Sustainable Growing

Bye bye to strawberries as a seasonal fruit

Ellen Seelen
October 10, 2023

Traditionally, the spring season has always been the prime time for strawberries. Particularly when grown outdoors. But there is more and more proof that global strawberry cultivation is at a turning point. The latest step is to start cultivating year-round, possibly providing fresh produce in the midst of winter.

Golden strawberry

Mega trends

With mega trends such as increasing consumer demand for fresh and healthy food and the availability of consistent, high-quality fruit year-round, commercial strawberry propagators and growers are constantly looking for ways to optimise their growth strategy.

Maximising production

One way to maximise production, is to move towards the production of everbearers. Another way is the transformation from outdoors to indoors and from indoors to out-of-soil growing. This change is steadily taking place, fuelled by the greater realisation of the role that the high-tech hydroponic greenhouse plays in sustainable food production systems. 

Higher value is here

A recent trial by Grodan at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in The Netherlands has already demonstrated that strawberries can be propagated and cultivated on a stone wool substrate while maintaining high quality, and attractive fruit size. This trial was done using Grodan stone wool substrates combined with the sensor system and data platform for optimum crop control, steering it precisely to achieve higher yields and better product quality.

Year-round yield

Each trial has led to more research questions, pushing knowledge and learning for Grodan and its partners to new boundaries. As a result, the latest trial is aimed at revolutionising year-round high-tech strawberry cultivation using stone wool growing media and cutting-edge LED technology. Again based at the WUR, Grodan is teaming up with Fluence in this demonstration trial, where the strawberries’ growth, yield and quality will be evaluated. The key agronomic treatments to be investigated include lighting, irrigation and climate management strategies.

Sharing knowledge

Grodan is set to share the knowledge from the trials with growers and stakeholders in the industry. So stay tuned for more info on a number of events in 2023 and 2024, and for ongoing updates on this ground-breaking trial from both Fluence and Grodan.

Anywhere, anytime

Both companies will work to redefine the best practices in the cultivation of high-tech everbearing strawberries. The potential that lies within shows that high-tech greenhouse cultivation using stone wool substrates and LED technology truly is designed to grow anywhere, anytime.

Learn more