Effect of Planting Systems and Growing Media on Earliness, Yield and Quality of Strawberry Cultivation under Soilless Culture
Soilless growing is becoming an attractive option because of the contamination of agricultural land due to the use of excessive fertilisers and insecticides to get higher productivity per unit area and the yield advantage with soilless culture getting more yield per unit area than the conventional growing. Effects of two planting systems and various growing media on earliness, yield and quality (colour L, C, ho, the rupture of calyx, firmness, total soluble solid, acidity and vitamin C) in strawberry (Fragaria Ã— ananassa Duch.) cultivation under soilless culture was studied. Two different planting seasons i.e., summer and fall were chosen and growing media was composed of peat (Pt), perlite (Pr), cocopeat (Co), volcanic tuff (Vlc) and their combinations. Results showed that fall planting system was favourable in terms of earliness but summer planting gave better results in terms of total yield. Moreover, the first harvest of summer planting was February, whereas the first harvest of the fall planting was in December. Early yield in the fall planting comprised 36.0% of the total yield. The Co and the Co+Vlc media were more favourable than other media with regard to yield, earliness and fruit quality. In addition vegetation period was found from January to May and it was observed that as the total soluble solids values increased in fruits, acidity and vitamin C values decreased.