Proper strawberry care for a large harvest
Strawberries are a favorite and incredibly picky berry. However, if you observe the conditions required by the berry, you can annually harvest crops in buckets from 5-10 square meters. m. area. The productivity and longevity of the “straw” berries (as some old-timers call strawberries), the spoiled princess of the berry berry, depend on some features of its cultivation. In this article I will share my many years of experience in growing strawberries.
In my summer cottage, strawberries have been growing since 1987. During this time, I changed the place of its cultivation (that is, replanted) only three times, although it is believed that it is more advisable to transplant strawberries after 3-4 years, or even grow them as a crop in a crop or crop rotation.
Important points when growing strawberries are variety, lighting, soil and watering.
The best varieties of strawberries are the old established zoned varieties. For breeding, it is better to ask the neighbors to share several bushes, antennae, berries, from which you can grow your favorite variety in a seed way. I advise you to buy strawberries only from absolutely reliable sellers or in specialized companies. I still grow Victoria, Domashnaya, and I will not recall the names of the third grade. Varieties have long been mixed into one team and regularly bear fruit to date.
Lighting and place for strawberries
The “straw” berry adores the sun. It bears fruit in the shade, but it must be an appropriate variety that does not react with a sharp decrease in taste to a change in the conditions of photosynthesis. Strawberries will not grow and bear fruit well when placed in lowlands where cold fog accumulates and in high places where the bright sun will burn it. The root system of strawberries is superficial and quickly responds to any changes in weather conditions. Therefore, the site should be flat, sunny, calm, with good lighting. At the dacha, she allocated a plot under the strawberries, even, the sunniest, far from garden plantings, but close to the source of watering (artesian). Water for irrigation must be heated in the sun.
Soil for strawberries
Strawberries are finicky and will not form large berries and a large crop on heavy, albeit fertile soils, peatlands, light gray soils. The best for it are fertile air- and permeable soils: chernozems, chestnut, dark gray. On my site, chernozem is ordinary, quite fertile, but heavy and dense for strawberries. So that it meets the requirements of a capricious berry, before planting seedlings, mustaches, individual bushes, a plot was prepared in the fall with an area of 10x3m.
Soil preparation and strawberry planting
In the fall, each square meter brought in 1.5-2.0 buckets of a mixture of organics: humus, decayed manure, compost, bird droppings. Evenly raked it all over the site and dug it up. Weeds ascended splendidly. I cultivated it with a chopper of 8-10 cm and sowed rapeseed (canard or another crop) on green manure in the third decade of August. After about 30 days, she mowed, gathered the mowing and added it to the compost heap. I cut the root residues of green manure with deep loosening (up to 8-10 cm) and poured Baikal EM-1 soil working solution with a working solution. I used it to increase the amount and activity of work in the soil of Effective microorganisms.
During autumn and winter (I live in the south), soil animals (earthworms, other soil inhabitants) process most of the organics into forms accessible to plants. In addition, rape and mustard are excellent phytosanitary products that rid the soil of fungal and bacterial infections and a number of pests. Siderates improve soil structure, inhibit weed growth. This is a good mulch for summer cottages (garden, berry, vegetable, flower crops).
After green manure, the soil becomes more airy, becomes more friable, and the adhesion of soil particles to one heavy wet ball is significantly reduced. In addition to rapeseed and white mustard, oilseed radish, buckwheat, oats, fatseliya and other sideral crops can be sown. Each siderate, in addition to improving the structure of the soil and getting rid of weeds, replenishes the top layer of the soil with nutrients. Legumes (vetch, lupine, peas) with nitrogen, buckwheat with potassium, white mustard with phosphorus, and rapeseed with phosphorus and sulfur. So, the use of green manure before planting strawberries is a must.
In the spring, before the strawberries were planted, I once again fluttered the soil with a chopper. At the same time, its upper layer saved spring shoots of weeds. Under loosening brought on the square. m of 50 g nitroammophoski and added agroermiculite. A natural soil structure improver loosens the soil well, is able to accumulate water and nutrients and give them gradually to plants if necessary. He does not have any negative effects on the soil and plants.
The strawberry section was divided into narrow ridges and wide paths. Ridges slightly lifted, raking soil from the tracks. Landing on the ridges two-line. The distance between the lines is 30 cm, in the row between the plants - 20 cm. The path between the ridges was 1.0 m wide.
After planting strawberries from a watering can without a nozzle, about 0.4-0.5 l of root solution was poured under each bush. The soil was mulched (sprinkled) between the plants and between the lines with a mixture of humus with large sawdust and earth. After 2 weeks, the aisles were poured with a solution of bird droppings, using a solution in dilution of 1 part of the litter with 10 parts of water. The track was mulched by a large mulch. In the rest of the growing season, in the first year I watered strawberries so that the soil under the mulch was moist. I cleaned the weeds from the path and between the plants on the ridges, cut off all the mustaches. Weeds sheared with a chopper through the mulch, without raking it.
In subsequent years, the soil under the strawberries was still kept moist, but without excessive moisture. After each irrigation, open areas of soil, including paths, were mulched. It was fed 2 times during the growing season, the last, 3rd time - before the plants went to rest.
