Date of this Version
HortTechnology, December 2013, 23 (6), pp. 800-802.
As a floriculturist, when I first decided to grow strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa) in the greenhouse, I thought it would be a snap. After all, I could practice what I preach to my classes in that I would use all the sustainable growing tricks from floriculture, create a production time line and it would be ready, set grow. However, moving a field-grown summer crop into a greenhouse as a winter crop was not the same as moving a winter greenhouse-grown crop outside for the summer. Not only were the plants typically grown in lush field soil, but also the fertilizer recommendations were not directly translatable (i.e., parts per million nitrogen). The pesticides used were not licensed for greenhouses and of course, there were no clues as to schedules of what to do when. Finally, there were the mystery problems that occurred.With high gas prices and the interest in local food production, it seems probable that over the next 5 to 10 years, more and more fruit, vegetables and even nut plants will be moved into greenhouse and high tunnel production. The purpose of this article is to identify the kinds of information needed to make a ‘‘smooth’’ transition from field to greenhouse for alternative crops, like strawberries, grown during nontraditional seasons.