Kekkilä Professional Eija Lankinen explaining about moisture level

Planting tips for strawberry growers

Guiding workers to plant strawberries should be done carefully, so here's a checklist of things to consider when planting.
  1. When the strawberry young plants arrive, the quality of the plants should be checked as soon as possible.
    You should take pictures and take notes if there is any doubt about the quality. In addition, in the future, pictures and notes can be used to compare young plant quality between different years.

 

  1. Prior to planting, check the conductivity and pH of the substrate.
    Check with your growing media supplier if you are unsure about the product’s target conductivity and pH. When you buy growing media from a reliable supplier, you can rely on the information provided by the manufacturer. However, keep in mind that storage time and conditions affect conductivity and pH.

 

  1. Maintain the correct moisture level in the substrate. When planting strawberry young plants, the correct moisture level is when a few drops of water come out when squeezing the substrate sample. We recommend adding water to the substrate according to the instructions. For example, a too wet substrate can cause root problems while a too dry substrate slows down growth. Watch this video to see how it can be done easily:

 

  1. When filling the containers, the correct filling quantity must be considered. If the substrate is too tightly filled in the container, the air space will be significantly reduced, and this can cause problems during the growing season. In addition, the growing medium is wasted when the containers are too full.

 

  1. The correct planting depth is important: the strawberry roots should be below the surface of the substrate, while the growth point should be left above the surface of the growing media. The roots should be placed as straight as possible so that they do not remain on the roll. This ensures the normal development of the roots and a good start for the growth of the strawberry plant.

 

  1. After planting, the growing media is lightly compacted around the strawberry plant. Once again, it is important not to compact too much to keep the air space optimal for the roots. A well-functioning root system guarantees a good harvest.

 

  1. The moisture content of the substrate at the beginning of cultivation must not be too high. Once the root system has developed well (about 2-3 weeks after planting), the amount of watering can be increased. It is advisable to monitor the humidity of the substrate either manually or using different measuring sensors from different parts of the tunnel or greenhouse.

 

  1. Monitoring of conductivity and pH from the beginning of cultivation is very important. When conductivity and pH are monitored daily, the necessary changes can be responded to more quickly. Conductivity and pH can be monitored with various meters. Significant changes in pH on peat-based media are usually quite rare due to the good buffering capacity of peat. Conductivity can rise too much especially on sunny and hot days when watered frequently. If necessary, the medium can be rinsed if this happens. Have a look at this article to learn more about EC and pH.