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High density strawberry cultivation

High density strawberry cultivation



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Published by ABID H

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Published by: ABID H on Oct 30, 2008
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Promising Technologies
Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Krishi Bhavan,New Delhi 110001, India
• Dr Mangala Rai, Secretary (DARE) and Director-General, ICAR
mrai@icar.delhi.nic.in• Shri Kuldeep Sharma, Incharge (DIPA), ICAR
High density strawberry cultivationwith plasticulture is profitablein semi-arid regions
Promising Technologies
High density strawberry
cultivation withplasticulture...Inter simple sequence
repeat markers for geneticanalysis in coconut
New Initiatives
A PCR–RFLP tool for
differentiating two speciesof
Management of NaturalResources
with Indian Aloe:
An economically viablecombination for arid regionGreen grafting on rootstock
in grapes is beneficialunder adverse environment
Central Plantation Crops
Research Institute, Kerala
Spectrum12Last page20
4 OctoberDecember 2005
Strawberry is a major fruit oftemperate region, but with the adventof day-neutral cultivars, it growsprofitably well in the sub-tropicalregions also. Its commercialcultivation could not become popularin semi-arid regions of northern Indiadue to vagries of climatic conditionsand lack of adequate knowledge onits cultivation. Plasticulture techniquescan play very important role in themanipulation of microclimatefavourable for its cultivation. Scientificfindings have revealed that use ofplasticulture techniques in strawberrycultivation could revolutionize itscommercial cultivation for higherprofitability in semi-arid regions ofNorth India.
Planting techniques
For commercial cultivation ofstrawberry, raised bed cultivation isfound quite feasible which ensuresproper drainage, easy interculturaloperations and facilitates installationof micro irrigation system. After landpreparation, beds of 25 cm height and105 cm width of convenient lengthshould be made at a distance of 50
A view of strawberry crop in field
cm. Planting of runners should bedone at 25 cm x 25 cm spacing withfour rows of plants per bed. About onelakh fresh and healthy runners arerequired for planting in an area of onehectare.Planting time is considered as oneof the most important factors forprofitable cultivation of strawberry. Innorth-India it is usually planted aftersecond fortnight of October withtraditional methods. As a result,availability of fruit is restricted to one-and-half-month only (March–April),which reduces the profit of farmersconsiderably. With the use of microirrigation system, its planting can beenhanced up to mid-September forearly establishment of runners andconsequently early and higher yield ofquality fruits. However, staggeredplanting from mid-September to midOctober at weekly/bi-weekly interval isquite remunerative for longer period ofavailability of fruits (January to April).
Strawberry being a low surfacecreeping herb having shallow rootprecise water to the crop according tothe stage of growth of the crop. Afterbed preparation, micro-irrigationsystem (MIS) should be installed in thefield. During planting and earlyvegetative growth, irrigation is giventhrough micro sprinkler system. Micro-sprinklers (69 lph) should be installedat a spacing of 3 meter for uniformapplication of water by running 2–3hours daily. During reproductive phase(flowering and fruiting), micro sprinklersystem is replaced by drip system,which provides uniform and timelyirrigation and facilitates fertigation.Two lines of laterals (16 mm) should beplaced on each bed with drippers (4 1ph) at a spacing of 50 cm. Forfertigation, water soluble fertilizers likepolyfeed (19-19-19), multi-K (16-0-48)etc are desirable for better fertilizersuse efficiency. Drip system should berun twice or thrice a week as per theneed of plants and fertigation shouldbe given fortnightly for proper growthand development of the crop.
Time and stages of micro-irrigation system for strawberry cultivation
