Potassium-calcium ratio of the nutrient solution: implications for fruit quality in June-bearing and day-neutral strawberry cultivars
The aim of this trial was to determine the implications for fruit quality in strawberries grown on substrate at different K:Ca ratios. Four June-bearing cultivars (Malling Centenary, Magnum, Opera and Jive) and four day neutral cultivars (selection number 08-06-10, Eves Delight, Murano and Harmony) were grown in plastic tunnels on raised gutters. Plants were given nutrient solutions with either a high (7:2 mmol L-1), standard (5:3 mmol L-1) or low K:Ca ratio (4:3 mmol L-1). Assigned nutrient solutions were given continuously from flowering until the end of harvest. Fruit colour, seed positioning, fruit firmness, Brix and shelf life were routinely assessed. A high K:Ca ratio for both Murano and Harmony led to more fruit with embedded achenes. A low K:Ca ratio in the nutrient solution led to an increased browning of the fruit skin around the achenes in June-bearing cultivars Opera and Jive and also day neutral cultivars Murano and 08-06-10. There was no difference in Eves Delight. In all cultivars a higher K:Ca ratio increased fruit firmness, Brix and improved shelf life. These results show that a high K:Ca ratio improves fruit quality and shelf life in strawberries.
Gallace, N. and Lieten, P. (2018). Potassium-calcium ratio of the nutrient solution: implications for fruit quality in June-bearing and day-neutral strawberry cultivars. Acta Hortic. 1217, 405-410
Fragaria × ananassa, nutrition, plant performance, substrate