Opportunities for growing stone fruit in a greenhouse

Throughout history, new strategies and technologies have played a key role in promoting the development of agriculture. The cultivation of peach and apricot in controlled greenhouse conditions is one such strategy. The aim of the protected cultivation of these species in greenhouses is to grow fruit trees by modifying the natural environment of the tree, including the harvest duration, which can be extended. This protected cultivation should improve yield, thus increasing the benefit–cost ratio, especially in the case of organic production.

This study reviews the main factors involved in greenhouse fruit tree cultivation, including the planting systems and substrate, cultivar and rootstock selection, pollination management, orchard management, and environmental management. Greenhouse cultivation makes it possible to control environmental conditions like wind speed, moisture, temperature, mineral nutrients, light intensity, and the atmospheric composition, and thus gives us a better understanding of growth factor requirements, and the means to improve fruit productivity. A protected environment has been shown to be effective in maintaining a relatively high temperature and preventing leaf injury due to environmental factors, resulting in a longer period of photosynthetic activity, which increases the photosynthetic production, and is therefore a suitable alternative strategy for production in cold regions.

The main benefits of apricot and peach cultivation in greenhouses are: (1) precocity; (2) high fruit quality, storage life, and market proximity; and (3) good plant health, suitable for organic cultivation. However, the main limiting factors for fruit tree production in greenhouse conditions to take into account are: (1) light scarcity at high latitudes; (2) a lack of cold for bud breaking, flowering, and fruit production; (3) potentially excessive temperatures in warm regions, which reduce the photosynthesis rate; and (4) a reduction of fruit quality, coloring, and aroma compounds in certain warm conditions with light day/night temperature variations.

Read the complete article at www.researchgate.net. 

Martínez-Gómez, P.; Rahimi Devin, S.; Salazar, J.A.; López-Alcolea, J.; Rubio, M.; Martínez-García, P.J. Principles and Prospects of Prunus Cultivation in Greenhouse. Agronomy 2021, 11, 474. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11030474 

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