Strawberry nutritional summary

A correct balance between macronutrients and micronutrients is essential to achieve the best possible yield and quality from strawberries. A deficiency of any single nutrient is enough to limit crop yield or quality and the availability of each nutrient needs to be related to the crop requirements.

Growers need to take into account the growing system and growing medium when assessing nutrient removal and recycling. With field cultivation, where crop renovation practices after harvest remove most of the leaves and runners, it is assumed that nutrient uptake is the same as nutrient removal. As a result, with crops grown in the field, it is necessary to ensure annual fertiliser supply balances those nutrients available from soil reserves to meet complete crop needs each season.

Influence of variety on nutrient uptake

It is also important to adjust nutrient needs according to production system and yield expectation as there are some major differences between cultivars. This figure shows that some varieties can require twice as much N, P and K as others.

Thus, it is important to base application rates on local trial and practical data to match system requirements and yield and quality characteristics, to the variety being grown.

Macronutrient uptake by strawberries

Crops require good availability of all macronutrients to support critical growth stages.

Macronutrient uptake of strawberries

Nitrogen is required in large quantities at rates of 3-3.5kg/t of crop yield. Plants require a continuous supply of N for growth and 50% of nitrogen eventually accumulates in the fruit. Excessive amounts in the leaf, and available at later stages, can soften the fruit and delay ripening. Best practice is to ensure regular applications throughout the growing season.

Macronutrient uptake of strawberries

Phosphorus – is important at early stages of crop development to ensure good rooting and leaf growth. Crops take up around 0.5-1kg P/t of fruit yield. During fruit development, the P concentration in other plant organs decreases, indicating a redistribution of P to the fruits with around 40% of total uptake ending up in the berry.

 Macronutrient partitioning in of strawberries

Potassium is needed in large quantities – at levels above those of nitrogen. Total crop K uptake is around 3.5-4.5kg/t of fruit yield. Almost 60% of the potassium is found in the fruit at harvest. Peak K demand is from early fruit formation through to maturity, when uptake is faster than for any other nutrient.

Macronutrient removal in strawberries

Calcium is required in large quantities. Generally, around 1.5kg of calcium is needed for every tonne of fruit. A lot of this calcium is found in the root, the plant leaves and petioles. Transport of calcium into the fruit is limited largely because Ca follows water uptake and is only taken up by transpiring organs thereby mirroring water uptake. Thus regular, season-long supply of calcium to the fruit is critical to maintain fruit quality and in particular firmness and shelf life.

Magnesium, while required in lower amounts than calcium, it is needed to support plant growth and relatively low levels find their way into the harvested fruit. All nutrient uptake figures in this section are given in elemental forms.


Micronutrient uptake by strawberries

While much lower levels of micronutrients are needed all play a role, particularly in supporting plant growth, yield and fruit quality. The micronutrients taken up in greatest quantities are iron and manganese.

Micronutrient uptake by strawberries

Micronutrient partitioning in strawberries

Iron and copper are found mostly in the roots and the crown. Boron, manganese and zinc are mainly distributed in the fruit and the leaf. Boron and zinc support the growth of new tissues and poor supply can lead to fruit abortion or malformation. Between 20-30% of the B and Zn taken up by the plant, ends up in the fruit.

Recommended Yara fertilisers for strawberries

Fruit agronomy advice

Strawberry fertigation and nutrition advice
Strawberry fertigation and nutrition advice

Looking for even more information ...

If you would like more information and would like to speak to one of our fruit specialists or area managers please find all their contact details here

Contact your local Yara area manager or agronomist



Where can I buy Yara fertiliser ...

If you would like to find your nearest Yara supplier or merchant simply use this searchable map with all their contact details here.

Where can I buy Yara fertilisers >