February 23, 2017

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 […]

No Wind Damage

On June 20, 2016, we experienced a wind storm with wind speeds upward of 50 MPH.  While the plastic cover from our low tunnel system blew off the top of the hoops, the entire system was not damaged.  Thankfully, the bungee cords held the plastic close to the side of the hoops, as you can […]

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 […]

That’s a wrap: the 2015 growing season

As we reflect on the 2015 growing season, we think back on what worked well, what challenges we faced, and began to analyze data.  View our power point presentation of the 2015 season, as presented at the Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association meeting in January, 2016.

See us in action

Our day-neutral low tunnel strawberry project has gained attention from the local Morris community, thanks in part to the Morris Sun Tribune.  Throughout the months of June, July, August and September, staff from the local newspaper took pictures, video, and interviewed us on our method of growing day-neutral strawberries in Minnesota. They created three videos about […]

Rhizoctonia (Black Root Rot) on low tunnel strawberries

Our WCROC, Morris site had an unexpected disease pop up – Rhizoctonia, or black root rot.  We first noticed some strawberry plants wilting.  Then the underside of the leaves turned purplish, and curled up.  Eventually, the crown of the plants died. In order to properly diagnose, we collected plant and soil samples and sent into the […]

A visit with a low tunnel strawberries collaborator

As part of this project, we have several collaborating farms that are also growing day-neutral strawberries using a low tunnel system.  One of those collaborating farms is Prairie Horizons Farm  (Luverne and Mary Jo Forbord) in Starbuck, MN.  Steve had the opportunity to visit with them recently about their experience in the 2015 growing season. […]

Leaf spot disease

We have noticed slight leaf spot disease on the Albion day-neutral strawberry leaves within the last two months.  However, the disease pressure has increased in the last two weeks in the non-low tunnel plot.  As you can see below, the leaf spot is much more prevalent on the non low-tunnel plant leaves than in the […]

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, […]

Twospotted spider makes an appearance in low-tunnel system

Twospotted spider mite damage was detected on the leaves of day-neutral strawberry plants under the low-tunnel system in late July.  While the damage was slight, it certainly came as a surprise since we did not experience this type of insect problem in 2013 with our low-tunnel system.  Typically, the twospotted spider mite is found in […]