(RxWiki News) Strawberries are tasty and have disease fighting nutrients. No wonder they’re in such high demand all over the country. Only one problem, strawberry season doesn’t last long enough...until now.
Researchers have found a new way to grow strawberries that may extend the season, so consumers can have more time to enjoy these premium fruits.
California and Florida have ideal natural growing conditions for strawberries because the season in these climates last from spring to fall. Researchers from the Utah State University have found that by using high tunnels in the Intermountain West region of the U.S. – states like Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and any state west of the Rockies - can extend the normal strawberry season past fall.
"You’ll be seeing more strawberries now that growing seasons are longer."
Usually strawberries grow best at temperatures ranging from 68 - 79F. However, the conditions in high-elevation valleys, particularly Utah, just don’t cut it. The temperatures during spring months are too high and too low during fall.
The high tunnel system is an in-ground vertical growing system that allows strawberries to be planted in the fall. By using these tunnels, researchers were able to begin strawberry production 4 to 5 weeks earlier than the outdoor field-grown production. That meant that strawberry production could be started in Western states in September – about the time the season ends in Florida and California.
Thanks to this agricultural innovation, you’ll have access to strawberries for more months out of the year.
The research is published in HortScience.