Research trials were initiated in Dover, FL and at the Plant Science Research and Education Unit in Citra, FL in August 2017.
- beds were fumigated
- drip-tape laid
- plastic mulch installed
- erosion and runoff measuring devices were installed at both sites
- lysimeters were installed at the Citra site with plans for reuse at the Dover location
- living mulches were successfully established at Citra
- bare-root strawberry transplants (Sensation™ Brand ‘Florida127’) were planted and the overhead irrigation treatments were initiated immediately after transplanting to promote establishment
- At the Florida Strawberry Growers Association farm in Dover, two successive plantings of the living mulches failed to establish evenly across the site
- Establishment of an alternative set of living mulches (rye, oat, and triticale) was initiated in December
- Over the course of the project we have documented the growing cycle and project activities with photographs
Our objective was for farmers and agricultural service providers to evaluate the living mulches tested and identify potential benefits and limitations of our research. Our overall goal is to improve the sustainability of strawberry production in Florida.
Virtual Field Day Assessment:
- we created and launched a virtual field day (VFD) assessment that allows participants to assess our field research online
- we want to determine if the VFD increases our study enrollment and allows more Florida farmers to participate in our research
- we present photos of our field research and ask participants to select their favorite treatments while considering factors such as plant vigor, weed suppression, canopy cover, and biomass accumulation
- participants then elaborate on their selection and identify barriers to adoption of those living mulches in their strawberry production system
- we will use the assessment results to improve our future strawberry research
Several papers in preparation.