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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1137: International Symposium on Innovation in Integrated and Organic Horticulture (INNOHORT)

Possibility of strawberry cultivation in intercropping with legumes: a review

Authors:   S. Dane, V. Laugale, L. Lepse, D. Sterne
Keywords:   Fragaria ananassa Duch., peas, beans, clover, protein, sustainability
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1137.12
The aim of this literature survey was to obtain an overview of the latest research into strawberry cultivation and intercropping systems in order to assess the possibility of growing strawberries in intercrop with legumes. Strawberries (Fragaria ananassa Duch.) are one of the most popular berries worldwide. The traditional cultivation of strawberries in rows with a considerable distance between them leaves a significant area of the soil surface unused. According to the current demand for sustainability, the maintenance of this unused soil surface is considered to be a loss. Intercropping offers a new approach to crop cultivation. This unused soil surface between strawberry rows is an area in which intercropping can be used. Legumes can provide nitrogen, as well as biological and physical barriers against pests and diseases. Since leguminous plants constitute an important part of food and feed, growing them as an intercrop makes it possible to optimize land use and to ensure protein output for consumption. Legumes are also used to improve soil quality. Introducing intercropping in horticulture is important due to the decrease in soil fertility caused by intensive and inappropriate land use. The main focus of this survey was on the use of legumes as intercrops in strawberry fields to maintain strawberry quality and possibly improve it. Intercropping systems require less pesticide use, thus diminishing the environmental load and ensuring consumer demand for healthy food. This system can be adapted to organic and integrated farming. The main disadvantages of intercropping are the more complicated maintenance of fields and the harvesting of both cultivated plants. An interplant (in this case - legumes) also results in lower yields than when it is planted as a monocrop. According to this literature survey, the intercropping of strawberries and legumes may be profitable. Field experiments need to be carried out to further evaluate this cultivation system within a horticultural context.

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