Field production of strawberry fruit using growing media under different irrigation scheduling regimes

D. Wang
Conventional strawberry fruit production is an intensive operation which requires significant inputs of fertilizers and pesticides. A potential alternative to reduce the chemical inputs is to grow strawberry plants in small troughs on field beds that are filled with disease and pathogen-free substrate media. The objective of this study was to evaluate irrigation rates on strawberry growth using a substrate trough system. Field experiments were conducted, on a commercial strawberry farm, to measure substrate water content and strawberry fruit yield under three irrigation levels: 100, 150, and 200% replacement of evapotranspiration (ET). Five substrate growing media types were used in the study, and a time domain reflectometry system was used for water content measurement. Both marketable and non-marketable fruit yields were measured using a commercial harvest crew. Experimental results showed significant differences in substrate water content, e.g. higher water content in 150% or 200% ET than that in the 100% ET treatment. However, there was no significant yield difference between the different levels of irrigation. Most of the substrate media produced a fruit yield comparable to the grower standard soil beds. Overall, the study showed that the substrate trough system could be a potential alternative to conventional strawberry fruit production.
Wang, D. (2021). Field production of strawberry fruit using growing media under different irrigation scheduling regimes. Acta Hortic. 1305, 471-476
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1305.62
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1305.62
crop evapotranspiration, drip irrigation, water content, Fragaria ananassa
English

Acta Horticulturae