Aug 2019

Greenhouse Berry Grower Workshop

Greenhouse Berry Grower Workshop

Introduction to medium-high tech greenhouse Berry production


The demand for fresh berries, such as raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries, has risen sharply in many parts of the world in recent years, and New Zealand is no different.  Traditional outdoor berry growers, in New Zealand, are now seriously looking at greenhouse or tunnel house production models.  Some already are.

This has not gone unnoticed by me and for the past 18 months you may have read articles, I have written, about growing berries using protected cropping models. 

Around the world there are many different protected crop growing structures, from low to high tech facilities.  Many traditional greenhouse vegetable crops, such as tomatoes, are now grown in some of the most high-tech greenhouses imaginable.   I understand that traditional outdoor berry growers are now dipping their toes and starting to grow in low-tech tunnel houses.  I wanted to investigate the option of growing berries in both low-medium tech greenhouses and high-tech greenhouses and comparing these different options. 

I came up with the idea of hosting a greenhouse berry grower workshop.  This has been many months in planning, from the initial concept, to finally being in a position to reveal this event. I am very pleased to announce, thanks to funding from the Horticentre Trust, that on Wednesday October the 2nd, Grower2Grower will be hosting a workshop in Pukekohe, South Auckland.  The keynote speaker is Doctor Michael Nichols, former Massey University Lecturer, Berry consultant and subject matter expert. 

Dr Nichols has a wealth of knowledge, he has spent many years studying and conducting trials for the berry industry.  He has travelled extensively to many different berry conferences and seminars.  He will be talking about the following:


Cultivars to be discussed

  1. Strawberry

  2. Raspberries

  3. Blackberries

  4. Blueberries


The programme will cover the following topics:


SECTION 1, Greenhouses:  Medium and High-Tech structures (glass and plastic), Irrigation and heating systems, artificial lighting, plant support systems

SECTION 2, Plant Growth:  Growth stages, densities, heating and humidity strategies, Irrigation, plant maintenance and labour techniques, production

SECTION 3, Substrates:  Benefits of coco or rockwool for each cultivar

SECTION 4, Plant Health: Fertilizer requirements, Pollination, IPM.

SECTION 5, Sourcing plant Material: International and local


This will be an intensive workshop running from 9.00am to 12.30pm.  This is a very rare opportunity to learn about high-tech berry production from one of New Zealand’s most experienced berry experts.  Morning tea will be provided.

If you are interested in registering for this educational opportunity please email stefan@grower2grower.co.nz for more details.  The cost to register is only $ 57.50 per person including GST.  Numbers are restricted so please don’t wait or you may miss out.  Growers and their staff, Industry suppliers and students are welcome to register for this event.

Date of Workshop: Wednesday the 2nd of October 

Time: 9.00 am to 12.30 pm

Location: Pukekohe Indian Community Centre, 59 Ward St, Pukekohe 2120

Example of HIGH TECH Strawberry production

An older Dutch tomato producing greenhouse now converted to Raspberry production and trailing LED supplementary lighting.

Raspberries grown in medium tech structure.


A huge thankyou to the Horticentre Trust for supporting this educational event.



I appreciate your comments.  Please feel free to comment below or on the grower2grower Facebook page:


Article Written by Stefan Vogrincic, Consultant, Grower2Grower

Article Edited by Marie Vogrincic, Editor, Grower2Grower





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