Submitted to: North American Strawberry Conference Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 5, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: In North America, strawberry cultivation in greenhouses or under high tunnels is not widely used. However, interest for soilless culture systems to produce strawberries during the off-season is increasing rapidly in areas with a climate of hot summer months and cold winter months. Green- house strawberry production research in the eastern United States has focused on growing strawberries for 'out-of-season' fruiting during the part of the year when locally produced berries are not available and the shipment of fresh strawberries from California and Florida are low. Plug plants (cvs. Camarosa and Chandler) were grown in a greenhouse from October to May in two soilless culture systems: 8-L round pots containing peat-perlite-coconut coir media (16 plants/m2) and horizontal nutrient film technique (NFT) gutters with perlite (13 plants/m2). Fruit production in NFT gutters produced as much as 1,217 g/plant for 'Camarosa'. In both cultivars pot growing systems produced significantly fewer berries than the NFT system. Two-weeks of 9-h short day and one week of chilling during the night in September advanced fruit production. Arthropod pest problems were minimized by regular releases of predatory mites for control of two-spotted mites and flower thrips. Strawberry production in NFT gutters in a controlled environment is a viable technique for producing strawberries during the out-of-season period in the eastern U.S.