Growing a crop with a high yield and good quality is important for maximum profitability. Agronomically, there is a lot that the grower can do to maximize both and proper nutrition is central to this.
In a large number of cases, nutrients that improve yield will also improve the quality of the harvested berry.
It is essential to select an appropriate growing system that will ensure good production and profitability, given local market conditions. Protected cropping will help maximize yield by maintaining good growing temperatures, bringing forward maturity and prolonging the harvest period. A well-drained soil at a pH of 5.5- 6.8 ensures good root growth and maximizes nutrient availability. Good renovation, including the management of runners and effective weed control, will ensure a good planting density is maintained.
Frost protection measures to protect flowers will ensure strong fruit set and good fruit development. Mulching with straw or the use of plastic will help with weed control and maintain soil temperatures and moisture. Good water supply – especially during flowering and fruit fill - maintains berry number and boosts berry size.
Crop nutrition an strawberry yield
Most required nutrients have specific roles to play in improving yield:
- Nitrogen is important for green leaf production and fruit development, promoting growth processes and protein assimilation in the plant.
- Phosphorus delivers energy to the plant and is particularly important for root development, flower induction and higher fruit numbers.
- Potassium, like nitrogen boosts strong growth, and improves water regulation within the plant, stress tolerance and transport/accumulation processes.
- Magnesium boots photosynthesis as a result of increasing plant chlorophyll.
- Magnesium, sulfur, iron and micronutrients increase plant growth and dry matter accumulation in the fruit.
- Calcium ensures good plant and fruit strength, protecting root, leaf and stalk production, and promoting yield.
- Boron is required for pollen germination and good fruit set, leading to high fruit numbers and better fruit weight.
- Zinc is needed for the growth and development of new tissues.