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Every year the flow of citizens leaving for summer cottages is increasing. Country life is full of pleasures: fresh air, silence, natural beauty and the opportunity to grow vegetables, fruits, herbs and berries with your own hands. A traditional set grows in almost every summer cottage: raspberries, currants, gooseberries, strawberries, or as it is also called, garden strawberries. Growing strawberries does not require constant hassle, however, some rules of agricultural technology for garden strawberries still exist. Choosing a place, preparing the soil, selecting a variety: photos and videos with answers to basic questions on how to grow strawberries, you will find in this article.
Choosing a landing site
Growing strawberries will be successful with proper soil preparation. The best harvest can be obtained by planting strawberry bushes on neutral, light, fertilized soils. Place the strawberry bed in a sunny, sheltered area. Garden strawberries love moist soil, but reacts negatively to excess moisture, the site for planting seedlings should not be swampy. You should not carry out the cultivation of strawberries in an area where there is stagnant water in the spring and after heavy rains.
Garden strawberries can be planted in spring and autumn. Planted in spring, strawberries will not bear fruit in the first summer, so it is wiser to postpone planting strawberry bushes until autumn, by winter they will take root and get stronger. The next year, strawberries will give the first berry harvest.
Important! It is best to prepare a plot for strawberries six months before planting seedlings: in spring for autumn planting, in autumn for spring planting.
In autumn, gardeners have less worries than in spring. There is a lot of planting material, strawberries have sprouted a mustache, the weather is warm, far from frost. Young strawberry bushes will take root and overwinter successfully. There are three stages of autumn planting of garden strawberries:
- Early (mid-August to mid-September);
- Medium (from September 15 to October 15);
- Late (no later than a month before frost).
The choice of planting time for strawberries depends on climatic characteristics and the cyclical development of plants. The whiskers released by strawberry bushes in June-July will take root in the soil in July or August, forming fruiting buds in September or October. Early and mid autumn planting of strawberries will yield higher yields than late fall planting.
Didn't have time to plant the bushes of garden strawberries in the fall? Wondering how to properly grow strawberries even if the soil is not prepared in advance? Do not despair: everything can be done in spring by buying seedlings, or growing them from seeds.
When purchasing garden strawberry seedlings, choose one that is sold in pots or cassettes.
Advice! Seedlings with a closed root system are more expensive, but there is no need to save: strawberry seedlings with an open root system take root worse.
Successful strawberry cultivation begins with the selection of a variety that suits your climate zone. Buy well-developed, healthy seedlings, recognizable by their deep green bushes. Brown, white spots on garden strawberry seedlings signal diseases. Remove the seedlings in a cool place for three days, prepare the holes in such a way that the distance between the bushes is 30 cm, and half a meter between the rows. Dig holes for strawberry seedlings 10 cm deep, loosen the borders of the planting hole, form a mound below, on top of which it will be convenient to distribute the roots of the plant.
If since the fall the soil has not been fertilized with organic matter, then put a couple of handfuls of humus and a handful of wood ash in the hole. Cut the roots of the strawberry bushes to a length of 7-8 cm, remove the extra leaves, leaving 3-4 of the largest ones. Spread the roots over the mound, cover with earth, compacting the soil well near the roots. To prevent the root collar and base of the strawberry deciduous rosette from rotting, after planting the plant, gently pull it up. You can water an empty hole before planting a bush, or water the soil abundantly after planting a plant. The first summer after planting, garden strawberries, most likely, will not bear fruit.
Advice! Plant strawberry bushes in cloudy weather or in the evening.
Agricultural technology for growing strawberries is the correct preparation of the soil. In the spring, dig up a bed with a pitchfork, remove the rhizomes of weeds from the soil. Strawberries love soil that is well fertilized with organic matter, so add mullein, humus or compost in an amount of one bucket per meter2... Add 5 kg of wood ash per meter2 soil. Cover the area prepared for planting strawberries with black geotextiles to prevent weeds from germinating. For spring planting of seedlings, perform the described procedure in the fall. A month before the expected date of planting strawberries, add a tablespoon of Kaliyphos or 40 g of superphosphate mixed with 10 g of potassium sulfate per square meter.
Nature has taken good care of the reproduction of this plant. Garden strawberries propagate by seeds, rooted shoots (whiskers) and division of the rhizome, therefore, gardeners do not have a shortage of strawberry planting material.
Propagation of strawberries by seeds
This method is quite troublesome, but it allows you to get healthy seedlings while maintaining varietal characteristics. The secrets of growing strawberries from seeds lie in choosing the right seed. Buy garden strawberry seeds from the store, or get them from your plants by picking ripe, even berries. Leave them in the sun for a few days to soften the pulp. Mash the strawberries, soak them in water. Remove the pulp, rinse the seeds and soak again. Those of them that have gone to the bottom of the container are suitable for further use. Dry and store in a cool dry place until February.
In February, soak strawberry seeds in water for a few days, changing it twice a day. Soak the store seeds in the growth regulator according to the instructions for the preparation. To germinate seeds for seedlings, sow them in a box filled with disinfected moist soil, cover with glass until germination. Remove the glass from time to time to ventilate and moisten the soil.
