Strawberry tray-plants – It’s all about timing!

Optimized strategies for strawberry tray-plants

The market for strawberry tray-plants has grown enormously in recent years.

In addition to this growth the cultivation of strawberry tray-plants has become more specialized and more mature.

Mivena has been an active partner in soft fruit cultivation for many years, specifically the cultivation of tray plants with products such as Horti-Cote Plus CRF and Granusol WSF.

The challenges we face in the cultivation of strawberry tray-plants the coming years:

  • New promising varieties with their own characteristics and specific needs
  • The demand for specific plant types from the market
  • Efficient fertilization on recirculation tray fields
  • Correct fertilization strategy is the basis for a resilient crop and crop protection without chemicals

Horti-Cote Plus CRF best product for the job

We can proudly say that Horti-Cote Plus CRF plus particularly well applicable in the production of quality trayplants. This is the result of more than 12 years of fertilization research in tray plants at Trial Centre PC Hoogstraten and Delphy (Worldwide Expertise for Fruit & Flowers).

In particular, the stable, safe, high-end release curve is what sets Horti-Cote Plus CRF apart from other products in the market.

The big advantage of Horti-Cote Plus is that it does not react excessively to temperature increases. That makes the product very safe to use.

More information > Horti-Cote Plus CRF 16+6+11+2MgO+TE 6M

Root burning is an entry point for pathogens

Too high EC-level caused by not suitable fertilizers increases the chance of root burn. This disrupts the absorption of in particular calcium and gives pathogens an easy entrance.

It’s all about timing

For a practical fertilization schedule for tray plants, we recommend a combination of a coated basic fertilization (Horti-Cote Plus CRF) mixed through the substrate in combination with water-soluble fertilization (Granusol WSF).  In practice we see application with sprayer, irrigation system or a combination of these.

CRF-WSF ratio:
In general, we advise 70-90 kg N / ha with CRF Horti-Cote Plus 6M.
120-150 kg N / ha with our water-soluble schedules with Granusol WSF.

The correct timing of applying correct ratio of nutrients is most important. An example Sonsation benefits most from early fertilization on the tray field. Malling Centenary optimum for heavy plants is completely different.

Sodium and Chlorine

The strawberry is one of the most salt-sensitive cultivated crops. Recirculating water does not make it easier to keep salts such as sodium and chlorine below desired levels. In any case, what we can do is produce fertilizers that contain no or very limited amounts of undesirable salts as sodium and chlorine. Granusol WSF is a very pure crystalline fertilizer which contains no salts. If we have high sodium, chlorine level in the output water we must adjust this in the fertigation schedule as antagonistic interactions:

Sodium -> Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium

Chlorine -> Nitrate, Phosphorous Sulphur

Example, when sodium is high in your output water, keep other cations as Calcium, Magnesium Potassium good available.

Don’t use “unguided projectiles” in your substrate

With doses of basic fertilizer 3-6 kg per cubic meter, it is important that you are familiar with the release curve of the products. That way you won’t be faced with any surprises. Especially in the start phase of cultivation with high temperatures, there is a risk that the release is too high. For recirculation fields, this causes too high nitrates / nutrients in the drain with negative effects for a good start of your trayplants.

Optimal N-Ammonium – N-Nitrate ratio

Fertilization is all about finding the perfect ratio of nutrients. Especially with strawberry tray plants, this right balance is essential for good results. We like to work with pre-compounded fertilizers such as our Granusol WSF. With this strategy we always have the guarantee that we have the correct ratio of N-, cations and trace elements. For maximum growth results, it is important to scale up with ammonium nitrogen at the right time, depending on the variety and crop status. 

More information > Granusol WSF mmol overview

The perfect starter

A good start is half the battle, certainly applies to tray plants. Our flagship Granusol WSF 10+52+10+MgO+TE+MV10 is the best guarantee for maximum result. The phosphate in this product is very easily absorbable and permanently available for the new root tips.

More information > Productsheet – Granusol WSF 10+52+10+MgO+Te+MV10

Trial results fertilization trayplants:

PC Hoogstraten – Optimize efficiency Topdress Horti-Cote Plus 2M
2021-Monitoring tray-plants (plant mapping)
2022-Fruit production results

Favori 3-year trial
Delphy Berry plaza – Different nutrition levels in this everbearing variety – Results on fruit production and quality.

Elsanta 5-year trial results
PC Hoogstraten.

  • Production effect with 1.5 – 3 – 5 kg Horti-Cote Plus CRF 16+6+11+2MgO+TE 6M basic fertilizer mixed in the substrate.
  • Effect of trace elements (Hortmix) in substrate.
  • Optimal release Horti-Cote Plus CRF 6M.
  • Horti-Cote Plus + MYC

More information > Mivena strawberry leaflet