Irrigation and Fertilization Plans
The two main types of irrigation for strawberries are drip irrigation and overhead sprinklers. June-bearing strawberries can use either system, but day-neutral strawberries require drip irrigation.
When exploring irrigation systems and vendors, select a system that can monitor water delivery and soil moisture. An efficient system with moisture monitoring should apply appropriate water rates based on the plants’ growth stage and soil moisture. Consult with irrigation suppliers to compare systems and find one that works well for your farm.
Deciding how much and when to irrigate
Strawberry plants require around 1 inch of water per week during establishment and 1 to 2 inches per week in production years.
Of course, these numbers will change somewhat depending on the soil type, as sandier soil does not retain water as much as heavier soils.
Temperature, cloud cover and plant growth rate all impact how quickly water is lost from the soil and the plants.
Use soil moisture sensors in the field to determine irrigation timing. Aim to maintain a level of soil moisture (50% field capacity) rather than inches per week. Moisture sensors take the guesswork out of estimating irrigation needs based on rainfall or how wet the soil feels and will help prevent over-watering.
As a rule of thumb, soil moisture in a strawberry field should not fall below 50% field capacity. Use the data from the moisture sensor in combination with weather data, to determine when you need supplemental irrigation.
Fertilization recommendations for growing strawberries, depending on various factors and fertilization method