Secrets of caring for garden strawberries (strawberries)
Garden strawberries, or strawberries, are the most beloved berry of not only children, but also adults. It is tasty, healthy, good in preparations. However, many believe that it is not so easy to grow it, and therefore are not in a hurry to breed in large quantities. But in fact, it all depends on the right approach to culture. Let's talk about the secrets of garden strawberries.
Secret number 1. Only high-quality seedlings
It’s not news to anyone that the popular saying “cheap fish is a filthy yushka” is not just about soup. This rule is very well suited to the selection of strawberry seedlings. Unfortunately, in an effort to save money, we often buy low-quality planting material, thereby unknowingly delaying the receipt of a full-fledged crop of long-awaited berries, sometimes for a whole year. High-quality seedlings are the key to quick survival, high potential of plants and excellent results of labor spent on them.
What is worth buying?
When choosing a new variety of garden strawberries, be sure to pay attention to the condition of the proposed plants. The best option is annual seedlings grown in individual cups with 2-3 developed leaflets and a root system of at least 5 cm.
What is not worth buying?
Do not buy seedlings if it has a clearly unhealthy appearance, signs of disease damage, an open root system. Of course, such planting material is cheaper, but its survival rate is low, and the diseases present guarantee a deliberately weak crop and the need to spend effort on fighting them.
Secret number 2. Choosing a place
Strawberries are a culture of photophilous, therefore, the ratio of cardinal points should be a very important, fundamental principle in choosing a place for it. If you want to get a lot of berries from the plot and have well-developed plants - the beds must be placed strictly from north to south.
In addition, the correct predecessor is important for garden strawberries. In no case can it be planted after potatoes or tomatoes (they are common diseases), near or after plums (they are equally affected by weevil and aphids). It is necessary to choose the beds for garden strawberries after garlic, onions, dill, peas, as well as after such siderates as lupins, vetch, oats, radish and marigolds.
Warm beds will also be a good place to plant garden strawberries. Usually they are prepared in the fall, however, if time is lost, you can perform all operations in the spring: it is good to fill the structures with manure, compost, ash, organic residues, old leaves. It is easier to care for such beds, they give a harvest earlier, they are easier to cover for the winter.
And remember, garden strawberries love loose soil!
Secret number 3. Planting young plants
Now that the place is selected and prepared, it is necessary to plant the seedlings correctly. And here, too, there are rules.
Firstly, the arrangement of strawberry bushes is relatively important relative to each other: at least 50 cm in a row and from 50 to 70 cm between rows, and the plants must be staggered. The width of the bed itself with a two-line planting can be from 80 cm to 1 m. This provides not only full access to light for each bush, but also good ventilation of the plants (which is a preventive measure against many diseases and some pests), and easier access to planting when pruning mustache and harvest. With single row cultivation, the distance between the bushes and between the rows should be 50 cm.
Secondly, a large role in the subsequent care of the crop and the harvest of the first crop, plays the time of planting. If the seedlings are planted in the spring - you need to catch it before the third decade of May, in the summer - in the last days of August - in the first ten days of September. Summer-fall periods are preferable, since such plantings require less maintenance and the crop is guaranteed for the next year.
ThirdlyBefore planting seedlings in the holes, it must be saturated with moisture. To do this, young plants with an open root system, if you nevertheless acquired those, are placed in water with the addition of 3 drops of the drug HB-101 per 1 liter of water (you can use Kornevin), until the growth bud and leave for 8-10 hours. If seedlings are in plastic cups - it is placed in water for 10-20 minutes, if in peat pots for 30 seconds. However, the plants in cups can be simply watered abundantly with a stimulating root growth solution one hour before planting.
And now the most important thing. When planting seedlings in the holes, it is necessary to ensure that the roots of strawberries do not bend! To do this, each plant is taken out of the pot, spread its root system and cut roots by 10 cm.If this is not done, then everything that is bent will rot, and the strawberry bush will lag behind in growth, which will affect the crop. In addition, the spine should initially have close contact with the ground. To do this, it is planted either on a mound laid in a hole, spreading individual roots evenly around an earthen embankment, or using the wet method - filling the hole with water and gradually pouring an earthen substrate directly into the water.
And further. When planting strawberries, you need to check that the seedling heart is at the soil level, not higher and not lower. If it is buried - the plant will die, if high above the ground - it will be depleted.
Secret number 4. Quality care
As soon as the beds are planted, strawberries are immediately mulched. This technique allows you to keep moisture around young plants, protects against weeds and provides them with additional nutrition. Further care, consider depending on the age and time of planting.
