Productivity of strawberry plants growing under dry and wet conditions in subtropical Queensland

C.M. Menzel, L.A. Smith, J.A. Moisander
The effect of growing environment on the performance of two strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) cultivar/breeding lines ('Festival' and 'Breeding Line 1') was studied in south-eastern Queensland, Australia. Plants were grown under tunnels or outdoors. Supplementary over-head irrigation was given to the plants outdoors to provide a water supply (irrigation + rainfall) about twice that of the long-term average rainfall for the area. Half the plants under the tunnels or outdoors received the standard sprays to control grey mould, while the other half of the plants received none of these sprays. The yields of the plants in the dry environment under the tunnels (without over-head irrigation) were more than double the yields of the plants in the wet environment outdoors (with over-head irrigation). This result indicates that losses that may occur during a wetter than average season. The plants under the tunnels had lower incidences of rain damage and grey mould than the plants outdoors. There were higher incidences of powdery mildew, and of small and misshaped fruit under the tunnels. Only cultivars with some resistance to powdery mildew should be grown under protected cropping. Spraying reduced the incidence of grey mould outdoors but not under the tunnels. Crops growing under protected cropping in Queensland probably do not need to be sprayed for grey mould.
Menzel, C.M., Smith, L.A. and Moisander, J.A. (2017). Productivity of strawberry plants growing under dry and wet conditions in subtropical Queensland. Acta Hortic. 1156, 895-902
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1156.132
Fragaria ×ananassa, plastic high tunnels, protected cropping, climate, fruit disease, yield, cultivars

Acta Horticulturae