Like all varieties of fruit and vegetables that are more traded, even strawberries are now evaluated from an organic point of view, in accordance with the possible parasite control done through the available phytosanitary products; nowadays more attention is given to organic agriculture and with it to the production of organic strawberries, as it is a farming that aims at prevention and acts especially to improve soil fertility, with the purpose to control, reduce or eliminate cultivation problems.
Hydroponic cultivation of strawberries, has largely developed in recent years, especially along the Italian Adriatic coast and abroad for the industrial production in greenhouses.
Hydroculture in general, and that of strawberries in particular, allows to optimize all the elements responsible for the quality of the plant and of the final product, allowing also a higher production of strawberries of better quality, eliminating problems that arise from ground cultivations (dirty, slow, fungi, molds...) ad stardardizing the production of strawberries.
In many provinces of Italy, in recent years, has assumed increasing importance the production of organic strawberries.
The choice of the variety of organic strawberries represents a decision of great importance to the technical-economic success of cultivations, especially in low impact organic agriculture. The variety of organic strawberries to plant, must necessarily be more resistant than others, they have to be vigorous, hardy and constantly productive, producing big, bright
fruits that keep their colour also after storage. These characteristics for the production of organic strawberries of course, should not exclude also a high quality standard, which is able to convey a commercial strength to the sale of organic strawberries.
The genetic improvement, public and private, has introduced, in recent years, a number of new genetic accessions, resulting in an adaptation of varietal availability.
Today, the varieties of organic strawberries that are more cultivated are:
- ASIA STRAWBERRIES : Early season variety, selected by da New Fruits, that follows as to ripening the variety Alba. Fruits are cone shaped and very attractive, they have a good size and good organoleptic qualities. The colour becomes dark in case of high temperatures. The fruits' testure is not very good, and the plant is sensitive to anthracnose and phytophthora.
- ANTEA* STRAWBERRIES: variety selected by the Civ from Ferrara (Italy), it ripes little after the variety Alba and can be harvested for a very long period. It is a vigorous plant with a high level of productivity. Its inflorescensces are very long and it is important to remember it during transplantation, paying attention that there is an adequate distance between plants. Fruits are intensely coloured, cone shaped, quite tasty and with a consistency superior to average, with great advantages in the processing of the product after harvesting.
- RECORD STRAWBERRIES: late season variety, selected by the section situated in Forl? of the Cra-Istituto sperimentale per la frutticoltura (Fruit Research Unit), it will probably replace the "Idea" variety, compared to which this variety is better in fruit texture and colour that is more bright. The flesh is clear and tasty. The plant is vigorous, hardy, has a high level of productivity and fruits are of a good size throughout all the period of harvesting. Fruits concentrate around the collar, being this way protected from sunburn and from light hails. We suggest an early transplantation.
Other varieties of strawberries suitable to organic farming and to the production of organic farming are: Strawberries Alba, Onda, Clery, Roxana, Patty and Queen Elisa. The last two varieties, in particular,
differ for their hardiness, in other words for their capacity to adapt to different pedoclimatic conditions. On the other hand, we recommend not to use in organic farming less hardy varieties, such as Miss and Marmolada, still used in the traditional farming.