Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 3, Issue 1,2005
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Can reflective ground cover enhance fruit quality and colouration?


Kerstin Funke *, M. Blanke

Recieved Date: 2004-08-18, Accepted Date: 2004-11-22


White reflective ground cover was spread in mid September on the grass strips on both sides of the tree rows of seven-year-old cv. Braeburn apple on M9 rootstock to improve light utilisation in the orchard. Apple trees in uncovered grass strips served as controls. The maturity and quality parameters [fruit size, fruit firmness (10.4 kg cm²), starch breakdown (score 4) and sugar content (12.6%)] of the late-ripening, bi-coloured cv. Braeburn apple fruit at harvest were unaffected by the reflective ground cover. White reflective ground cover on the grass strips improved light utilisation in the orchard in terms of fruit colouration, particularly for the lower part of the tree close to the reflective ground cover and the inner, tree-facing and down-facing, otherwise shaded sides of the apple fruit. The improved fruit colouration with reflective ground cover is attributed to increased light utilisation in the orchard. The present work showed that effective enhancement of fruit colouration with retention of good fruit quality is possible, if reflective ground cover is spread as late as mid September, i.e. only four weeks prior to harvest, in the tree alleys of the late ripening, bi-coloured cv. Braeburn apple.


Anthocyanin, light, firmness, apple, sugar, colour, fruit quality

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2005
Volume: 3
Issue: 1
Category: Agriculture
Pages: 203-206

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