Vertical technology keeps strawberries warm in gutters

In the Nongdeng strawberry park in Jiading, a 4,000-square-meter multi-span greenhouse is filled with warmth. This was originally an empty greenhouse. But after hearing that the village was looking for a new owner, Wang Dongming, the head of Nongzhi Ecological Technology, took the initiative to contact the village committee to renovate and upgrade the greenhouse. He also modernized it. Quite unlike the traditional way of growing strawberries, all the strawberries here adopt the vertical soilless cultivation mode and use organic matter to provide nutrition for the growth of strawberries. 

However, vertical cultivation also has problems such as high costs and difficult temperature control. According to Wang Dongming, under the traditional planting mode, strawberries can obtain the temperature from the soil. Under normal circumstances, the ground temperature will be about 10 °C higher than the room temperature. Therefore, ground cultivation has good thermal insulation. However, the vertical planting is completely off the ground, and the temperature in the gutter is inconsistent with the outdoor temperature. 

Last year, Wang Dongming first experimented with vertical strawberry cultivation, and he encountered a big cold wave. Because the temperature was not well controlled, the yield was low. So this year, he and the cooperative researched and invented a set of heating equipment suitable for vertical strawberry cultivation. This equipment saves energy in an efficient way. It can be placed in the standing racks to gently warm the strawberries. The test was successful, and the utility model patent was authorized at the beginning of this month.

"Compared with the traditional method of heating the entire greenhouse, this equipment can help save operating costs. Heating of the entire greenhouse consumes a lot of electricity, but if it is with this equipment, around 2666m2 of strawberries only need to consume 20 kilowatts of electricity, which can save 10 times the electricity costs. The traditional heating method, using electric heating, hot air blower or diesel hot air blower, costs about 2,000 RMB a night, and the diesel oil pollution will also have the risk of contaminating strawberry leaves and causing their death.” Wang Dongming said.

In order to better help strawberries survive the winter, this year, Wang Dongming not only used this new equipment but also added a layer of inner film on the standing racks to achieve a better thermal insulation effect. At present, Hongyan and Zhangji, the main strawberry varieties planted here, have been ripe for the market gradually, and they are open for tourists to pick in the same period. It is expected that there will be large quantities of strawberries ready by the end of this month.

Source: wsyy-xyz

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