In the last 5-10 years as an industry we have seen a lot of new farms move from conventional, in ground growing of berry fruits to growing berries in substrates such as Coconut Coir, hydroponically, under simple crop cover.
The best type of irrigation system for soft/berry fruit production is the batch mixing system. This ensures that every single plant receives the same nutrient solution that has been accurately mixed up to specification by the irrigation controller system and is then fed out to each zone or section of the crop. Batch Systems are able to be scaled up to suit your needs. Head over to the Autogrow page to see what controller may suit your system, with the differing levels of connectivity, bells and whistles, there's a controller to suit your situation.
Individual drippers are used for berries in substrates where as dual driplines are used for berries that are planted in the soil to created a wetted strip.
Coconut coir retains the perfect amount of moisture and provides a great environment for growing berries such as raspberries, strawberries black berries and blueberries! Coconut coir takes a long time to break down as well, for that very reason it allows plenty of air to be in the root zone to let the plants breath, promoting healthy root development. Coconut coir comes in 3 different grade, pith or fines, fibre and chips. The ratio of chips:peat is important as this ratio allows plenty of water retention in the pith/fines while providing good drainage and air space between the chips. Coconut coir is a waste product from the coconut industry. There are a lot of benefits from using coconut coir as your selected choice of media for berry fruit production!
Covering your investment with a greenhouse or simple crop cover is a great way to decrease the wastage of the fruit grown. This is due to the crop being protected by the elements such as wind and rain which can easily damage the fruit and increase the risk of disease such as botrytis, which decreases shelf life dramatically. Protecting your crop by covering also enables you to protect against the damaging effect of birds which can have. We can help you with deciding which crop cover is best suited for your system with many options to choose from.
There are many different ways to support the berry fruit crops, for example raspberries use a simple V-frame 5 string system where the floricanes grow up through the center and are attached to the strings to provide good support for the plant, blueberries use a similar system but quite often have less string/wire supports. This is because blueberries are more of a hardwood plant and provide some of their own support.