Growing and caring for strawberries

To get the maximum yield of strawberries (garden strawberries) it is necessary to properly care for it. By agrotechnics it is possible to correct many mistakes made during planting, and also to reveal all the advantages of a variety. With improper care, strawberries give small, sour berries, and varietal differences are reduced to nothing.

86-Growing and caring for strawberries
86-Growing and caring for strawberries

This strawberry was properly cared for.

    Meet Strawberries

Strawberry is a perennial plant grown for its berries. The plantation gives high yields of not more than 4 years, then the berries are shallow, their taste becomes sour. Although the bushes with proper care can live for more than 20 years, but the yields from them will be small.

    Horns

Rosettes (horns) in the bush is about 30 pieces. The older the bush, the greater the number of horns it consists, their quantity depends on the care and variety. The growth of sockets begins after the end of fruiting, with each year they are formed higher and higher above the ground. Strong strawberry bushes have many horns, weak ones are few.

Peduncles appear from the tops of the rosettes, respectively, the more luxuriant the bush, the more abundant flowering and fruiting. Below the sockets grow together into one small stem, on which adventitious roots are formed. Powerful bushes lay many flower stalks, bloom for a longer time and the yield from them is higher.

86-Growing and caring for strawberries
86-Growing and caring for strawberries

Strawberry bush

    Mustache

The strongest mustache plants produce in the first year of cultivation, with each year the accumulation becomes weaker, and the whiskers become smaller. By the fourth year, strawberries usually do not give a mustache. If someone gets vegetative shoots from his 5-6 year old plantation, it is because she was poorly cared for and there are bushes of different ages, and the young mustaches give rooted plants.

Vegetative shoots begin to form when the length of daylight lasts more than 12 hours and the temperature is above 15 ° C. The budding of the flower buds of the rooted mustache occurs in 2-3 months (therefore, very little is laid during the autumn planting of the buds, they do not have time to mature and the yield for the next year is low).

    Berries

The quality of strawberries is influenced by several factors.

  • The composition of the soil. Strawberries growing on poor soils taste less pronounced than when grown on fertile lands.
  • Weather. The more direct the sun hits the bushes, the sweeter the berries. In strawberries, growing under the canopy of trees, if you don’t care for it, the berries are usually sour.
  • Sort Most European strawberry varieties are sweeter than domestic ones.
  • Properties of berries.

    • Picked off-ripe berries turn red during transport and storage, but they will not be completely sweet.
    • Taste characteristic of a grade of a berry gain only in case of full maturing on a bush. For disclosure of taste, completely reddened berries are not removed within 2-3 days. Such berries are unsuitable for storage or transportation, but their taste is fully manifested.
    • For maximum yields, the berries are picked up unripe, as this stimulates the growth of the remaining ovaries. As a result, strawberry yield increases.
    • Unripe berries of any kind have the same sweet-sour taste.

    86-Growing and caring for strawberries
    86-Growing and caring for strawberries

    On a private plot, where good taste is more appreciated than a 300-500 g yield increase, it is better to give the strawberries to ripen fully and try their true taste. But in wet weather it is necessary to remove the berries are not fully mature, because it is ripe berries that are affected by rot and mold in the first place.

        Advantages and disadvantages of culture

        The main advantages of strawberries.

    • Strawberries can produce good yields with very small doses of fertilizer and simple care. The main thing is to fertilize the soil well before planting the crop.
    • Annual harvests. Strawberries do not have a periodicity of fruiting, like some other berries (for example, raspberries).
    • Fast first harvest.
    • Very simple and easy reproduction. The bush for the season is able to give a few dozen mustache, from which the best are selected and rooted them. During the summer you can plant a bed of the most valuable varieties.
    • Unpretentious plants. Strawberries can grow under the crowns of young trees, in flower beds, among weeds (but yields in such thickets are reduced).

    The disadvantages of culture.

