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Piikkiö research infrastructure

Piikkiö is Luke's research infrastructure focused on horticultural research, and is the location of the main horticultural research platforms in Finland. In Piikkiö, horticultural research is conducted in the open field, in growing tunnels and in greenhouses. 

Photo: Eetu Ahanen

Plant genetic resources are maintained in their natural growing environments, new berry and fruit varieties are bred and developed for Finnish conditions, and research is carried out on various outdoor vegetables, fruits and berries. Research in greenhouses includes energy and resource efficiency in greenhouses, vertical farming and the cultivation of various production and ornamental crops.

Greenhouses

  • Three separate greenhouses with a total of 1 600 m2 of growing space (16 compartments).
  • Greenhouse climate control system Itumic, shade and misting equipment, carbon dioxide fertilisation, cooling equipment, energy metering system, fertiliser mixers and a variety of growing platforms, tables and troughs. 
  • VIS - Vertical farming unit: a closed-loop, fully isolated from the outside air, with automated and adjustable climate control, and the possibility of farming on several floors. Growing area currently 26 m2.
  • Use of camera technology: hyperspectral cameras, new plant imaging and sensing unit.

Research fields of open field production

  • Research fields: 25 ha of fenced arable land, sandy and clay soils covered by an automated irrigation network. 
  • Pot experiment areas: fenced pot experiment area with automated sprinkler and drip irrigation for experiments and for growing and maintaining seedlings. 
  • Growing tunnels: 1 000 m2 of growing space in a three-part 8 m high tunnel, plus a few small tunnels. Possibility of cultivation on the ground, in troughs or on tables. Irrigation and fertilisation automation via a field irrigation system.
  • Horticultural equipment: tractors, cultivators, sowing and planting equipment, irrigation equipment, plant protection sprayers, harvesters and special horticultural equipment.

Research fields for landscaping plants

  • research on plants for landscaping

Long-term conservation collections of horticultural plant genetic resources

  • protection and conservation of horticultural genetic resources

Arboretum of woody plants

  • The arboretum contains more than 200 species, varieties or forms of woody plants, planted in small stands. 
  • A special feature is the rhododendrons cultivated in Finland. 
  • National collection of plant genetic resources for species conserved in the forest environment.

Areas of research

  • greenhouse research
  • fruit and berry research
  • field-scale vegetable research
  • landscaping research
  • forestry research
  • hops research

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