The benefits of growing strawberries under LEDs

The benefits of growing strawberries under LEDs

Greenhouse strawberry production is on the rise around the world. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of food production and are looking for alternatives to imported strawberries that may be harvested before peak maturity.

While the radiant heat from HPS lights is often welcomed by vine crop growers, this heat can be detrimental to strawberry crops, which prefer cooler temperatures. Because of this, growers can only use subpar light levels for strawberry production under HPS.

According to the team at Sollum Technologies, since LEDs produce less radiant heat, growers can apply much higher levels of light, achieving high yields without stressing the plants.

There is a lot of unknown in greenhouse strawberries as most growers are still working out exactly how to manage the greenhouse environment for this novel crop. Fully dynamic LED lighting allows growers to adapt their light parameters, rather than be restricted by their lights.

Studies are showing that cultivars have variable responses to lighting conditions; what works for Albion may not work for Harmony, for example.

One thing the research team at Sollum has learned is that that the first stretch of stems and flowering clusters is critical for ensuring proper airflow in the canopy, thereby reducing the proliferation of fungal pathogens, and facilitating scouting. With far-red light, greenhouse growers can boost stem elongation early on, then remove far-red once adequate stretching is achieved. Alternatively, growers can also keep far-red on during the winter months when low ambient light levels would otherwise limit flowering.

For more lessons learned, check out this business case from Sollum Technologies that explores the benefits of growing strawberries under LEDs.

Source: Greenhouse Grower

Photo: Sollum Technologies



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