Matted row cultivation is used with short-day varieties of strawberries in places where the winters tend to be quite cold. The plants are set into relatively flat ground, mulched with straw, and irrigated by sprayers. This system encourages stolons (or "runners") to form and start daughter plants, which in turn increases the number of plants contributing to fruit yields. Plants are only replaced every 3-5 years (when the plants become so old that their yearly productivity finally drops below economically acceptable levels). This method of cultivation predominates in the northeastern and midwestern United States.
Another method of strawberry production that has been the focus of a lot of interest for several years is hydroponic cultivation. The quality of hydroponic strawberries is just as high as strawberries grown in more conventional ways (perhaps even higher). And using hydroponics for strawberry farming also has a quite a number of potential benefits, including:
Besides lessening the environmental impact of farming, and the production of high-quality, organic strawberries, all of these benefits of hydroponics could make strawberry farming more profitable, too.
Nevertheless, hydroponics has remained a very minimally utilized method of production. Conventional strawberry cultivation remains economically viable at this time. Also, the initial time, training and money investments for switching to hydroponics are fairly substantial. As a result, many farmers simply don't consider converting their farms to hydroponic cultivation to be worth the current cost and effort.
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