Greening of Strawberry Plasticulture
The Greening of Strawberry Plasticulture
Research and extension activities will address the unsustainable practice of using an extended period of overhead irrigation to limit heat stress during the establishment of bare-root strawberry transplants on black plastic mulch.
On-farm and on-station field experiments will be conducted to compare:
- conventional high-volume sprinkler irrigation
- low-volume sprinkler irrigation
- high-volume sprinkler irrigation + living mulch
- low-volume sprinkler irrigation + living mulch
- sunn hemp
- hairy indigo
- slenderleaf rattlebox
- During strawberry establishment, irrigation infiltration and runoff will be assessed.
- Data will be collected on strawberry stand establishment, growth, and fruit yield.
- Living mulch suppression of weeds and sting nematodes will also be assessed.
We anticipate that the combination of low-volume sprinklers and living mulch in row middles will increase the sustainability of strawberry production by decreasing water use during bare-root transplant establishment, promoting infiltration at the expense of runoff, increasing the diversity of the cropping system, and improving cropping system resilience to weeds and to the sting nematode (Belonolaimus longicaudatus).