Some strawberry growers stop applying fertilizer after harvest, but this is a mistake. Depending on soil analysis, growers should continue to feed after picking, and pay particular attention to potassium. This will help ensure vigorous crop growth when the weather improves in the following Spring and in turn improved productivity
Benefits of Post Harvest Fertilization for
Post harvest fertilization not only maximizes the amount
carbohydrate laid down in the crown and roots but also increases
total nutrient levels. This reserve "keeps the plants going"
through the winter and when light levels increase in the Spring
provides the initial energy for root and shoot growth.
SF-C containing a high potassium level or Solufeed
Strawberry Special plus Solupotasse are ideally suited to this
Conventional fertilization in early Spring may be compromised by
cold and wet conditions and hence there will be a delayed
Soils under soft fruit production in the UK typically have
sufficient phosphorus (P) and magnesium (Mg), but tend to be low in
potassium (K). Potassium requirements for strawberries can be
as high as 125 kg/ha (as K2O). It can be
impractical to apply this much potassium through the drip
irrigation in-season because the amount of irrigation water becomes
a limiting factor. Potassium reserves can be built up in the
Autumn, so that only a maintenance level is required in the period
from flowering to harvest.
Additionally and again following final harvest, the crop
initiates flower production during the Autumn, in readiness
for following season. It is therefore important that
the crop receives adequate fertilizer at this time because mineral
nutrition is associated with changes in the plant phytohormone
levels, which are directly linked to flower formation.
Hormone levels can be directly boosted by foliar applications of
Genie Gold, containing concentrated seaweed extract.
Seaweed contains many plant growth hormones, including cytokinins,
that are associated with improved flower establishment.
Similarly, boron is essential for the whole flowering process
and the two issues can be addressed together with a convenient and
cost effective foliar applied tank mix of Solufeed
Genie Gold and Solufeed Boron 150
For more information on the whole subject of strawberry
nutrition, contact Solufeed.