Vol 117 (2004): Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society

Summer squash yield and fruit size when grown on eight mulch colors in Central Florida

James M. White
University of Florida
Published December 1, 2004
  • cucurbita pepo,
  • polyethylene mulch,
  • drip irrigation,
  • plastic film


Summer squash 'cv' Medallion (Cucurbita pepo L.) was grown in the spring of 2001 and 2002 on black, white, black biodegradable, red, blue, silver, silver on black, or white on black mulch and compared for yield and fruit size with bare ground plots. Soil temperature and moisture readings were taken over a 6-week period. Yield ranged from 175 cwt/acre for bare ground to 280 cwt/acre for white on black mulch. There was no difference in yield for bare ground, black biodegradable, red, or blue mulch treatments. Fruit average weight at harvest ranged from 0.241 lb for black biodegradable mulch to 0.293 lb for silver mulch. No correlation for mulch colors and early plant size or early yield was found. Red, blue, silver on black, and black mulches had warmer soil temperatures early, but as plants covered the mulch, fewer differences were found.