Effect of substrate and container type in the strawberry soilless cultivation
Strawberry soilless culture is traditionally done in peat substrate, but the use of other substrates is rising. The optimal use of the substrate is also connected to physical factors that can affect its capacity for water retention and suitability for root growth. Renewable substrate derived from by-product of coconut transformation were evaluated in strawberry cultivation and used with different types of containers to individuate the best container to enhance plant behavior, evaluating the effect of substrate volume, pot size and shape. Plants of the cultivar 'Elsanta' were grown in three different experiments on: (exp. 1) three substrates using two different containers of the same volume (peat in pot, peat + agriperlite 10% in plastic bag, and coconut coir in pot); (exp. 2) two substrates using three different containers at different volumes (peat in short plastic bag, coconut coir in pot, and coconut coir in long plastic bag); (exp. 3) peat using different pot volume, shape (height) and colour (black, white). Yield parameters and plant growth were registered. The total plant production was similar using different substrates and container types, while the plants grown in higher volume pots provided higher amount of fruits compared to smaller pots. The volume of the pot had also effects on the time of harvest peak. Plants grown on coir produced more roots compared to peat; plastic bags filled with peat base substrate induced higher vegetative growth compared to pots; plastic bags filled with coir induced more roots compared to pots. The performance of the substrates was connected with the container features, as probable consequence of different distribution of available water and of the root system.
Massetani, F., Savini, G. and Neri, D. (2017). Effect of substrate and container type in the strawberry soilless cultivation. Acta Hortic. 1156, 295-300
coir, peat, pot volume, Fragaria × ananassa