    • Defeat gray rot. Most modern varieties are quite resistant to this disease, but with improper care, you can lose up to a third of the crop. Domestic varieties are more resistant to the disease than the European ones.
    • Lack of self-strawberry. For good tying berries on the plot grow several different varieties.
    • Winter hardiness is the ability not only to tolerate negative temperatures, but also winter thaws without damaging. In domestic varieties it is quite high, the loss of bushes in the spring is insignificant. European strawberry varieties have lower winter hardiness, plants freeze slightly, and in severe winters they freeze out completely. But some imported varieties successfully grow in our conditions; for the winter the bushes are sheltered, which somewhat reduces the loss of plants.
    • A short period of fruiting. The maximum yield yields berry 3-4 years, then it must be fully updated.

    All the disadvantages of the berry can be overcome; the main thing is not to leave the strawberries without proper care.

        Features of growing and caring for strawberries

    The main components of proper care are:

  • weeding;
  • loosening;
  • water regime;
  • top dressing.
  • Strawberry care is simple, but requires patience and consistency.

        Weeding strawberry beds

    Planting strawberries should always be free from weeds. This culture does not like competitors and in the case of overgrowing plots gives small sour berries. Weeding is carried out with the growth of weeds, 6-8 times per season.

    86-Growing and caring for strawberries
    86-Growing and caring for strawberries

    Simultaneously with the removal of weeds, the whiskers are pruned, especially in spring. If they are removed in time, the plants will switch to flowering, otherwise the entire force of the bushes will go into a state of formation and there will be no berries.

        Loosening

    Strawberry loves loose, well-permeable soil. To the roots should always be free access of air. Before flowering, the soil is loosened 3 times, and after picking berries - once every 2 weeks. If the weather is rainy and the earth is rapidly compacted, then loosening is carried out more often. Cultivate the land to a depth of 3-4 cm.

    Starting from the second year, strawberry bushes are spud, because adventitious roots appear on the stem. Hilling stimulates rooting, the growth of horns, bushes become more magnificent, which gives an increase in yield.

        How to water strawberries

    The most demanding strawberries to moisture in June, when the berries, mustache and leaves grow at the same time. If the weather is arid, the plot is watered once every 2-3 days to a depth of 30 cm, and if possible, every day.

    Watering is better to produce in the aisle, for which in the middle of the beds when planting make a furrow that will collect water during snow melting and during watering. Under the root of the plant is not watered, since the root system of strawberries is spreading and the bulk of the roots is located on the periphery of the aerial part of the plant.

    After harvesting the plants, the second peak of root formation and foliage growth begins. At this time, the plot is watered 1-2 times a week. If there is no rain, then watering is carried out daily. Before flowering and after it, the bushes can be watered with sprinkling, strawberries love the high humidity of the air.

    86-Growing and caring for strawberries
    86-Growing and caring for strawberries

    Before flowering strawberry plantations can be watered "rain."

    In the period of flowering and fruiting, only the aisles are watered, the water temperature should not be below 15 ° C. The rest of the time, the plants tolerate cold watering.

    In the fall, make water recharge prewinter irrigation. The earth is shed to a depth of 30-50 cm. Wet soil better protects strawberries from frost, so it is necessary that the plot has gone under the snow damp.

    During flowering and growth of ovaries in the event of rainy weather, strawberries suffer from waterlogging. Signs of this are the appearance on the leaves and ovaries of large brown spots (without spoiling them). Especially often overmoistening of a strawberry plantation occurs on dense clay soils. Roots can not provide normal nutrition aboveground parts and bushes begin to dump the largest berries.

    When signs of oxygen starvation occur, deep loosening (5-7 cm) is carried out. If the berry is experiencing constant waterlogging, the beds raise up to 15-20 cm. When there are no ovaries on a strawberry, it does not suffer from waterlogging, but, on the contrary, gives lush foliage and powerful whiskers.

        Top dressing strawberries folk remedies (ashes, chicken droppings)

    Strawberries with berries take out quite a lot of nutrients from the soil; these are not only the main nutrients (NPK), but also trace elements that need to be replenished. The lack of nutrition begins to manifest itself in the second year of cultivation, in the first year the plants have enough fertilizer applied before planting.

    Lack of nutrition is never manifested in any one element, therefore complex fertilizers containing microelements are always applied to the plot. Feed strawberries better with organic fertilizers, because they act more gently and continuously.

