Effect of root-zone heating on growth and quality of strawberry in greenhouses

Strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) is a major commercial horticultural crop which is commonly cultivated in greenhouses to avoid adverse climatic conditions. This experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of root-zone heating using positive temperature coefficient film on plant growth and fruit quality of strawberries during winter-season cultivation in greenhouses.

This experiment was conducted from the 20th of September 2019 to the 31st of March 2020. The growth, fruit production, and fruit quality of strawberries were compared among four conditions: coir control, rock wool control, coir with root-zone-heating treatment, and rock wool with root-zone-heating treatment. A more suitable temperature for strawberry growth was maintained in the root-zone-heating treatments than in the controls. In addition, the temperature in the root-zone heating was better maintained in the coir substrate than in the rock wool substrate. For vegetative growth, root-zone heating improved crop growth during the low-temperature period in the winter season from December to February, but in the case of the rock wool substrate, there was a negative effect on overall growth when the root zone was exposed to a high rather than optimum growth temperature.

However, in terms of reproductive growth, the emergence of flower buds was significantly faster in root-zone-heating treatments. Flowering was promoted, and fruit productivity also increased in root-zone-heating treatments. In addition, in terms of fruit quality, hardness, sugar content, and acidity were greater in the root-zone-heating treatments than in the controls. The researchers concluded that root-zone heating is effective in increasing the productivity and quality of strawberries during winter-season cultivation in the greenhouse.

Read the complete research at www.researchgate.net.

Jo, Won Jun & Shin, Jong Hwa. (2022). Effect of root-zone heating using positive temperature coefficient film on growth and quality of strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) in greenhouses. Horticulture, Environment and Biotechnology. 10.1007/s13580-021-00384-5. 


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