Strawberry fruit is prevalent owing to its nutritional quality, colour, aroma, texture, and taste. This fruit is popular as ice-creams, cakes, milkshakes and other such desserts worldwide. Artificial flavouring is also used in cosmetics, hand sanitizers, candies etc. Packed with vitamins, high levels of antioxidants, and fibre are the speciality in strawberries.
In India, farmers cultivate strawberries in Satara districts, Kalimpong in West Bengal, Bangalore, Nainital and Dehradun. The Satara districts of Mahabaleshwar, Wai and Panchgani, account for 85% of strawberry cultivation in India.
Strawberry fruit farming requires the most variety of equipment, which plays a major role in agriculture processing. Tools, harvesters and tractors are the main factors in the cultivation of any fruit. Hence, we suggest the Mahindra Jivo 365, which is better for increasing efficiency in the field.
Process of Strawberry Plant Farming
The botanical name of Strawberry is Fragaria Anasa. It is a fibrous root system with a herbaceous plant. The flowers of this plant appear in small clusters and are usually white. The fleshy part of the fruit is a holder (receptacle) to hold the ovary together. The part that appears as the seed is the ovary surrounding the seed, appearing on the fruit’s outer side.
Soil for Strawberry Cultivation
Strawberries have a fibrous root system. Hence most of its roots remain in the top-soil, which penetrates to a maximum depth of 15 cm. Therefore, farmers require humus-rich soil for its cultivation. You should note that strawberries are not grown on the soil that was earlier used to cultivate tomato, potato, raspberry, pepper or eggplant as these are highly nutrient extracting plants. They strip the soil of their nutrients.
Climate for Strawberry Plantation
Strawberry cultivation requires a temperate climate, although some varieties can grow in subtropical climates. They are short-day plants and require eight to twelve hours of light (sunlight) for about ten days during flower formation.
It is dormant and does not grow during the winter. After winter comes spring when the days get longer. Therefore, the plants get the sunlight that initiates the development of flowers. However, in varieties grown in subtropical regions, where winters are mild, the plant grows.
Strawberries are classified into two groups based on their response to the length of the photoperiod:
Overbearing Varieties: They develop flower buds during long as well as short light periods.
Commercial Varieties: This variety develops flowers only during short light periods.
Season of Strawberry Plantation
The maximum vegetative growth of strawberries occurs in autumn. It goes dormant when winter comes. After winter, it begins to flower during the spring. Therefore, strawberries are usually planted from September to October. Early planting will result in low yield as such plants lack vigour.
Water Requirement and Irrigation
Strawberry, a shallow-rooted plant, requires frequent watering, or it can be affected by drought conditions. However, it does not require much water in terms of quantity. Farmers need water to keep the roots moist to promote vegetative growth.
Autumn planting promotes vegetative growth if farmers regularly irrigate the runners after planting. Farmers irrigate the new plants and buds to ensure growth in the runners’ produce, resulting in early rooting.
If there is no rain at the time of plantation, they irrigate the field twice a week. During the winter months of December & January, farmers irrigate once every fifteen days. The frequency increases again when the flowers begin to develop into strawberry fruits. Frequent irrigation during the fruiting stage helps in producing large fruits.
Excessive irrigation is harmful to the plant. Farmers irrigate rows and alleys 2-3 days before cultivation. They should take care to give water to the roots during irrigation. Wetting the leaves or fruits of flowers increases the chances of getting a fungal infection. Prudential irrigation is essential during the harvesting period to obtain good quality fruits.
Land Preparation for Strawberry Cultivation
For cultivating strawberries, farmers must plough the land deeply and then harrow. Organic fertilizers like field manure, neem cake etc., are added to the soil before the runners are applied. Different systems of strawberry planting are followed, such as a matted row, hill system, spaced row or plastic mulch.
Sowing Strawberry Plant
Farmers should pack the soil in a compact way around the roots to keep air out. However, make sure that the growth point of the strawberry plant remains just above the surface of the soil. They should irrigate this crop immediately after planting and not allow it to dry out.
We guide some essential points in the strawberry farming process, such as which equipment farmers can use in strawberry cultivation. We suggest the New Holland 3630 tractor for this farming because this tractor offers the best features at a fair price.
Health Benefits of Strawberry with Some Health Tips
- Strawberry is Best for the heart, and it helps to increase HDL (GOOD) cholesterol.
- It helps us to control body blood pressure.
- This fruit is full of vitamins and some other healthy nutrients.
- It also has an antioxidant nature that helps provide us with a good energy level.
For more information regarding strawberry farming, stay tuned to Tractor junction.