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Feeding young strawberry plants

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“Optimum nutrition of strawberry plants in the early stages of growth will significantly influence the crop’s performance later in the season”, advises David Howe, technical advisor in Scotland for horticultural fertiliser specialists Solufeed.

Nowadays most strawberry plants are created using micro-propagation. As well as being disease and pest free the young plants produced need to be robust, without a lot of vegetative growth and with a good root system ready to vigorously grow away and ensure quick establishment.

Recognising these needs, leading strawberry plant micro-propagators GenTech Propagation Ltd of Dundee, Scotland were looking for a water-soluble feed suitable for use in the early growth stages. After evaluating water and growing media analysis, that is provided as part of the company’s technical support services, Solufeed recommended the use of their Solufeed SF-C, a specialty 8:12:35+4MgO+TE formulation. The low nitrogen, which is present entirely as the available nitrate form, discourages undesirable, lush, soft leaf growth. This is balanced by a good level of phosphate to encourage root development and plenty of potassium to help form healthy and compact plants.

The feed was used from the stage at which the plantlets were transferred to trays and its use continued until the plants were ready for sale. Derek Scott, the Greenhouse Manager at GenTech, who was very pleased with these results, concluded, “The feed has certainly helped us produce top quality plants and we shall be using it in our standard feed programme from now on”.

For more information contact David Howe on 07860 920193 or visit www.solufeed.com.

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