Perfect strawberries – as if from another star
Innovative substrates with GreenFibre® – for the sustainable cultivation of strawberries
The most common international method for commercial strawberry production is soilless cultivation in growing media using gutter systems, containers or substrate-filled ridges. The substrates used are mainly based on coir, peat and perlite. Research and development is currently investigating how substrates can optimise strawberry yields and at the same time comply better with sustainability criteria.
With regard to environment and climate protection, the aim is to reduce water and energy consumption as well as CO2 emissions associated with the production, processing and use of substrates. Furthermore, the soft fruit sector would like to become more independent of certain raw materials and constituents. In recent years, shortages in the availability of raw materials from overseas, in particular coir, have highlighted the importance of reliable and local raw material sources.
Our TS substrates with GreenFibre® for strawberries
As part of our TS substrate range which is in demand worldwide, we offer a range of substrates especially for strawberry cultivation. Customised recipes are available for all stages of cultivation and all growing systems. Our TS substrates with GreenFibre® for strawberries in gutter systems combine improved yield performance with a more sustainable substrate concept.
- Characteristics: single and double cropping strawberries on rack system, in troughs and containers
- Use for: strawberries, raspberries and other soft fruit
- Characteristics: all year-round strawberry cultivation in rack systems. Perfectly suitable for protected cultivation due to well balanced water and air capacity
- Use for: strawberries in gutter systems
The substrate innovation with GreenFibre®
We have developed innovative TS substrates with a high content of GreenFibre® premium wood fibres which are particularly suitable for strawberry cultivation in gutters and containers. This new approach allowed us to reduce the amount of coir, peat and perlite in those substrates significantly.
Extensive practical tests with the GreenFibre® substrates were carried out at the Delphy and BerryNova-Genson research stations (Netherlands) and at Proefcentrum Hoogstraten (Belgium), among others. The substrate blends proved their excellent suitability when mixed with up to 50 % GreenFibre®. The results confirmed the high efficiency in irrigation management and cultivation as well as a higher fruit yield. The complete test reports are available on request.
In contrast to coir-based substrates, a drainage percentage of 20 % is sufficient for substrates with GreenFibre®, even on warm days. This value should not be exceeded for substrates with GreenFibre®. Especially in regions with high temperatures and limited water availability, this is an additional benefit of these new substrates, as less water is needed during cultivation.
- Cultivation in a heated greenhouse
- Variety: Elsanta, June bearing, 12 plants per linear metre
- Planting: 17 August 2019; cultivation end: 25 May 2020, crop with two harvest periods
- Harvest period autumn: Weeks 38 – 52
- Harvest period spring: Weeks 15 – 23
- Control substrate: 50 % coir, 35 % white peat, 15 % perlite
- Trial substrates: 20 % / 50 % / 65 % GreenFibre® with white peat
The variant with 50 % GreenFibre® showed the highest yield for the total production of both harvest periods. The control variant, a common practise strawberry substrate, had the lowest yields. Also with regard to the distribution of fruit classes in autumn and spring, the highest yield of fruits class 1 was achieved in substrates with 50 % and 20 % GreenFibre®. In this trial, all substrates with GreenFibre® performed better than the control substrate. The drain EC value in the control substrate was significantly higher than in the substrates with GreenFibre®, especially in autumn, and also had the lowest drain rates in %. In spring, both the drain EC values and the drain percentages were closer to each other in all substrates.
- Cultivation in polytunnel, variety Murano, day-neutral variety, 6 plants per meter
- Planting 12.7.2019; end of culture 4.10.2019, short crop, single bearing
- Harvest period week 33 – 40
- Control substrate: 100 % coir
- Test variants: 50 % GreenFibre® with white peat
This test confirmed that a substrate with 50 % GreenFibre® can achieve yields at least as high or even slightly higher than those of coir substrate. Especially at the beginning and end of the cultivation, the weekly yields in the substrate with GreenFibre® were higher.
At a glance: all advantages of our new TS Substrates with GreenFibre®
- Innovation in the substrate segment for strawberries
- Ideal drainage for year-round cultivation of strawberries in gutters and containers
- 26 – 30 vol.-% air capacity (pF 1; -10cm) in growing media with 50% GreenFibre®
- Drainage percentage of 20% in the crop is sufficient and saves water
- High nutrient-buffering capacity and high content of humic acids due to the peat content
- Very high structural stability also for perennial cultivation
- Improved root development
- Drier substrate surface promotes plant health
- Consistently high quality due to RHP-certified production process
- More sustainable strawberry cultivation due to GreenFibre®. This premium wood fibre is locally sourced from sustainably managed forestry and available all year round
- Considerably reduced emissions
- Reduced substrate weight
Independent certification is the norm at Klasmann-Deilmann
GreenFibre® is RHP certified
The wood fibre GreenFibre® is manufactured by Klasmann-Deilmann and certified according to the RHP quality mark. The RHP label guarantees long-term suitability and consistently high quality of GreenFibre® as substrate constituent for professional horticulture (www.rhp.nl).
Wood resources only from responsibly managed forests
Besides reliability, sustainability is of key importance for our growing media. The wood chips used to produce GreenFibre® are obtained solely from responsibly managed forests. Whenever possible, we prefer raw materials from local sources that meet sustainability criteria and opt for PEFC- and/or FSC-certified wood as base for our GreenFibre®.
GreenFibre® for organic production
Substrates with GreenFibre® are also ideal for organic production. GreenFibre® complies with EU Regulation (EC) No. 834/2007 and Annex I to Implementing Regulation (EC) No. 889/2008, inspected by Ecocert®.
Our TS-Substrates with GreenFibre® – Ideal substrate solutions also for other soft fruit species.
Do you also grow blueberries, raspberries or other soft fruit in containers or gutter systems? Then we have the right substrate for you. We offer a full range of tried and tested substrates specifically developed for the propagation and growing on of various soft fruit species. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.