    In the first year of cultivation, if the soil has been properly prepared, fertilizers are not applied. In the second and subsequent years, the berry is fed 2 times per season. In the spring, ashes are brought to the surface of the soil around the bushes, and then the earth is loosened shallowly. In low-fertility soils in May, humates, humus or grass fertilizer can be applied along with the ashes.

    It is impossible to add ash along with manure, because a chemical reaction occurs, as a result of which a large amount of nitrogen is released, which can damage the plants.

    For the preparation of herbal infusion, the grass is placed in a plastic barrel, poured with water and left to ferment for 10-15 days. At the end of fermentation, 1 liter of the infusion is diluted in 10 l of water and watered bushes at the rate of 1 l per plant.

    After harvesting a strawberry, the second wave of growth of roots and leaves begins, and at this time it needs nitrogen. Make feeding with a solution of mullein or bird droppings (1 l / 10 l of water). Bird dung for strawberries is preferable, now it is sold in garden stores. This is the most nutrient-concentrated fertilizer.

    In the case of excessive use of organic matter may be overfeeding and fattening strawberry bushes. With proper fertilization, an increase in the size of the leaves and berries occurs, and the yield increases.

    Excess nitrogen is manifested in the appearance of large leaves and grinding berries, the yield of plants is significantly reduced. Overfeeding occurs due to the frequent use of herbal fertilizers or non-compliance with the rates of application of other organic fertilizers.

    86-Growing and caring for strawberries
    86-Growing and caring for strawberries

    To prevent the fattening of plants with organic matter (except for manure and compost), ash is introduced that does not contain nitrogen and creates a predominance of potassium and phosphorus in the soil. Nitrogen-fed plants do not tolerate winter well and are more affected by diseases and pests.

    Undernourishment for strawberries (and not only for them) is better than overfeeding, as in this case the situation is easier to correct.

        Is it necessary to feed strawberries with yeast, iodine, boric acid and ammonia

    Top dressing with folk remedies (yeast, iodine, boric acid, ammonia) is extremely undesirable for culture.

    Firstly, it is a single fertilizer that does not provide the plant with the entire set of trace elements.

    Secondly, the bushes can easily overfeed, (especially ammonia), which will cause significant damage to the plantation.

    Thirdly, iodine, boric acid and ammonia are volatile solutions that evaporate quickly, they should be immediately washed into the lower layers of the soil, which is impossible with a large area of ​​the plot.

    Fourth, yeast is an excellent protein feed for animals, but does not contain any plant nutrients.

    Fertilizer of a strawberry plantation must be systemic, fully provide the plants with necessary elements, and no experiments with top dressing are allowed.

        Strawberry Plantation Care

    Regular care is the basis of high yield. Strawberries with the right agricultural technology in the first year can produce up to 300 g of large berries from a bush. On the garden plot it is necessary to have four plots (beds) of strawberries: the first, second, third and fourth years of fruiting.

        How to care for strawberry seedlings

    When planting seedlings no fertilizer is applied. The soil should be fertilized in advance. Just planted mustache pritenyat from the sun, otherwise the seedlings wither, because the roots still can not compensate for the loss of water that is lost when it leaves evaporation. Wilting is not very dangerous for seedlings, when evening cool comes, they will finish off.

    86-Growing and caring for strawberries
    86-Growing and caring for strawberries

    For shading, the whiskers are covered with newspapers, white cloth, or some grass is spread over them. After 2-3 days the shelter is removed, by this time the plants are already rooted and can independently extract water from the soil. In the first days of the planted mustache well watered. In the future, the land under the young bushes should always be wet. In the case of a warm and dry autumn strawberries are watered once a week.

    It is important not to overgrow strawberries with weeds. If this is not done in the year of planting, then in the future the struggle with them will become much more complicated. Weed plants will germinate through the bushes and will not be able to remove them without damaging the culture.

    Young rooted mustache, after rooting, themselves begin to give a mustache, which must be removed, because they weaken the plant and interfere with its preparation for winter.

        Preparing strawberry beds for winter

    European varieties require special care when preparing plots for winter, as they are less winter-hardy. In the autumn, if the weather is dry, water recharge irrigation is carried out. Water well protects rhizomes from freezing, conducting heat from below to the roots of plants.

