Soft Fruit Agronomist, Dr Neil Holmes, looks at how growers can prepare their soft fruit for the winter season.
As soft fruit tunnel grown crops near the end of this year’s production, next season’s cropping comes into focus. Plant material will already be on order and so growers are naturally thinking about their own propagation or the supply of plants from their preferred propagator.
There is always concern about raspberry canes developing rots and botrytis in cold storage so it would be prudent to ensure copper (Cu) levels are optimised to allow the effective lignification of tissues, particularly the rind. However, excess copper can encourage senescence, so assessment of Cu levels and the correct timing of applications is paramount before canes are stored.
Strawberries propagated outdoor could get a final nutrient application to build crown size before storage. Recent SAP analysis performed by OMEX has shown that macro nutrients and particularly nitrogen (N) is depressed after the autumn equinox, so consider foliar feeding with Folex N (urea) or Bio 20 depending on recent analysis. Foliar feeding in this instance is perfect for getting a quick response from the crop.
For those growers getting ahead, consider plumping up fresh coir bags laid in situ with the assistance of Kobra, a wetting agent that breaks down the surface tension of water and allows moisture to percolate into the very corners of coir bags and troughs. It is a great value product too, costing mere pence per 1000L stock tank.
For further information, please contact your local OMEX advisor or your distributor, here.