Design of a new planting system to produce strawberry out of season in central Mexico

P.A. Dávalos-González, A.E. Jofre-Garfías, R. Aguilar-García
This research was aimed to explore new planting systems to increase the productivity and quality of the strawberry harvested out of season (October to February), on which the annual profitability of the crop depends. Eight cultivars were transplanted in the conventional system (CS), with fresh and bare root plant and also in an experimental system (ES), using tray plant, and controlled propagation in situ, where from two mother plants m‑2, 20 daughter plants were obtained m‑2, and these produced fruits. As they were used to produce fruit out of the season, a system with frigo plants (FP) was included, and subject to the same handling as the ES. Transplanting dates were: March 21, June 10, and September 23 for FP, ES and CS, respectively. Fruit yield was analysed based on four harvest periods: October-December, January-February, March-April and October to April. The FP system began its production in October and reached the higher total yield until December, but its production of the fresh category was similar to the CS and higher than the ES. In the periods from January-February onwards, as well as the global one, the trend was inverse, the maximum fruit yields, higher yield in the fresh category and lower fruit malformation problems, were with the CS, intermediate for the fresh category with ES and similar commercial and total yields for ES and FP. CS produced fruits of greater weight, intermediate in ES, and FP those of lower weight. The beginning of the harvest and the amount of fruit harvested out of season, can be manipulated. The ES can be an alternative to the CS and FP, whose complementarity allows greater availability of fruit in that window. It is necessary to test genotypes and transplant dates earlier than June with ES. The agronomic and economic advantages of the ES, as well as limitations and varietal responses are described.
Dávalos-González, P.A., Jofre-Garfías, A.E. and Aguilar-García, R. (2021). Design of a new planting system to produce strawberry out of season in central Mexico. Acta Hortic. 1309, 477-482
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1309.68
spaced matted row, hill system, frigo plant, tray plant, fresh plant, short-day, day-neutral

Acta Horticulturae