Winter is a quieter time in Central Coast strawberry fields, with plenty of soggy ground due to a wet start to the season. That traditionally changes as spring approaches, with expected warm and dry weather leading to plant growth, flower development, and berry formation.
The Central Coast is a major producer of strawberries, providing a significant portion of California’s $2 billion a year industry.
Once strawberry transplants went into the ground in early fall, growers I work with utilized RootRx™, H-85™ and Rootex™ to help with root development. There’s hardly a bigger foundation to a strong crop than successful root growth.
We aren’t too far away from go time in strawberries, when growers encourage plant growth and berry development. In my region, they try to time peak harvest around Mother’s Day, which is a strong period of demand. I’m working with growers to incorporate H-85™. It stimulates microbial activity in the soil, adds carbon, and wakes up the root zone. As a result, when fertilizer goes on, plants are more receptive to nutrient uptake.
A strong option is DermaPlex+™. Just a small amount promotes root growth and microbial activity. The Trichoderma metabolites found in this product do an excellent job attracting beneficial microbes to the root zone.
Adding further positive momentum for the spring berry crop is Mainstay™ Calcium 2.0 at a pint per acre each week and Mainstay Si at a rate of a quart every other week. They help strengthen cell walls and firmness of the berries.
Mites were a major problem in coastal berry fields last year, attacking fields in large numbers, with organic fields especially hard hit. No one wants a repeat invasion this year.
Through Mainstay™ Si, a stronger plant develops, providing greater defense against abiotic stress and, ultimately, anything else deterring the crop.
In the water management area, it’s important to continue to find ways to combat salt and nitrates in the soil, which are major areas of concern locally and in several farming areas of the state. At just a quart per acre per week, Rx Platinum™, H-85™, F-70™ or DermaPlex+™ can improve nitrogen uptake and cut N applications significantly (I’ve seen 25 percent reductions in this area).
These steps are part of the foundation of getting crop set, fruit size, sweeter berries and a strong ROI for growers. When that happens, it’s a great feeling, knowing our Redox Bio-Nutrients line were a big part of the successful formula!