January 20, 2022 3:38 pm Published by LauraE
soft fruit update

The latest soft fruit update from OMEX technical expert, Dr Neil Holmes.

As the new growing season approaches, soft fruit crops are preparing for the season ahead. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and cherries will all have accumulated chill units and will be ready to grow rapidly.

For those crops that did not get an autumn bud-building application of micronutrients, consider treating blueberry or cherry crops with an application of Micromex, a multi-nutrient trace element package which contains zinc, boron and iron as well as other nutrients.
When laying out substrate bags or pots, consider using Kobra to speed up wetting of the growing media. Kobra contains wetting agents which reduce the surface tension of the irrigated liquid to give even moisture penetration throughout the growing media.

In all soft fruit, establishment can be improved with the use of Kelpak. This kelp concentrate, derived from Ecklonia maxima, contains 400 times more plantactive polyamines compared to either Ascophyllum nodosum seaweed extracts or other Ecklonia maxima products. This high concentration of polyamines has been attained due to the unique cell burst technology employed by Kelpak which conserves Eckol, a phlorotannin which improves rooting, along with the other plant active molecules.

The application of potassium phosphite, O-Phyte, has a biostimulatory effect in soft fruit crops. In strawberries, growth and fruit quality parameters have been scientifically proven to be enhanced when phosphite has been applied(1,2) to the roots. Concentrations of chlorophylls, amino acids and proteins were all improved after root application. Potassium phosphite is systemic and highly mobile within the plant and can assist in the uptake of cations such as ammonium, calcium, magnesium, and iron.

In very changeable weather associated with spring, leaves can be subject to temporary calcium deficiency, termed “tip burn”. These symptoms can be alleviated by the application of CalMax Ultra, a multi nutrient foliar feed that contains calcium and “AXM” a molecule
which enhances calcium uptake into the plant.

For more information on the products talked about in this months soft fruit update, contact your local OMEX advisor.


1 Estrada-Ortiz, E., Trejo-Téllez, L.I., Gómez-Merina, F.C., Núnez-Escobar, R., Sandoval-Villa, M., 2011. Respuestas bioquémicas en fresa al suministro de fósforo en forma de fosfito. Rev. Chapingo Ser. Hortic. 17, 129-138.

2 Estrada-Ortiz, E., Trejo-Téllez, L.I., Gómez-Merina, F.C., Núnez-Escobar, R., Sandoval-Villa, M., 2012. Phosphite on growth and fruit quality in strawberry. Acta Hort. 947, 277-282.

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