Optimization of the root environment for raspberry production on substrate
The profitability of red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) production systems on substrate is directly connected to parameters influencing fruit yield, fruit size and fruit quality. Pot parameters and substrate quality are known to influence plant growth and fruit production. Here, we studied the influence of different types of 10-L pots on yield and fruit weight. Three pot parameters were tested between 2014 and 2018 with floricane red raspberries ('Tulameen'): 1) the shape of the pot (round or square), 2) the type of drainage system (pots with a grid and small feet on the bottom or pots with holes only), and 3) the color of the pots (black or white). Furthermore, alternative substrates were tested to substitute peat. The results showed that the shape of the container has no influence on fruit yield, fruit size and fruit quality. However, the type of drainage system appears to affect yield and fruit weight. In all experiments, yield and fruit weight were increased with pots having a grid and small feet. In addition, fruit yield was higher for raspberry plants grown in white pots as compared to black pots. The substrates without peat were comparable to substrates with peat, if the quantity and frequency of fertigation are adapted. We obtained remarkable results with substrates made of bark compost of pines. Substrates made with 8% sheep's wool are also very promising based on their water retention and nitrogen release potential. The study demonstrate that floricane red raspberries can be grown on substrates made of local organic matter such as bark humus, bark compost, wood fibers, rice glumes and sheep's wool, without having a negative impact on fruit yield, fruit size and fruit quality.
Carlen, C., Ançay, A. and Christ, B. (2020). Optimization of the root environment for raspberry production on substrate. Acta Hortic. 1277, 283-286
Rubus idaeus, red raspberry, substrate, pots