Liquid fertilizer as a potential alternative nutrient solution for strawberry production under greenhouse conditions
Nowadays, the demand for organic strawberry is mainly driven by consumer for health and environmental concerns. Strawberries (Fragaria ananassa) have been shown to contain a variety of health-promoting bioactive compounds, including antioxidants. With advanced awareness about hazardous effects of chemical fertilizers, growers are looking for sustainable cultivation systems. Hydroponically growing fruits and vegetables provides a possible resource for sustainable crop production. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the effect of different cultivation systems; hydroponic (Dutch bucket with perlite media) and soil pot (sand soil) using either mineral or organic nutrient solutions, on the vegetative and reproductive growth of the strawberry. The organic nutrient solution was prepared from liquid organic fish fertilizer called (Blue Fish) and used with the same concentration as mineral solution. Growth and yield/quality parameters such as total number of leaves, plant height, flower/fruit number, total yield, fruit firmness, total and soluble solids were determined. The results revealed that strawberry grown with organic nutrient solution showed slower growth compared to that nourished with mineral solution. The flowers and runners appear earlier in mineral solution than that of organic. However, there was no difference in leaf number, flower number or total yield within the two nutrient solutions in hydroponic system. For the soil system strawberry grown with organic fertilizer showed better growth and plant height compared to mineral fertilizer. The total flower number and the total yield were significantly higher in the organic strawberry. These results suggest that using organic fertilizer can be recommended to improve the production of strawberry grown in soil. Meanwhile using organic liquid fertilizer can be a potential alternative for production of hydroponic strawberry rather than mineral fertilizer for better health, environment, and sustainability. More investigations are required for optimizing the conditions and exploring the system efficacy for different crops' production.
Ahmed, Z.F.R., Askri, A., Alnuaimi, A.K.H., Altamimi, A.S.H.R. and Alnaqbi, M.M.A. (2021). Liquid fertilizer as a potential alternative nutrient solution for strawberry production under greenhouse conditions. Acta Hortic. 1321, 165-172
organic, soilless, strawberry, liquid fertilizer, soil