The first time I fed into the phase of buds - the first flowers, with a solution of organics. I added the nutrient solution gently, from the side of the wide path under the root of the plants so that it did not fall on the flowers, buds, leaves. Consumption - one bucket of solution for 6-12 strawberry bushes. Organic fertilizers (manure or bird droppings) were bred in a ratio of 1:10 - 1:12. Sometimes nitroammophoska introduced 40-50 g / sq. Into the first feeding. After top dressing, I watered.
Mulch in a row with a shallow mulch layer of 2-3 cm, lifting the leaves. The wide path was mulched with chopped straw, green stems of annual weeds, and a mowed, attached green mass of green manure. The ground was covered with a layer of up to 5 cm. By the mass flowering of strawberries, it is imperative to mulch bushes: the berries in the ridge and along its sides will then fall on a clean mulch.
After the first collection of strawberries, she carried out the 2nd feeding. For 1 square. m area for irrigation scattered 1.5-2.0 glasses of ash under the bushes from the side of a wide path or watered with infusion of ash (200 g / 10 l of water). In other years, introduced Kemir or a mixture of trace elements.
During the first 2 years, she cut off all the mustache, made it possible for strawberry bushes to take root well and form healthy plants. From the 3rd year she cut off her mustache from the side of wide paths. A strong 2-3 mustache from the bush sent to the middle of the line. When the rows of strawberries closed, they became thick, in the spring or autumn after harvesting, it was thinning. I dug strawberry bushes that were old, sparsely bearing, ugly, forming small berries. On a running meter left 3-4 bushes. This thinning was done every 4 years. Sometimes on a free place, after disinfection with 1% potassium permanganate, planted (sent) a healthy, well-developed mustache. The feeding area for the remaining bushes increased. Strawberry bushes formed larger berries, a lush aerial mass.
The third feeding of strawberries was carried out in late September. She brought in phosphorus-potassium fertilizers (not more than 60-70 g / sq. M.) For the last irrigation. At the same time, she tried to cut off old, shrunken, sick, creeping leaves on the ground. If there was no time left for this procedure, I tried to cover them with mulch, where they rotted until spring.
During the growing season, the main thing for an adult strawberry is sufficient watering, but not excessive. Otherwise, the roots become rotten and the bush dies, infecting nearby growing ones. And the second condition is sparse landings. It is necessary to thin out unnecessary bushes, especially if initially the plantings were thickened (after 10 cm).
About the 4th - 5th year, she left the most developed strawberry mustache with normal, not elongated internodes and directed them to a wide path. For 1-2 years, a row of young strawberry bushes appeared on the edges of a wide path, which in the autumn cut off from the old row. I digged up the old 2 rows. Under digging, it brought in full mineral fertilizer. It is necessary to quickly rot the remnants of mulch, introduced annually under the strawberries in the ridge. The arrangement of strawberries changed from double-row to single-row. The distance between the rows was approximately 50, 40-50 cm. The mustache also broke off during this period, leaving 1-2 of the most developed along the row. Strawberries bear fruit for another 4-5-6 years, forming high yields of healthy large berries.
Strawberry transplant methods
If there is a need to replace a strawberry patch with a new plantation, this can be done in the following ways:
- take a new plot,
- to improve the old site and plant young bushes on it.
The site can be replaced by another, carry out all preparatory work and plant planting material of the same or other varieties of strawberries.
You can heal the same site, without changing within one or two years, to heal it and plant it with new planting material.
You can leave 1 / 3-1 / 4 of the plot under the crop. Dig the rest of the fall and prepare for planting a young plantation for one to two years. We prepare part of the plot under the strawberries for wintering as usual. In the rest of the area after the last harvest, we trim strawberry bushes at the level of the root neck. When the bushes dry, it is necessary to add organic matter, dig it up, sow green manure. You can not mow it and leave it until spring or mow it, but leave the mowing in place. In the spring, green manure is planted in the soil and during the warm season until the autumn another 2-3 times to sow different green manure, planting them in the soil after reaching a height of 8-10 cm (before budding). They will improve the structure, reduce or remove the clogging of the site, replenish the supply of nutrients. In the second autumn, they carry out the whole cycle of work on preparing the soil for planting strawberries. In autumn, at the end of August, you can plant a new strawberry plantation or leave the planting in the spring. For planting, it is necessary to prepare planting material.
In order to prevent the burning and burning of strawberries during the hot season, winter garlic was sown in wide aisles and sometimes not harvested for 2 years. Strawberries didn't hurt at all. Processing with ash on the mulch saved the area from slugs. May beetle larvae did not appear on the site over the years. The layer of mulch probably interfered with the laying of eggs. From the summer sun shaded strawberry bushes by sowing phacelia along a wide path between strawberries and garlic. It was possible to use (as gardeners advise) tall tagetes, calendula, cosmea or plant a row of corn together with garlic.
I don’t cover strawberries for the winter. In cold areas, during May days and early June frosts, you can use shelters from spunbond or other materials. In the morning they need to be removed. Otherwise, the ovaries and flowers may die from overheating under cover.
Thus, performing basic agricultural practices, large and healthy strawberries can be grown without frequent transplants. The main thing is to choose zoned varieties of healthy planting material. Prepare the soil thoroughly. Using timely watering, top dressing, thinning, strawberries can be grown in one place not for 2-3 years, but up to 7-8 and even 10 years.
Dear readers! Please share with us your experience of growing high yields, methods of preparing the soil and caring for the strawberry plantation, and the timing of transplantation.