The effect of soil solarization and calcium cyanamide on strawberries

Soil solarization is a hydrothermal procedure of disinfesting soil of soilborne diseases and pests. Solarization can be combined with many other chemical or non-chemical alternatives to afford integrated pest and diseases management or improve plant yield.

Calcium cyanamide (CaCN2) is a fertilizer used in agriculture sector and is also effective in suppressing soilborne pathogens. The present study assessed the influences of different pre-plant CaCN2 dosages on strawberry grown on solarized or non-solarized soil.

Soil solarization and 500 kg ha−1 CaCN2 significantly increased early marketable yield by 105.3%, total marketable yield by 53.0% and firmness by 3.0%, respectively compared with the control (no solarization × 0 kg ha−1 of CaCN2). Exposing solarized plots to CaCN2 at 1000 kg ha−1 significantly increased fruit ascorbic acid content by 77.5% and phenolic content by 13.3% compared with fruits from control plants.

Overall, plants grown on solarized soil performed better than those cultivated on no-solarized plots. Plants grown on soil treated with a dosage of 500 or 1000 kg ha−1 CaCN2 increased plant height, number of shoots plant−1, number of leaves plant−1, root collar diameter, plant visual quality, anthocyanins, and antioxidant capacity compared to control plants. Fruits from plants grown on soil exposed to CaCN2 with a dosage of 500 and 1000 kg ha−1 showed a lower N fruit content (5.4 and 19.5%, respectively) than control plants (non-treated control).

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