The North European market shows a growing demand for red fruits, in particular strawberries, which is scarcely met by domestic production. Harsh climate, short summers and the insolation present only for few months per year, make the harvests, often also those in greenhouses, more limited than those in more favorable latitudes.
The Finnish case history
Idromeccanica Lucchini has developed a real case history in Finland to allow more abundant and repeated harvests during the course of the year. Today we will analyze this intervention starting from the preliminary analyses which led to the choice of the type of cultivation and the need to solve the problems related to the management of sunlight. In a subsequent article we will deal with the most peculiar aspects related to the structure of the greenhouse made in Finland. The basic problem to solve was to maximize the production of strawberries by extending summer cycle. In Finland the hot season usually lasts only four months and this made necessary to use a greenhouse with specific measures adapted to the climate of those regions that would allow to extend the production season from June to November.
What type of cultivation
The type of crop chosen was "soil-less" from the use of so-called potts filled with peat and terlite, positioned in a duct for micro-irrigation and waste drainage collection. Soil-less cultivation allows obtaining a better quality and quantity of product. In order to work with this type of cultivation, it was necessary to install a greenhouse capable of both protecting the crop from atmospheric agents and from excessive cold, having height, air volumes and spaces allowing you to work at the best of the possibilities. The greenhouse must also be economical, easy to handle and to install.
The greenhouse cover put Idromeccanica Lucchini Technicians in front of a wide range of problems which needed to find a quick and effective solution. First of all in Finland, during the hot season the ultraviolet rays, present for more hours a day, are very aggressive as well. The choice of diffused light cover sheets with open spectrum allowed, even in the highest peaks of temperature, to have correct climate and brightness in the greenhouse. The greenhouse was built with the "Cover/ Discover" System, so you can select both quantity and quality of light to pass. During the winter the cloth can be removed and stored for being reused the following year. All this has been made possible thanks to the research and the wide choice of plastic materials by Lucchini, which is positioned as an industry leader for long-lasting sheets and for the light spectrum quality. The ability to manage light, in fact, is fundamental for the pollination of strawberry plants and therefore guarantees early flowers and fruits.