EFFECTS OF CROP BIOLIFE ON THE GROWTH, FRUIT YIELD AND QUALITY OF STRAWBERRY (FRAGARIA × ANANASSA) IN A SUB-TROPICAL ENVIRONMENT

C. Matsuane, T. O. Oseni, M. T. Masarirambi

Abstract


Strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) is a widely adapted small fruit grown from the low-altitude of tropics and subtropics to high-altitude in cold continental areas. Despite its nutritional benefits, little research has been undertaken to facilitate its wide scale production in sub-tropical environments. This experiment was laid down in a Randomised Complete Block Design (RCBD) with four replications. The aim was to determine the effects of different concentrations (0, 25, 50, 75 ppm) of Crop Biolife (CB) on growth, yield and quality of strawberry. The results revealed that plants treated with 75 ppm CB significantly (P < 0.05) had more growth in number of leaves, petiole length, plant spread and leaf area. The highest leaf nitrogen (2.63%) and chlorophyll content (32.65) were observed in strawberry plants treated with 75 ppm CB. Control plants sprayed with distilled water took fewer days to produce first flower and fruit as compared to CB treated plants at 75 ppm which later produced more flowers and fruits compared to the control plants. Fruit weight and yield also increased with increasing CB concentrations with 75 ppm having the highest results. Titratable acidity of the fruits was significantly (P < 0.05) higher at 75 ppm (0.82%) with less vitamin C (50.50 mg/g) and less total soluble solids (6.10 Brix). Results from CB treated plants at 75 ppm were the best in this experiment but more research needs to be done in the open field as this one was done in a lath house with plants grown in containers.


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