Variations in Growing Media and Plant Spacing for the Improved Production of Strawberry (Fragaria ananassa cv. Chandler)
Umbreen Shahzad1, Muhammad Ijaz1, Nauman Noor1, Muhammad Shahjahan2,
Zeeshan Hassan1, Azhar Abbas Kahn1, and Phoebe Calica3*
1College of Agriculture, Bahauddin Zakariya University
Bahadur Sub-Campus, Layyah, Pakistan
2Department of Plant Pathology, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan
3Research Head, Davao Doctors College, Davao City, Philippines
Strawberry was considered to be the fruit of temperate areas, but now it can be grown anywhere in the world such as in Pakistan and even in the Philippines. Strawberry is rich in vitamins and minerals – it is an excellent source of vitamins C and K; it likewise provides a good dose of fiber, folic acid, manganese, and potassium. They also contain significant amounts of phytonutrients and flavonoids, which make strawberries bright red. The study was designed to evaluate the effect of organic growth media amendments and plant spacing on the growth and yield of strawberry (Fragaria ananassa cultivar Chandler). Four different growth media – soil + peat moss, soil + poultry waste, soil + farm yard manure, and the combination of all these four media additives mixed with soil – were used with different plant-to-plant spacing of 20, 30, and 50 cm to evaluate their effect on the fruit size, total soluble solids (TSS), fruit yield, chlorophyll content, and fruit quality (i.e., fruit color and taste) of strawberry. These treatments were compared with soil only. The effect of soil combined with peat moss was significantly the best among all growth and fruit quality parameters tested. Peat moss amendment showed the highest fruit yield (531.56 g), chlorophyll content (12.53), TSS (8.45), fruit size, and fruit quality (red color with maximum sweet taste) compared with other growing media. The significant effects of all the parameters tested were confirmed through statistical analysis. Meanwhile, the results proved that 20 cm plant-to-plant spacing was the best – in terms of yield – for strawberries when planted in peat moss combined with soil. Hence, the study concludes that the production of strawberries (cultivar Chandler) was improved by utilizing 20 cm plant-to-plant spacing with peat moss amendments.
Strawberry (Fragaria ananassa) belongs to Rosaceae family of the genus Fragaria (Hancock, 1999). Strawberries are unique – with highly desirable taste and flavor – and are excellent source of vitamins, potassium, fiber, and sugars (Sharma 2004). It is marketed in winter and early spring. It is sold for high prices; therefore, it is assumed to be a profitable fruit. Aside from being a table fruit, it can also be used for several purposes such as jam, marmalade, juices, ice cream, and as frozen fruit. Strawberries contain a higher percentage of vitamin C, phenolics, and flavonoids compared with other berry fruits (Hakkinen & Törrönen 2000). . . . . read more
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