    86-Growing and caring for strawberries
    86-Growing and caring for strawberries

    For winter strawberries better insulate.

    For a better wintering, strawberries are warmed, laying foliage and needles under the bushes and between the rows of straw. They cover only the bare ground, the plants themselves do not need to be covered, since they leave before winter with the leaves themselves being insulant.

    The main thing in the winter is to prevent the roots from freezing. If there is no insulation, then in the aisle and under the bushes sprinkle the ground with a layer of 3-4 cm.

        Strawberry care in the spring

    In the spring, after the snow has melted, dry leaves are cut off from the bushes, insulation is removed from the garden bed (if used), weeded from the first weeds and loosened. Old bushes, which have a small lignified stem with adventitious roots, additionally spud so that they are more powerful. Large plants have better flowering and higher yield.

    Loosening is carried out at a depth of 2-3 cm, since the roots of strawberries are shallow. With this treatment, the earth warms up faster and the plants start to grow.

    The main task in the spring is to ensure rapid warming of the soil, so that the plants will rather grow foliage and begin flowering. With the early beginning of the growing season, flowering will occur in more humid soil. For the speedy warming up of the land, you can put black film in the aisle.

    Some gardeners, on the contrary, do not remove insulation for a long time, fearing damage to strawberries by frost. But, firstly, the spring frost is not terrible for her, secondly, strawberries bear fruit from mid-June to mid-July (depending on the variety), and in May she needs time to prepare for flowering. The better she prepares, the larger the berries will be.

    86-Growing and caring for strawberries
    86-Growing and caring for strawberries

    Dry leaves in the spring should be removed so that the earth warms faster.

    Old dry leaves with last year's mustache are removed, but young leaves are not cut off. Pruning green leaves in the spring delays flowering for 2 weeks (until new ones grow), the plant spends a lot of effort on growing foliage, because of this, the berries become shallow.

    With a dry warm spring, when the earth dries out quickly, watering is carried out. After regrowth of young leaves, make spring feeding. If plants are weakened after winter, they grow poorly, they are sprayed with a growth promoter "Zircon" or "Appin".

        What should be the care of strawberries after harvest

    After fruiting spring leaves look yellow and spotty, they are removed along with regrown mustaches and weeds. It is impossible to mow all the leaves, because the roots growing at this time require starch, which comes just from the leaves, if removed, this will slow down the preparation of strawberries for winter.

    After harvesting, it is necessary to carry out a second feeding to replenish the nutrients taken out with the berries.

    In the second half of summer, strawberries are more actively growing in mustache. In no case should they be rooted. They tighten plantings and weaken the bushes, which leads to a decrease in yield and taste of berries.

    86-Growing and caring for strawberries
    86-Growing and caring for strawberries

    If the bushes are designed for fruiting, then they will tear off all appearing whiskers. The plot is viewed every 4-5 days, as the whiskers appear until October, and the newly emerged spears of the shoots are removed.

    Strawberries have a balance between absorption and fruiting: if plants are not given the opportunity to form a mustache, then it enhances fruiting and vice versa, if they are not cut, the yield is greatly reduced.

    The plantation must always be clean from weeds, fertilized, the bushes must be with a trimmed mustache.

    In the autumn, water recharge irrigation is carried out, if necessary, a heater is placed between the rows.

        Care plantation last year of cultivation

    When spring feeding, you can give a little more nitrogen, the bushes do not have time to fatten, and the harvest from this will not decrease. When dry soil is carried out irrigation. Immediately after fruiting, the bed is dug up. In this year, it is possible to plant an early cabbage on it, which will have time to ripen before the onset of cold weather (for this purpose, increased doses of nitrogen were given).

        Strawberry mulching

    When caring for a plantation, mulching materials are used to protect the berries from dirt and rotting, to warm the bushes in the winter, and to protect the soil from premature warming in the thaw. Mulch inhibits the growth of weeds and prevents the formation of soil crusts after rains or watering.

    The use of mulch in the cultivation of strawberries is the best way to keep the plot clean, which makes it much easier to care for. To prevent undesirable effects in its application, mulch is made under certain conditions.

