Submitted to: Horticultural International Congress Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 12, 2002
Publication Date: August 10, 2002
Citation: Takeda, F. 2002. Out-of-season strawberry production in the eastern united states. Horticultural International Congress Proceedings. P. 392. Technical Abstract: In the Middle Atlantic coast region, hydroponic strawberry cropping systems research have demonstrated that high yields can be obtained under protected cultivation during 8-month harvest that starts as early as October. In July and August 2000, 'Frigo' plants were transplanted into ~0.9 L pots. In October 2000, container plants were transferred to a hydroponic system under natural photoperiod. Plants were placed 30-cm apart in 15-cm x 15-cm (HxW) gutters filled with perlite and fertigated intermittently with recirculating nutrient solution (pH 6.2) through a dripper line laid on top of the substrate. The solution volume was kept constant by addition of daily make-up water. Thermostats were set at 18-20 degrees C during the day and 12-14 degrees C at night. A small ventilation fan was activated when RH reached 70%. HPS lamps provided supplemental lighting on overcast days. Harvest commenced in late October in day-neutral 'Aromas', 'DIAMANTE', 'Seascape', and 'Selva' and everbearing 'Everest' strawberries and in November in short-day 'Camarosa' and 'Chandler'. Seasonal yield (average of 6 plants per plot) ranged from ~7.2 kg for 'Camarosa' to 3.5 kg for Selva. Fruit size averaged from > 40g in the beginning and gradually declined to nearly 10 g in June. For the season, the mean berry weight ranged from 21 g for 'DIAMANTE' to ~12 g for 'Selva', 'Seascape', and 'Everest'. When de-blossoming was extended until mid October, yield was increased 0.4 kg per plant and averaged berry weight increased 0.5 g. Yield per plant was highly variable in 'DIAMANTE' strawberry and it may be associated with its crown being "loose". However, it is a shy leaf producer and its fruit are borne on strong peduncles. These characteristics are desirable for a high density, protected cultivation designed for winter fruit production.