As this year’s strawberry plants are planted up in growbags on tabletops in polytunnels, now is the time to influence yield and quality with a planned customised fertiliser programme.
Jack Holden of Solufeed recommends starting the season with water analysis to determine the amount of calcium nitrate required for the crop. “Different varieties have specific nutritional needs especially with regards to Nitrogen and trace elements. Accurate nutrition is also dependent upon the type of substrate in which the crop is being grown and the sequence of fruiting.
“Calcium nitrate will provide the calcium and nitrate Nitrogen required according to the water analysis. Most growers use concentrated nitric acid to control the pH. The feed can be adjusted accordingly,” says Jack.
“The young plants need to be robust without excessive vegetative growth but with a good root system for rapid establishment. Strawberries require a N:K2O ratio of 1:2 during the vegetative stage prior to flowering. After flowering and during fruiting this changes to 1:3.”
According to Jack, another consideration is that whichever Solufeed fertiliser blend is used, the final EC remains within target and the solubility of the blend.
“Solufeed fertilisers are based on raw materials of the highest quality and water solubility. These include Librel chelates trace elements, Solupotasse extra soluble potassium, and Non Stop phosphates for high yields of firm sweet fruits with good shelf life.”
“This is all backed up with the Solufeed free advisory service to give the best advice on growing crops in any particular situation. In addition, we offer our customers an independent analysis service throughout the cultivation of the crop and guidance on continuing nutrient requirements.”