SystemPhase of growthIrrigation durationBenefitsMicro-sprinklerVegetative phaseDaily 2–3 hrs duringEarly and easy plant establish-system(Early growth)noon at interval ofment12 hrVigorous growth of plantCreation of better micro climateDrip systemReproductive phaseTwice or thrice a weekEasy and timely irrigation(flowering and fruiting)for 1–2 hr dependingFacilitates fertigationon weather conditionsUniform application of water andfertilizersMicro sprinklerRunner developmentDaily for 2–3 hrCreation of better microclimatesystemHealthy runner developmentVigorous runners
Drip system installed on bedsMulching with black filmA view of unmulched strawberry
Promising Technologies
Strawberry (
Duch.)is one of the most fascinating fruits of the world, which is a rich source of vitamins and minerals and has fabulousflavour and tantalizing aroma. Itcontains numerous important dietarycomponents and is a rich source of vitamin C. It also contains significantlevels of ellagic acid, which is thoughtto be an anticarcinogenic.
system, hence, water management isone of the most crucial factors for itscultivation in semi-arid regions. Micro-irrigation system (drip system + microsprinkler system), helps in supplying
3Plastic mulching
Mulching is an essential culturalpractice for strawberry cultivation.Black polyethylene file (50 micron) hasbeen found to be very effective forstrawberry for higher yield as it helpsin soil moisture conservation, weedcontrol and keeps the fruits clean andavoids fruit rotting due to soil contami-nation. Mulching should be done afterproper establishment of runners andbefore flowering (30–45 days afterplanting). Before mulching, micro-sprinkler should be replaced by dripsystem. Mulching should be done bymaking holes in such a way that plantscome above the film and drip systemremain below the plastic mulch.
Use of plastic tunnels
During winter (December–February) prevailing low temperaturehinder proper growth anddevelopment of strawberry, hence, lowtunnels (50- cm height) for transparentpolyethylene film (50 micron) shouldbe installed with the help of GI wireover the raised beds to protect thestrawberry plants from frost and chillywinds. These tunnels should beopened during daytime and closedduring the night, which, facilitatehigher soil temperature consequentlyleading to early flowering, and higherfruit yield. These tunnels should beremoved when the temperature startsrising (end of February).
Fruit harvesting
The plants start fruiting after 3–4months of planting. The fruits shouldbe picked when half to three-fourth offruit portion attains the natural crimsoncolour. The fruits should be harvestedin shallow plastic trays as they arehighly perishable and get damaged, ifbulky containers are used. Afterharvesting, fruits should be packed insmall plastic punnets and piled in CFBboxes for marketing. Fortransportation, refrigerated vansshould be preferred. By followingabove mentioned cultural practices,15–20 tonnes of strawberry fruits canbe harvested from one hectare.
Runner production
Strawberry is usually propagatedby runners produced by establishedplants. Generally, runner productionis very difficult under prevailingclimatic conditions in semi-aridregions. With certain modifications,runner can be produced for nextseason. After fruiting is over, mulchingis removed and plants are allowed toproduce runners on the beds. Duringrunner production, fast growing plantslike
Sesbania cannabina 
; syn
Time and stages of plastic mulching and low tunnel
Cultural practicesPhase of growthUses/remarksMulchingReproductive phaseCheck weed growth(black polyethylene)(flowering and fruiting)Better hydro-thermal regimes in soilPlastic tunnelReproductive phaseCheck frost damage(transparent polyethylene)(flowering and fruiting)Protection from chilled windsBetter micro climateEnhances earliness in fruitingHigher and early fruit yield
Economics* of strawberry cultivation onper hectare basis per year
Description of materialsApproximate cost(Lakh/ha)Planting material1.00(1,00,000 plants/ha)@ Rs 1/plantMicro-irrigation system (MIS)1.50Land preparation, planting0.20and intercultural operationPlastic film for mulching0.30and low tunnelManure, fertilizers and0.25pesticidesLabour charge0.50Packaging materials and0.50transportationMiscellaneous charges0.25
Total cost4.50
IncomeSales of fruits7.50(15 tonnes/ha@ Rs 50/kg)Sales of runners1.00(1 lakh @ Rs 1/plant)
Total income8.50Net profit4.00
*Simple calculations without use ofdiscounting procedures
View of straw mulchLow plastic tunnel on strawberry bedsduring winterRunner productions of strawberry
Promising Technologies

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