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Effect of rooting time, pot size and fertigation technique on strawberry plant architecture


BACKGROUND: Flower induction and the reproductive and vegetative behavior of strawberry plants depend on several agronomic and nutritional factors.

OBJECTIVE: During propagation in the nursery, several fertigation techniques (nutrient amount and timing), rooting times and pot sizes were used to modify plant architecture.

METHODS: Different levels of nutrient applications were tested by setting the fertigation composition at 700 or 1000 μScm−1 electrical conductivity. Fertigation was continuous, delayed or temporary during the summer growth of Elsanta and Capri runner plants, for tray and mini-tray plant production. Early and late rooting dates were also compared.

RESULTS: The experiments showed the effects of the container type (tray and mini-tray) and the nutritional level on the plant architecture and reproductive behavior, with a major control of plant growth. Rooting time and fertigation timing also had some effects on plant architecture.

CONCLUSIONS: Propagation and fertigation techniques can become effective strategies for manipulating the architecture and the reproductive behavior of the plant. However, the interaction between many growing factors and plant growth may reduce the predictability of the effects.