Workshop: How to Grow Bigger, Better Strawberries and Get Them Earlier

May 25, 2016, 5:30pm - 8:30pm

Small-fruit researchers with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University will offer a workshop May 25 on a production method that results in larger, sweeter strawberries and can help growers extend the harvest season by weeks.

Called plasticulture strawberry production, the method is an increasingly popular technique in which strawberries are planted in September and grown over the winter using plastic to keep the soil warm and suppress weed growth, according to Brad Bergefurd, a horticulturist with Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).

The method results in larger, sweeter berries during an earlier harvest period, according to the results of an OSU Extension research trial conducted by Bergefurd, who is based at The Ohio State University South Centers in Piketon. OSU Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms of the college, respectively. OSU South Centers also are part of the college.

The workshop, which will be hosted by Bergefurd, will include discussion on:

·         Winter protection techniques

·         Israeli drip irrigation demonstration and management

·         Fertigation and nitrogen management

·         Row cover management

·         June-bearing, day-neutral, ever-bearing cultivar evaluations

·         Pest and disease control

·         Integrated pest management (IPM) techniques

·         Petiole sap analysis demonstration

The workshop is 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at OSU South Centers, 1864 Shyville Road, in Piketon. Registration is $20, which includes a light meal and educational handouts.

For registration, contact Charissa Gardner at 740-289-2071, ext. 132. The deadline to register is May 23.