September 22, 2017

Harvesting and pests

    We’ve just finished up our 5th week of harvest here on the St Paul site, and it’s been an interesting year so far. It took awhile longer for the plants to start producing at their normal high rates, and total yields this year aren’t what we’re used to. There are multiple reasons for this: […]

Determining Optimal Nitrogen Rates

As promised in my last post, today I’m going to explain the purpose of the UofMN low tunnel strawberry project for the 2015 and 2016 seasons: determining optimal nitrogen rates for annual, day-neutral strawberry production in the Upper Midwest. Over the last 2 seasons we focused on which cultural practices and cultivars worked best in combination. […]

Day-neutral flower and runner removal

For our day-neutral strawberry project, we chose to remove flowers and runners early in the growing season, thus putting all of the plants growing energy into producing fruit.  We first removed flowers and cut runners in late May, again in early June and, finally in early July.  Timing of early July flower removal should provide […]

Low Tunnel Tour

The University of Minnesota (U of MN) and the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC), Morris, invite you to a tour of our day-neutral low tunnel strawberry plot.  Tours will be held on Thursday, July 30, 2015 beginning at 5:15 pm and again at 7:15 pm, running one hour in length each time. Low […]

2015 Low Tunnel Installation

By mid-May 2015, the snows have melted in south central MN, and installation season begins! This growing season, as in seasons past, features two major research sites- St Paul, MN and Morris, MN- in addition to several farmer collaborator sites. This post focuses on the low tunnel installation at the St Paul site, which took […]

Gearing up for the 2015 growing season

The winter months are the perfect time to make plans and preparations for our day-neutral low tunnel strawberry growing season.  We learned about a retractable tunnel system from Dubois Agrinovation out of Quebec, Canada.  After doing some further investigation of the system, we decided it give it a try for this year. In the past, […]

Frost damage in day-neutral strawberries

The official air temperature at the West Central Research and Outreach Center on October 4, 2014 was 32 degrees.  Even with the air temperature at 32, the temperature recorded in the low tunnel system was 34 degrees, which prevented the day neutral strawberry flowers and fruit from frost damage.  By comparison, the non low tunnel […]

Spotted wing drosophila

With any fruit crop, it is important to monitor and routinely check for insects and disease.  Once such insect that can be especially devastating to a strawberry crop is the spotted wing drosophila (SWD). In 2014, we changed our trap cup design.  We used a clear plastic quart-size cup, with lid, as seen below.  We […]

Strawberry leaf spot disease

In September, we noticed strawberry leaf spot in the non-low tunnel treatment, but not in the low tunnel.  This occurred at both the St. Paul and Morris locations.  For reasons unknown to us, the leaf spot affected only the non-low tunnel but not the low tunnel treatments.    

Mid-September Harvest

Even though cooler night temperatures in mid-September caused a decrease in fruit yield, the quality, appearance, size and flavor of these day-neutral strawberries remains excellent, as documented in our September 18 harvest:   Harvest began in early August for day-neutral varieties in both the low-tunnel and non-low tunnel systems, with two pickings per week.  The […]