1’ showed higher values of fruit yield, total crop biomass and leaf area index (LAI). MB N8 and LDPE films led to the highest fruit yield and growth indexes, whereas not mulched control to the lowest. Fruit dry residue and soluble solids were highest under MB N2/12 and MB N8, titratable acidity was highest under MB N8. Fruits grown under MB N8 and LDPE mulches attained the highest levels of colour components “L” and “b” respectively, and MB N8 the highest fruit firmness. MB N2/12 and MB N8 showed the highest levels of antioxidants and antioxidant activity. Biodegradable polymers improved root growth conditions and fruit quality, showing suitable features for sustainable vegetable production.

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