It's another year for the early-ripening strawberries in greenhouses. In the Strawberry Planting Agricultural Characteristic Industrial Park in Weijia Village, north-east China. In the uniform solar greenhouses, red strawberries are hidden among the green leaves and white flowers. Su Chen, a 32-year-old grower seized the business opportunity and devoted himself to agriculture. He decided to use a vertical soilless cultivation technology and controlled the time of flower bud differentiation through temperature control, overcoming the low temperature in winter.
"This is the first batch of strawberries. It has been on the market for more than 20 days. Many merchants from Tai'an and Laiwu have come to order, and the supply exceeds demand," Su Chen said. His company sells mainly the Japanese Tianbao strawberry variety. "When they first went on the market, it sold up to 160 RMB per kilogram, and with the changes in the market, it is basically maintained at around 120 RMB per kilogram."
The bees in the greenhouse are busy pollinating. Rows of vertical soilless cultivation gutters are arranged in an orderly manner, erected on a steel frame about 1 meter above the ground. The cultivation gutters are equipped with advanced water and fertilizer integration equipment. Every few meters, there is a hanging spray on the top and dripping irrigation is used to accurately water and fertilize the delicate strawberries, which is convenient for management.
According to Su Chen, strawberries grown in vertical soilless cultivation gutters are not limited by space. One plant can bear up to five or six fruits. As long as the temperature is uniformly controlled at 25°C and the humidity is maintained at about 40%, the growth and the size of the strawberry can be controlled with no pests, sweeter taste. Therefore, Su Chen planted the strawberries in September this year, and it went on the market within 70 days.