Influence of Different Soilless Substrates to Morpho-physiological Characteristics and Yield Relations in Strawberries
Some of the advantages of soilless production systems over conventional systems are higher yield, better pest control management and more efficient labor use. Among berries, strawberry responds quite well to soilless production systems. Major yield-affecting factors for strawberries in soilless systems may be listed as; growing medium, source and types of plantlets, density of plants and efficiency of fertigation system. The present research was conducted with strawberry plants (Fragaria x ananassa ‘Camarosa’) grown in four different media; (1) Cocopeat (C), (2) Peat (P) and (3 and 4) 1:1 mixtures with Pumice (Pu), to evaluate the effects of soilless media on marketable yield and root-shoot morpho-physiological parameters. Correlation measurements were made to assess if there is any interaction between yield and any tested morpho-physiological feature. The experiment was conducted in greenhouse, using frigo plantlets (11.6 plantlet/m2) planted in July and through 1 June of following year. Results showed that growth medium had an effect on yield, numbers of developed leaves, shoot-root dry mass, number and length of roots. Yield was correlated with these morphological features. Growth medium also had an influence on plant nutrient accumulations i. e., shoot accumulation of nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) and root accumulation of phosphorus (P) and all the micro-nutrients that with exception of boron (B). There were some interactions between yield and plant nutrient content of tissues determined by correlation analyses. The most striking were negative correlations with yield and shoot N–K amounts and positive correlation with yield and root P amount. Some positive correlations were also found between yield and copper (Cu), manganese (Mn) and zinc (Zn) contents of both shoot and root tissues. Boron (B) contents was correlated only with the root tissues. The medium which had the best overall performance for soilless strawberry production was C + Pu and should be recommended to be used with frigo plantlets of ‘Camarosa’.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10341-018-0382-x