Experiences with autumn fertilization in berry crops
The effect of controlled nutrient feeding during the period of short day (SD) induction of flowering has been studied in three SD berry crops. An experimental system with standardized plant material grown with trickle fertigation in controlled environments was used. In strawberry, flowering was advanced and increased when an additional N pulse was given 1-2 weeks after commencement of a 4-week SD induction period, while the opposite resulted when the treatment was applied 2 weeks before start of SD. In blackcurrant, the highest flowering and yield were obtained when fertilization was applied shortly after the natural photoperiod had declined to the inductive length in September. While generous nutrient supply during spring and summer reduced berry soluble solids in blackcurrant, this was not observed with autumn fertilization. Autumn fertilization did not adversely affect plant winter survival or growth vigour in spring. Withdrawal of fertilization prior to, or at various stages during floral induction, did not significantly affect flowering and yield in raspberry, but marginally advanced flowering and fruit ripening.
Woznicki, T.L., Heide, O.M. and Sønsteby, A. (2018). Experiences with autumn fertilization in berry crops. Acta Hortic. 1217, 439-446
blackcurrant, flowering, raspberry, strawberry, timing of fertilization, yield potential