Vegetative and crop responses of strawberry to elevated hill cultivation systems in high latitude conditions
A two-season study was conducted in 2014-2015 in southwest Finland, northern Europe, to determine how the strawberry 'Jonsok' responded to 20- and 30-cm-high elevated hills, compared to the normally used 10-cm-high beds. Bed height had little effect on mean soil temperatures. Even in January 2014, with an average air temperature of -7°C, the average temperature in all beds at a depth of 10 cm varied between -0.2 and -0.9°C, even though snow cover was less than 5 cm. The highest temperatures, over 50°C at ground level under black plastic mulch in summer, were recorded in the lowest bed. Winter injury was not observed in plants in both years. As measured at the end of each growing season, elevated hills favored root and crown growth and crown branching. Also, the development of runners was promoted. Canopy growth was promoted especially on the 20 cm hills. Flowering was not affected by the treatments in the first harvest year, but during the second season flowering was favored by the elevated hills. Yield was, however, improved on the 20-cm hills only, because the average berry size decreased on the 30-cm hill system. Both total and marketable yields were increased for plants on the 20-cm hill compared to those on the 10-cm hill by 16 and 14%, respectively, when combined two-year yields were considered. The results suggest that in northern European conditions an elevated hill system with hills 20 cm high improves strawberry plant growth as well as yield over that in a low bed system.
Karhu, S.T. and Parikka, P.K. (2017). Vegetative and crop responses of strawberry to elevated hill cultivation systems in high latitude conditions. Acta Hortic. 1156, 243-248
Fragaria, management, plant development, raised beds