If strawberries are planted in the spring, then the flowers that appear on it must be removed so that the bushes grow a good vegetative mass over the summer. Of course, many of us are sorry to perform this procedure, but it is the key to a full-fledged harvest next year.
In addition, to strengthen spring plantings, it is necessary to produce weekly foliar top dressing (spraying on leaves, including from the underside) with the Radiance-1 preparation (1 tbsp.spoon per 10 l of water), in combination with the Gumistar preparation (0.5 cups per 10 liters of water), and once a month with the addition of 10 granules of the “Healthy Garden” or “Ecuberin” preparation.
If strawberries are planted in autumn, the main thing to take care of so that young plants tolerate winter well. For this, rows of strawberries are planted with green manure or covered with agrofibre beds. The next year, flowers from such plantings are not removed, allowing the crop to yield.
2nd and 3rd year
The second year of growing strawberries also requires regular top dressing and time for the first of them - even before the onset of stable warm weather. At the same time, it is good to use the same preparation Radiance-1, but already at the rate of 2 tablespoons per 10 liters of water by watering under the plant. This technique activates soil bacteria and gives rise to soil heating, as a result of which strawberries can be harvested a week earlier. For the same purpose (obtaining an earlier harvest), you can spray the plants with the HB-101 preparation (30 drops per 10 liters of water) and cover the bed with any covering material.
In total, three supplementary irrigation should be done during the season and everything before the ovary appears: the first - after cleaning the beds from dried leaves, the second - when the peduncles appear and the last - when the first flowers appear. In this case, Radiance-1 and Radiance-2 alternate. If they are not there, the infusion of vermicompost or Gumistar is also good.
However, if you trust the folk methods of fertilizer more, then the choice for spring top dressing is better to make in favor of herbal infusions, horse manure tinctures or Orgavit, or chicken manure - it is the one that is best suited for this culture. It is important that it cannot be applied in its pure form, but it is necessary to insist it for a week at the rate of 1 to 3 parts of water, and then dilute it again with water in a proportion of 1 x 20.
In order to give the basis for the next harvest, after the berries have been picked, it is necessary to make the last top dressing, but this time with herbal infusion with the addition of Radiance-3, Gumistar, nitrophoska or any other complex fertilizer with an addition of 0.5 cups of ash under each bush.
But this rule is for ordinary strawberry varieties - remontant varieties need to be fed every week throughout the season.
Another important step in the spring care of the second year of life of strawberries is to clean plants from damaged leaves and treat strawberries against pests and diseases. It is carried out as soon as the weather allows, while it is better not to tear off the leaves with a rake or hands, but to cut off with scissors so as not to damage the bush.
It is also good to know the measures to combat diseases of the miracle berry. For this, the following preparations are suitable: Summer clerk (5-liter bottle of water), HB-101 - a drug for raising plant immunity, Healthy Garden, Ecoberin (10 tablespoons of water, 10 granules, 20 granules, respectively).
In addition, starting from spring and throughout the summer season, strawberries the bed should be wet! Different methods are good here - high-quality regular watering (for plants!) With full mulching with straw, overripe sawdust, dried weeds or mowed lawn grass; drip irrigation. The second option is more profitable, since it does not require constant labor investment and provides full blotting of the root zone.
AND, no loosening! Strawberry roots are located close to the soil surface and do not like to be disturbed!
Secret number 5. Landing updates
With good care, strawberry beds with one-time fruiting can bear fruit in one place for 4 years, but practice shows that it is better not to leave strawberries in the same bed for more than 3 years. Repairing varieties are kept in one place for no more than two years.
And a few more clarifications:
The importance of mulching in the cultivation of wild strawberries cannot be overestimated. Mulch is also good for preserving berries from getting wet, and protecting plants from gray rot, and getting rid of slugs and snails. However, in order for it to work at 100% mulching, it is necessary to carry out throughout the season, gradually bringing the layer of straw or other material to a height of 10 - 15 cm. And so that the output of nutrients from it is more complete, it is necessary to lay under each bush literally a few grains of the drug "Radiance-2."
To be more convincing, I’ll add: in Europe, strawberries and straw are inseparable, in some places this culture is called “strawberry”.
Trimming mustache is another exciting question for many amateur gardeners. For a high harvest of strawberries mustache must be removed! This technique provides more convenient bed care, easier harvesting, prophylaxis against gray rot, and, more importantly, a larger berry. And for the propagation of the variety, it is necessary to have a mother liquor - flowers are removed in it!
Cutting after fruiting
After harvesting disposable varieties, it is necessary to trim not only the leftovers left from the berries, but also the leaflets affected by the disease, and the lower tier of the old dead leaves. If the plants are severely affected by diseases - the leaves are removed completely. Repairing varieties are processed in the spring.