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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Season extension for strawberries in British Columbia Baumann, Thomas Ernst


The Pacific Northwest is recognized for producing high quality strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.). Unfortunately, these are produced over an extremely short season of no more than 4 weeks. This situation is ideal for the processing market but not the fresh market where an extended season is essential. However, the recently introduced production systems together with the introduction of the day neutral cultivars have the potential to extend the season. The purpose of the present investigations was to examine these systems and the various day neutral cultivars in southwestern British Columbia. The production systems investigated were the waiting bed and the raised hill row. Both systems involve traditional June-bearing (short day) cultivars planted sequentially, resulting in a harvest season of at least 10 weeks. Among the cultivars tested in the waiting bed system, ‘Rainier’ was the most promising and 'Hood' the least; 'Totem' and ‘Shuksan’ gave intermediate responses. In the hill row 'Rainier' was again the most promising. However, in the second year of both systems, when production occurs in the traditional 4 week time period, 'Totem' was the most promising. Comparing the 2 systems, hill rows were more profitable than waiting beds. Day neutral cultivars begin flowering approximately one month after planting, and fruiting occurs from June or early July until October. In these investigations, they were grown at various spacings on raised beds, covered with black plastic mulch and trickle irrigated. The most promising cultivars tested were 'Selva' and 'Tribute' and the most promising spacing was 30 cm.

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