Objectives(s) of strawberry research and education:
Strawberry field research trials investigate potential season extension improvements of the matted row and plasticulture strawberry production system. Previous research has identified a functional and profitable plasticulture strawberry system, but new cultivar testing (including day-neutral and everbearing cultivars), new season extension techniques, day-neutral production systems and winter row cover management techniques still need to be explored and optimized to maximize grower financial returns.
Planned Scope of Research:
Strawberry research trials have been established at the OSU South Centers research farm in Piketon, Ohio since 1995. At each harvest yield data and fruit quality attributes are observed and recorded. Plant growth characteristics, fruit quality attributes (size, appearance, taste and soluble solids), insect and disease susceptibility and tolerance, and winter injury percentages are monitored and recorded.
Current strawberry research includes : (1) Current row cover recommendations for winter protection are effective but do not maximize winter plant protection, late season sunlight transmission or yield. A one-time early fall application may limit crown development and yield by limiting sunlight transmission to the plant. By investigating multiple treatments using sequential applications of lighter weight row covers throughout the fall and into winter and comparing these treatments to the standard single application in early fall (the control treatment) we hope to determine a system that maximizes winter protection while enhancing yield and overall plant growth.
(2) Testing of new strawberry cultivars, including day-neutral and everbearing varieties such as Albion, San Andreas, Monterey, Aromas, Diamante, Portola, Quinault, Seascape and other new varieties (dependent on variety availability) that have promise for Ohio plasticulture strawberry production need to be evaluated and compared to current variety recommendations such as Chandler.
Testing of day-neutral and everbearing summer and fall fruiting season extension growing techniques will be evaluated for (3) plastic mulch color (white vs. black plastic mulch) and (4) planting dates (spring vs. fall).
Potential outcomes & significance of outcomes:
The plasticulture strawberry industry is steadily growing in Ohio based on previous research conducted by the OSU South Centers and funded by the OVSFRDP and the past Ohio Fruit Growers Society. An estimated 100 acres of Ohio plasticulture strawberries were planted in 2012 with many “new” growers planting throughout Ohio. These field experiments help to reduce production risks, maximize yields and improve grower returns by extending the harvest and marketing season into the summer and fall by exploring new row cover management techniques, cultivars, winter protection and season & market extension production systems.
Strawberry varieties include: Chandler, Canarosa, Albion, San Andres, Benecia, Camino Real, and Radiance.
- Plasticulture Strawberry Production Article, May 2012 (pdf)
- Using a Compost Sock System as Growth Medium, May 2010
- 2015 Midwest Small Fruit and Grape Spray Guide
- Midwest Strawberry Production Guide
- Integrated Management of Strawberry Diseases
- Fruit Disease Fact Sheets from OSU Extension
Diet and Health