Artificial shortening of day length to advance the flower initiation period of 'Sonata'

P. Melis, K. Stoffels, M. Vervoort, T. Van Delm
Within the European Goodberry framework research is executed to create new possibilities in flower induction and dormancy in soft fruit cultivations. In Belgian strawberry cultivation, a year-round production is realized with the introduction of SON-T assimilation lamps to create harvest periods in winter and early spring. The variety Sonata is preferred in early spring for its high fruit quality, high production potential and the regular fruit setting even when growth is strongly forced with heating and lighting regimes. The June bearer Sonata is grown into a trayplant during autumn in Belgium, flower initiation and the build-up of production potential occur between half of September and half of November. Due to the high chilling requirement of the variety, trayplants cannot be planted before the December 25 and harvest cannot start before end of March. Between August 7 and September 24 Research Centre Hoogstraten covered developing Sonata trayplants in 2017 at 7.00 pm until 9.00 am to artificially shorten the day length to 10 hours. Sonata could advance the start of the flower initiation phase from September 19 to August 29. The trayplants were put into cold storage on October 18, an advancement of 28 days. After 6 weeks in cold storage the trayplants were planted in a greenhouse with SON-T assimilation lamps on November 29. The first ripe fruits were harvested on February 20 2018. The artificial day shortening realized in this research a start harvest advancement of 42 days.
Melis, P., Stoffels, K., Vervoort, M. and Van Delm, T. (2019). Artificial shortening of day length to advance the flower initiation period of 'Sonata'. Acta Hortic. 1265, 247-254
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1265.35
day length, temperature, strawberry, 'Sonata', advancing, flower initiation

Acta Horticulturae