Production Guide for Organic Strawberries
This guide for organic strawberry production is focused on nutrient and pest management practices and includes topics that have an impact on improving plant health and reducing pest problems. The guide is divided into sections, but the interrelated quality of organic cropping systems makes each section relevant to the others.
Strawberries are moderately amenable to organic production. The greatest challenge, by far, is weeds, particularly in the planting year. Studies have shown that sustained weed pressure in the planting year can negatively affect yield for several subsequent years. It is also difficult to provide a large amount of nitrate nitrogen when the strawberry plant needs it most: early spring and late fall. There are also a few pests that can be impossible to control organically if the weather does not cooperate (e.g. gray mold on fruit). But, with sufficient attention to weed management, especially in the planting year, and with good soil nitrogen reserves, strawberries can be successfully grown with organic production methods.