December 14, 2017

Biodegradable Mulch

One of the objectives with our annual day-neutral strawberry system was to compare biodegradable mulch with standard white on black plastic mulch.  During the 2017 growing season, we compared Bio360 biodegradable compostable black mulch film with our standard white on black plastic mulch. As stated from the manufacturer’s website, Bio360 is made of Mater-Bi®, a plastic that […]

Weed control – what not to do

The winter rye, which was planted in May 2017 as a cover crop in between the rows, failed to provide adequate cover to suppress weeds.  By mid-August, the winter rye had died off, which allowed weeds to take over in between the rows.  Our best guess is that the winter rye had met it’s reasonable […]

Strawberry Fall Harvest

We continue to be impressed with the quality and quantity of strawberries coming from our day-neutral low tunnel system.  As of October 3, we are still harvesting strawberries twice per week with no sign of slowing down in the near future. With the cooler fall weather we’ve been having in the last few weeks, we […]

A word from our grower cooperators

Site visits to our three grower cooperators took place during mid-season and again at the end of the growing season.  They assisted with planting, cultural practices, harvest and worked with us to develop and refine the systems in this project, and to assist in educating other growers. Our grower cooperators were: Mary Jo and Laverne […]

2016 Strawberry Economics

During the 2015 and 2016 seasons, we made comparisons between low tunnels and non-tunnels to determine if the extra labor, time and expense in constructing the low tunnel system produces comparable yields, or if yields are significantly higher, making the low tunnel system profitable for growers. At the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) […]

Healthy plants = Healthy fruit

July is already here, and our day-neutral strawberry plants are looking great!  We’ve seen no evidence of any leaf spot disease; our plants appear to be robust and healthy. It’s extremely important to remove flowers around the first week of July in order to have ripe fruit approximately three weeks later.  By this time, plants […]

Strawberry Economics

Our current project continues to build on our last three years of research with organic production systems for day neutral strawberries to extend the season using plasticulture with and without low tunnels. Comparative field trials were established in 2015 on organic-certified land at the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC), Morris […]

Build a Low Tunnel!

Participate in the construction of a low tunnel!  Tour will also include growing techniques and tips for day-neutral strawberry cultivars in the Upper Midwest. Tour is part of our annual Horticulture Night at the West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris.  Thursday, July 28, 2016; tour times at 5:15 and 7:15 pm.  For more info, […]

Growing organic strawberries in Minnesota

by Emily Hoover, Carl Rosen, Jim Luby, and Suzanne Wold-Burkness. Many of the practices in conventional strawberry production are applicable to organic growers as well; starting with site selection and planting healthy, virus-indexed plants obtained from a reputable nursery. Organic strawberry production methods are determined by the USDA organic certification standards. In general, the standards allow […]