Strawberry Production in Soilless Culture Systems.
Two greenhouse strawberry production studies were performed. In the\nfirst study, strawberry plants were grown in filtered aquaculture\neffluent. Freshly dug plants of cultivars Chandler and Sweet Charlie\nwere transplanted on 1 October 1995 in vertically-stacked square\npots (28 plants/m2) containing coarse perlite. The plants were fertigated\ncontinuously with commercial nutrient solution (pH 6.4 and EC=0.6\nmS/cm) or with once-through aquaculture effluent (pH 7.2, EC=1.6\nmS/cm, 6 mg/litre total suspended solids). Since nutrient concentrations\nin aquaculture effluent were about 15% of the levels measured in\ncommercial nutrient solution the following nutrients were supplemented\n(mg/litre): NO3--N (18), P (0.7), K (5), Ca(55), Mg (20) and S (9)\nand all micronutrients. However, the growth and fruit production\n(200 g/plant) in plants fertigated with aquaculture effluent was\nlow due to poor light conditions in the middle and bottom portions\nof the tower system and deficient levels of tissue N and P. In the\nsecond study, freshly dug and runner-tip plants of cultivars Camarosa,\nChandler, and Sweet Charlie were grown with a continuously flowing\ncommercial nutrient solution in nutrient film technique (NFT) troughs\n(13 plants/m2) from October 1996 to May 1997. Sweet Charlie produced\nfruit the earliest, beginning in early December, and Camarosa produced\nthe most fruit (445 g/plant). Generally runner-tip plants performed\nbetter than freshly dug plants. These studies indicate that a soilless\nstrawberry production system for off-season fruiting in the middle\nAtlantic coast region is possible.