Effect of Non-Woven Rowcover on Plant Environment and Growth
The effects of a rowcover made of spunbonded polypropylene on environmental factors (solar radiation, air, soil and plant temperature, vapor pressure deficit, and matric potential of soil water) and growth of spinach plants (Spinacia oleracea L.) were investigated. The rowcover reduced the amount of solar radiation, increased air, plant and soil temperature especially in the daytime, and maintained a higher soil moisture level than that outside of the rowcover. Vapor pressure deficit was not appreciably affected by the rowcover. Effect of the rowcover on the plant water status was not evident and net photosynthesis per unit leaf area was often lower under the rowcover. However, covered plants grew more rapidly than non-covered ones. This phenomenon was ascribed to the rapid appearance and extension of leaves which are affected by the increase in temperature.