When sprouts appear, make a pick, the second pick is carried out in the phase of 4-5 leaves according to the 5x5 cm scheme. A week before planting, harden the seedlings, taking them out to a cool place, gradually increasing the time the strawberry bushes stay cool.
Strawberry bushes grow propagation shoots (whiskers) after flowering and throughout the summer. Choose bushes that will serve as "donors". Remove the flower stalks and leave the mustache, and in the middle of summer you will see rosettes on them (young strawberry bushes). Those with 4 or more leaves are suitable as seedlings. Separate the young strawberry bushes from the main plant, plant them together with an earthen clod on the prepared garden bed, water the strawberry plantings abundantly.
Reproduction by division
Dividing a strawberry bush is not the most popular way to propagate it, although this method does not cause any particular problems. An overgrown adult bush needs to be dug out, carefully divided into several daughter plants. It is quite simple to do this, since the rhizome of an old bush dies off naturally, and it is easily divided into several small bushes. The resulting seedlings are rooted according to the previously described rules.
Strawberry plantations, even with proper care, cannot bear fruit in the same place for decades. After 3-4 years of active growth and rich harvests, strawberry bushes need to be replaced and planted in another place. Tips for growing strawberries from experienced gardeners are: Don't plant this crop where potatoes, tomatoes, or cucumbers used to grow. But radishes, carrots, radishes, legumes, as well as onions and garlic are excellent predecessors of strawberries.
Care during the growing season
Remove weeds in a timely manner and loosen the soil to provide air for the roots. Make sure that the roots of the strawberry are not exposed, this will lead to their drying out. Mulching the soil will allow you to get rid of weeds and reduce the number of watering, which is especially important for summer residents who come to the site on weekends. Remove the mustache and excess leaves so that the strawberry bush gives all its strength to fruiting.
Strawberry watering schedule
The technology of growing strawberries implies maintaining a balance of soil moisture. It is necessary to water the bushes abundantly, and at the same time avoid waterlogging of the roots. Moisture stagnation at the roots causes rot. Start watering strawberry bushes from the end of April at intervals of once every one and a half to two weeks. One square meter of a garden bed needs 10-12 liters of cold water. In summer, the frequency of watering increases to 3-4 times a week. From August to October inclusive, it is enough to water the bushes twice a week. Water in the morning, do not let water get on the plant. Optimal use of drip irrigation.
Top dressing strawberries
The technology of growing strawberries dictates regular feeding. In addition to introducing organic matter, when planting bushes, three additional feeding of adult plants should be carried out per year:
- Before the start of the growing season;
- During budding and fruit formation;
- After harvest.
In the spring, caring for the site after winter, add half a liter of either nitroammophoska (1 tablespoon per 10 liters of water) or organic matter: mullein infusion (1:10), chicken manure infusion (1:12) into the soil under strawberries. As a foliar top dressing, use a mixture of trace elements, taking 2 grams of ammonium molybdate, potassium permanganate and boric acid per 10 liters of water.
At the very beginning of flowering, feed the strawberry bushes with potash fertilizer: add ash, chicken manure infusion or potassium nitrate to the soil. You can also carry out foliar feeding in the same period, spraying with a solution of boric acid in the proportion of one teaspoon per 10 liters of water will significantly increase the number of inflorescences, and abundant flowering is the key to a good harvest.
When the berries are harvested and the leaves are trimmed, feed the bushes that have given all their strength to fruiting. Add under each bush, in the soil, 0.5 liters of nitroammofoska solution (2 tablespoons per 10 liters of water). Garden strawberry is a plant of KSD (short daylight hours), it lays the buds of fruiting in the next season in late summer - early autumn, so in August fertilize strawberry bushes with urea (30 g per 10 l of water) and water it well.
Diseases of garden strawberries
Strawberries have their own pests and are affected by fungal diseases. Fruit, gray, root rot; white, brown and brown spotting; late blight, fusarium and verticillary wilting; jaundice and powdery mildew - this is a list of common diseases of garden strawberries. Observance of crop rotation and preventive treatments at the beginning and end of the growing season of plants will help to avoid these problems. If the strawberry bushes get sick, then the use of fungicides becomes inevitable.
Garden strawberry pests
Strawberries are affected by ticks, strawberry nematodes, and strawberry-raspberry weevil. Slugs and ants do not bypass the fragrant berry. Proper care, crop rotation, preventive treatment of bushes and soil will reduce the risks of pest attacks.
Attention! Preventive soil cultivation should be done in the spring, when the plant begins to wake up, and in the fall, when the strawberry bushes are prepared for wintering.
After the snow melts, before the buds swell, remove the winter mulch from the strawberry bushes, destroy it. It is also better to remove the layer of soil under the mulch, or at least loosen it to a depth of 6-8 cm. This measure will help to destroy the awakening pests. Pour strawberry bushes and soil with 3-4% solution of Bordeaux liquid, or 2-3% solution of copper sulfate.
In mid-September, process the strawberry beds with a mixture of 3 tbsp. tablespoons of refried sunflower oil, 2 tbsp. spoons of liquid soap, wood ash and vinegar, diluted in 10 liters of water. After two weeks, treat the soil with Bordeaux mixture or copper sulfate in the above proportion.
Agrotechnology for growing strawberries is quite simple and accessible to every interested person.