OPTIMIZING A HIGH-DENSITY SOILLESS CULTURE SYSTEM FOR STRAWBERRY PRODUCTION
Among the high-density strawberry substrate systems, Portuguese growers have been using a structure with two levels of support. The lower level has two lateral substrate bags of 15 L capacity and the upper level a central bag of 30 L. In order to optimize this system and to evaluate if substrate volume in the lower levels is critical for plant development, a field experiment was carried out in southwest Portugal, under polythene tunnels with north-south trend. Fresh bare-rooted plants of cultivar Candonga (Sabrosa) were planted on commercial substrate bags. The growing system consisted of 11.8 plantsm-2 distributed in two lateral 15-L versus 30-L substrate bags both with 7 plants and in one central 30-L substrate bag with 10 plants. Strawberry yield and growth parameters were compared among plants grown in bags located at east, west and central positions. Fruit yield was significantly higher in the upper level compared with the lower ones. In contrast there were no differences in fruit yield between the 15- and 30-L bags at lower level. There was a general trend for plants of superior level to present a greater vegetative growth response, with higher number of inflorescences than plants of lower level.
Palha, M.G., Campo, J.L. and Oliveira, P.B. (2012). OPTIMIZING A HIGH-DENSITY SOILLESS CULTURE SYSTEM FOR STRAWBERRY PRODUCTION. Acta Hortic. 926, 503-507
Fragaria × ananassa, substrate, pyramidal structure, vegetative-growth, fruit-yield