    As mulching materials used sawdust, straw, dry moss, fallen leaves, pine needles. Their disadvantage is the binding of soil nitrogen, which causes nitrogen starvation of plants. Therefore, mulch is introduced in the fall as a heater in the aisle, by the spring the process of cellulose disintegration (of which it consists) will be completed and the nitrogen binding will not occur.

    In the spring, the insulation is removed to better heat the soil, then it is his that is returned as mulch, and a fresh portion of material is added to it. When making mulching materials in the spring, they are necessarily impregnated with a solution of humates, mullein or bird droppings.

    To do this, or soak them in a barrel with a solution of fertilizer (sawdust), or very abundantly watered with these fertilizers so that the mulch is completely saturated with the solution. Then the binding of soil nitrogen will not occur, and the plants will not experience nitrogen starvation.

    Mulching strawberries with sawdust. Sawdust strongly acidifies the soil, watering them with urea as nitrogen fertilizer enhances acidification. This effect gives excellent results on leached chernozem. On acidic soils this should not be allowed. To prevent soil acidification, sawdust is first soaked in a barrel with humates or chicken droppings, after which they become an excellent mulch material. They are scattered on the beds with a layer of 6-10 cm. Sawdust is stronger than hay and straw inhibits the growth of weeds.

    86-Growing and caring for strawberries
    86-Growing and caring for strawberries

    Straw as mulch.

    Grass and straw mulching. Hay and straw consist of almost the same fiber and bind soil nitrogen very strongly. They make the fall. When used as hay or straw mulch in the spring, they put diced crumb along with them, or, using freshly laid out mulch, water them with nitrogenous fertilizers (humates, mullein, grass extract). In this case, the nitrogen binding does not occur and the yield does not fall. They are laid out in the aisle with a layer of 5-7 cm.

    Leaf mulch. It is desirable to bring the foliage of deciduous trees in the autumn, laying out in the row-spacing with a layer of 15-20 cm. In winter, it will be a heater. With spring use on freshly laid out leaves, watering with humates, mullein, or herbal infusion is carried out.

    Mulching strawberry needles. Pine and spruce bark and needles well protect plants from diseases, as they contain volatile production. The material is taken only under healthy trees, scattered between the rows and under the bushes with a layer of 7-10 cm. Since this material strongly acidifies the soil, it is brought in with dung.

    Peat is not used as strawberry mulch, as it has a number of significant drawbacks:

    • strongly acidifies the soil;
    • has a very high moisture capacity, because of which it is almost impossible to saturate it with a nitrogen solution;
    • in wet weather, it gets wet and prevents normal root respiration;
    • In winter, it may become covered with ice, which causes plants to vypryvaniya.

    Proper use of mulch not only helps to simplify the care of the plantation, but it itself is a good fertilizer.

        Protection of berries from dirt

    86-Growing and caring for strawberries
    86-Growing and caring for strawberries

    Lying on the ground berries are polluted by the ground, moreover, they are more affected by gray rot. To prevent the berries from coming into contact with the soil, you can make various supports for bushes: from wire, plastic bottles, plates, films, special rings on legs are sold in stores. But all this is suitable for a small plot.

    On a large plantation under the green berries enclose the plucked lower peripheral leaves. If the bush is healthy, red berries may lie for some time on the ground without being damaged.

    When growing strawberries do not need to keep the plantation of a more productive period of fruiting. The berry should move around the site in frequent rotation.

    Other useful articles about growing strawberries:

  • Strawberry pests. What pests can threaten your plantation and how to effectively deal with them.
  • Strawberry disease. Treatment of plants with chemicals and folk remedies.
  • Strawberry reproduction. How to independently propagate strawberry bushes and what mistakes gardeners often make.
  • Growing strawberries from seeds. Is it worth doing the usual summer residents.
  • The best varieties of strawberries with photos and descriptions. Selection of the newest, fruitful and perspective grades.
  • Growing strawberries in the greenhouse. Cultivation technology and all the pros and cons of this business.
  • Planting strawberries in open ground. Are you going to do strawberries? Then this is the very first article you need to read.
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