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Strawberry Cultivation. Climate Temperate climate Mild temperatures Full sun - 6 hours per day.

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Presentation on theme: "Strawberry Cultivation. Climate Temperate climate Mild temperatures Full sun - 6 hours per day."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strawberry Cultivation

2 Climate Temperate climate Mild temperatures Full sun - 6 hours per day

3 Winter/Spring Growth Dormant during winter Exposure to very low temperatures can break dormancy for normal winter temperatures Frost damage occurs at -2 degrees C Growth resumes during spring Position on ground for least risk of frost On highest ground Close to earth

4 Preferred Soil Characteristics Well-drained High in organic matter Medium loam - clay/sand mix? Slightly acidic for root formation - 5.7 to 6.5 pH Green manure However, the plant is fairly adaptable

5 Avoid in Soil Excessive calcium - causes yellowing of leaves Planting on same land for many years High pH - alkaline soil Soil infected with nematodes High salinity - salt intolerant

6 Soil Preparation Start 1 month before planting Roots are shallow, but plow deep Use as much organic matter as possible Create beds - hill or matted rows, or raised for better drainage Apply fertilizer a few days before planting

7 Soil with Poor Drainage Input more organic matter Plant on hills or raised beds to facilitate drainage

8 Water Requirements Planting and early growth 2 to 3 hours per day Growing season 3cm per week Flowering and Fruiting Drip system Average Rainfall at CYEC and Lamuria??

9 Water Requirements for Plastic Beds Mostly the same as normal requirements 46cm in a 200 day season 83 liters per plant per season Plant uses 55% of water applied Require more than 3cm per week if warm dry conditions are extended

10 Water Stress Interferes with photosynthetic activity Reduces growth potential Deficiencies accumulate over season Fruit per plant can decrease by 30% 80% if severe Ripening accelerated Smaller fruit size “Surecrop” A more drought tolerant type Larger root system Soil moisture should not fall below 50% field capacity Best at 65% Check for moisture on leaves in morning with bucket over plant at night

11 Irrigation Shallow roots susceptible to drought Plant on ridges if irrigating Should be frequent after planting new runners First two months Twice per week without rain Third month Weekly Fourth and fifth months Every two weeks Fruiting begins Increase again for larger fruits

12 Micro-irrigation Water management is crucial for this low surface creeping plant with shallow roots Drip system + micro sprinkler system Supplies precise water to crop according to growth stage Planting and early vegetative growth Micro sprinkler Flowering and Fruiting Drip system - uniform and timely

13 Fertilizer Green manure, organic matter, and farm yard manure suggested 50 tons per hectare Improves water holding capacity Better runner formation Can supplement with chemical fertilizers

14 Fertilizer Nitrogen Moderate amounts required Apply 2 times 3 weeks after planting At time of flowering Phosphorus Incorporate into soil before planting

15 Fertilizer Application A few days before planting 0.5kg per 100 square feet 10/10/10 fertilizer Dig into soil 15-20cm deep Again after first harvest for the second season Water fertilizer to allow it to reach root zone Promotes growth Causes development of more fruit Over-fertilization Causes excessive vegetative growth, reduced yields, increased loss from foliage diseases

16 Plasticulture Technology For high density cultivation in semi-arid regions Study conducted in semi-arid India Strawberries sometimes referred to as “plasticberries” for plasticulture techniques used…

17 Plasticulture - Raised Bed Cultivation Aids drainage Facilitates installation of micro irrigation system Height 25cm Width 105cm Length 50cm 50cm apart from each other Plant runners 25cm by 25cm, 4 rows per bed

18 Plasticulture - Micro Irrigation Micro sprinkler - planting/early growth Install 3 meters apart for uniform application Water 2 to 3 hours per day Drip system - flowering/fruiting 2 lines of 16mm laterals on each bed Space drippers to 50cm Water 2 or 3 times per week More efficient with water soluble fertilizers

19 Plasticulture - Plastic Mulching Very effective for higher yield Conserves soil moisture Weed control Clean fruit Protects from soil contamination Black polyethylene Install drip system before mulching Holes for plants to rise above film Drip system remains before plastic Install after runners established, before flowering starts 30-34 days after planting

20 Plasticulture - plastic tunnels Keeps soil temperatures high Earlier flowering Higher fruit yield Transparent polyethylene 50cm in height Open during day, closed at night Remove with higher temperatures

21 Cultivars More tolerant of drought “Surecrop” For hilly areas Royal Sovereign, Srinager, Dilpasand Rich aroma, softer Katrain Sweet Successful in warmest parts of U.S., hypothesized to also be successful in Indian semi-arid plains - may also work in Kenya! Premier Florida-90, Missionary, Blackmore, Klonmore, Klondike

