First crop trial Certhon Innovation Centre


Relatively little information is available about daylight-free cultivation of either June-bearing or everbearing strawberry varieties. During the cultivation period in the Certhon Innovation Centre, the focus was on researching the effects of lighting with different light intensities and light sums on the production of the strawberries. The strawberries have been placed in the PlantyFood container, where the studies by Certhon were previously carried out.


The research of the June-bearing strawberries started on the March 9th 2018, following by a production cycle of 16 weeks (8 weeks of vegetative growth and 8 weeks for production). With better climate control indoor, both productivity and quality can be improved compared to strawberries grown in greenhouses or open fields.

Specifically, yield per growth cycle during this first cultivation round, yield increase and Brix value of each cultivar can be found in the table below (Reference is a year-round production in an unlighted Dutch greenhouse (KWIN 2014-2015)):

Cultivar First harvest after transplanting (days) Weekly production during research (kg/m2) Increase (Certhon research - greenhouse) (%) Brix (°)
Sonata 63 8,4 80,0 8,4
Elsanta 63 5,4 23,2 9,4

In further research, hydroponic cultivation system and new strawberry cultivars in a multilayer climate chamber will be used to increase strawberry fruit quantity and quality. Besides that, optimizing the lighting and irrigation strategy will also be further investigated.

Cultivation information

Propagation: All plants are propagated by Van Den Elzen Plants as tray plants. The plants have had one preventive pesticide treatment on arrival in the Certhon Innovation Centre because they were propagated in an open field.

Trial: The cultivars were grown in a self-designed strawberry cultivation climate chamber on a cocos substrate in 1m containers. Four sections were in use which each had a gutter of 4m. Each gutter carried 4 containers.

Density/meter: 10 plants per m² or 9 plants per container.

Lighting: Each gutter was equipped with 4 independently dimmable Certhon self-designed water-cooled LED fixtures, using HPI type daylight spectrum.

Cultivation time course:
Planting date: week 15
Flowering: week 19 to 24
Fruiting: week 20 to 28
First harvest: week 24
End of cultivation: week 31

Watch the cultivation of the strawberries in the Certhon Innovation Centre