22 Propagation Runners - most common method Use those formed after blooming But runners hard to find in semi-arid regions Cultured planting material Preferred due to presence of different strains of virus tissue Import from western countries Seeds & stem cuttings Important to buy disease-free plants from reliable nursery Instead of your own / neighbor’s plants

23 Planting Avoid exposed open areas Full sun - 6 hours per day Avoid soil that previously grew Peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes Verticillium wilt - serious strawberry disease Grasses wireworms

24 Planting - Seedlings Use rooted seedlings 90% establishment rate or higher Unrooted Less than 60% establishment Ensure potting is sterile Avoid transmitting pests Transplant during rainy season Supplementary water not required

25 Planting - Beds & Runners Raised beds Feasible Most used in commercial cultivation Runners Plant 25cm by 25cm with 4 rows in each bed

26 Planting - Row Systems Matted Plants 46-76cm apart Rows 1 meter apart Least care needed Allow daughter plants to root freely Becomes matted, 60cm wide (2ft) Spaced Plants 46-76cm apart Rows 1 meter apart More care needed Limit daughter plants - space to root 10cm apart Other runners pulled / cut Higher yields, larger berries, fewer diseases Hill Best system All runners removed, weed & mulch in week 1-3 Only mother plant remains - develops more 2, 3, or 4 plants 30cm apart in many rows

27 Planting - Timing Plant as soon as possible in spring Establishment before hottest weather Do not plant if soil wet! Plant early Runner establish earlier Earlier fruit yield Higher yield Stagger planting for longer fruit availability Not all fruit, or profit, comes in at once Suggested Plant on cloudy day during late afternoon

28 Planting - Depth Soil should just cover the tops of roots Do not cover crown Runners and daughter plants should produce after 4 to 5 weeks

29 Planting -Flowering Requires 10 days of 8 hours of sun or less for flower initiation Development of flower buds Overbearing variety During long and short light periods Commercial varieties During short light periods only Flowers produce early in spring

30 Pests Sap beetle - eat holes in plant Slug - feeds on berries Leafhoppers - eat leaves, reduce photosynthesis Leafroller - feeds on leaves Aphids - carry viruses transmitted to plant Grubs - foot on roots Root weevils - eat leaves, sign the larvae feeding on roots also

31 Harvest Fruiting happens after 3 to 4 months Look for 1/2 to 3/4 berries having natural crimson color Slightly soft Darkening seeds Harvest daily, early morning, dry conditions Pinch between thumb and forefinger, pull with twisting motion, leave stem on fruit Easily damaged, highly perishable Carefully collect in shallow trays to prevent bruising Do not wash - contributes to spoiling

32 Yields Varies with season and locality Excellent 20-25 tons per hectare Good, more realistic 15 tons per hectare

33 Post Harvest Should be used within a few days to a week Wash when ready to eat Should not leave at room temperature for several hours Warm temperature causes browning and vitamin C loss Can be dried successfully Solar drier for best results 1 year shelf life

34 Storage Pack in flat, shallow container Cardboard, bamboo, paper trays Plastic is best 1 or 2 layers Keep in cool place away from heat/warm air Use within a few days Refrigerator storage does not extend life of strawberries after harvest or improve quality

35 Transportation to markets Cost? Refrigerated vans suggested Not feasible/available in Kenya

36 Nutritional Benefits Good source of Folic Acid Good for women’s health, reduces birth defects Potassium Maintains fluids, promotes faster healing Dietary fiber Vitamin C Supports immune system, aids growth Manganese Bone formation, hormone function

37 Demand / Income Potential Markets exist and are readily available High demand in urban areas and foreign markets Scarce, high costs in markets Limited production Lack of knowledge to manage crop Costly materials High value crop Large potential for income and employment generation Even more so with Value added products Juice, jams*, maybe dried?

38 Where to buy Seedlings? Less than 5% roadside nurseries sell strawberry seedlings Stock a few at a time No information on plant management Prices $0.45 to $0.65 per plant ~ 36Ksh to 52Ksh Limuru Small scale agro-enterprise here specializing in strawberry seedling production Price: $0.35 each ~ 28Ksh Sold unrooted - harder to establish (less than 60% establishment rate with unrooted, greated than 90% with rooted seedlings) Provides basic planting and crop management training for free More detailed for $7 per person ~ 564Ksh

39 My “Vision” Already being grown at CYEC There may not be any constraints to growing if they already are Transportation costs if selling? Supplies to store / sell? Will see how it goes… Problems with kids stealing berries? CYEC should be able to make a good profit, if they can grow enough to sell and are successful with strawberry cultivation Where do profits go? Who participates in the harvesting, packaging, marketing? Drying is a good idea Slice, dry under sun or in solar dryer How to get a dryer - use for tomatoes/other veg! Year long shelf life if packed in moisture proof containers Can make into powder to add flavor to other foods


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