Garden strawberry Is a favorite berry culture that has been propagated and grown in Russia for several centuries. With its high nutrient content, this berry is rightfully considered a delicacy that adorns any festive table.
Every year, with the beginning of the next summer cottage season, gardeners look forward to the day when the first fragrant strawberries ripen. But, as you know, to get berries it is necessary to grow strawberry seedlings. You can, of course, buy ready-made planting material, but real gardeners love to do everything themselves, especially if there are favorite varieties that you don't want to part with.
To obtain seedlings, you need to lay mother liquor... When laying it, use healthy plants or offspring from healthy plants. But if you are confident in your varieties, then use what is available. Before planting the plants, it is necessary to carry out preparatory work: choose a plot of land, add the available organic matter (at the rate of 1 bucket of rotted manure per 1 m²), carefully dig up the garden bed. It is also advisable to use peat, because strawberries are very responsive to fertile soil. It is also necessary to apply pre-planting mineral fertilizers, here it is more convenient to use complex fertilizers, you just need to make sure that they do not contain chlorine, since it has a negative effect on strawberries.
For mulching the soil, you can use a dark colored plastic wrap. When buying, you need to choose a high-quality film not thinner than 0.05 mm with polyvinyl additives. This will ensure its service life of at least five years.
After all, we will use this plantation as a mother plant for no more than two years, and in the future, this preparatory work guarantees a good, high-quality berry harvest for several years with minimal labor costs.
So, all the preparatory work on the bed was carried out, perhaps even in advance - in the fall, now on a flat surface we make markings using twine and pegs. In production, the recommended layout of plants is 90x70x30 cm, i.e. the distance between adjacent films of 90 cm is the row spacing, which can be further treated with herbicides or kept clean using mulching materials such as sawdust. You can also sow lawn grass between rows and mow it periodically. It is also possible to reduce the row spacing to 70 cm.
It is more profitable to carry out a two-line planting on a film with a distance between rows of up to 70 cm. Between plants in a row there is a gap of 30 cm on the mother plantation, on a fruit-bearing plantation 25 cm is enough.The width of the film is, as a rule, 1 or 1.2 m.Therefore, we hammer the pegs and stretch twine at a distance of 80-90 cm from each other. It is necessary to close up the film in very moist soil, which is convenient to do after the spring thaw of snow.
This is where the bayonet shovel comes in handy. We roll out the film over a short distance - about 2 meters - and seal it up, preferably on both sides with shovels tilted at a slight angle, stick the edges of the film into the wet soil and press it with the sole of the foot. Then we roll out another segment and another. Having reached the end of the intended row, we close the ends of the film along the twine in the same way.
Then we cut holes on the film for planting plants in them. You can make a cruciform incision, but in this case, you must carefully ensure that the planted plants are not covered with the edges of the film from above. It is more convenient to use a round hole with a diameter of 8-10 cm during the care process, it will be useful later for feeding. In the first year, weeds will need to be weeded in this hole until our plants take up the entire space.
Before planting, it is recommended to dip the roots of seedlings in a mash made from a mixture of manure and clay 1: 2, diluted with water to the consistency of "thick sour cream". This technique has a beneficial effect on the work of root bacteria. During planting, special attention should be paid to ensuring that the root system is in close contact with the soil.
To do this, press it with four fingers - thumbs and forefingers. The root system should not be bent or folded. It is impossible to deepen the apical bud, the so-called "heart", otherwise it will be difficult for the plant to see the sunlight. The quality of planting can be checked: you need to slightly pull on the leaf, the plant should not easily come out of the ground.
If the planting was carried out in the fall, then in the spring it is necessary to revise the plantings, since the spring moisture bulges out the plants, and they "stand" on the roots. In this case, you need to carry out the mandrel of the plants - press them back into the soil.
Since the use of the film retains the maximum amount of moisture in the soil, it is not necessary to water it on such a plantation. But in the event of a severe drought and a noticeable lack of water, you can water the plants and feed them directly through the hole.
A prerequisite for obtaining an earlier and higher quality planting material on your strawberry mother liquor is the removal of peduncles. This agricultural practice has one more positive side - next year, when we transfer this plantation to fruiting, the matured plants will form a larger number of flower buds. The mother plants must be constantly monitored and phyto-purified. If there is a suspicion of any disease, then it is better to immediately remove such a plant by the root and burn it.
It was found that due to the use of the film, the beginning of the growth of vegetative shoots occurs 1.5-2 weeks earlier than without mulching, besides, the number of shoots increases. This is especially noticeable in late varieties, since a direct relationship has been revealed between the ripening period of berries in strawberries and the formation of vegetative shoots and rosettes. For example, in the late Borovitskaya variety, the growth of shoots without a film begins on July 10, while when grown on a film - from mid-June.
On the film, the rosettes do not have the opportunity for rooting, therefore, by removing vegetative shoots with rosettes, we allow the mother bush to develop more actively, to lay a larger number of horns. This technique gives us rosettes that do not have time to accumulate infection, in contrast to the open ground mother liquor, where the rosettes take root in the soil near the mother bushes.
Harvesting of rosettes can be started when there are two formed rosettes with root rudiments on the shoot. Summing up the number of harvested outlets on average over three years, we found that on the varieties Venta, Sudarushka, Divnaya, Festivalnaya and Junia Smides, already from July 5, cutting of the formed outlets is possible.
The optimal time for the preparation of outlets is from August 10. By this time, up to 24 pieces of standard rosettes from one plant are formed, and in this case, in September we will have ready-made seedlings. After the first cut, the active growth of new shoots begins, and after regrowth within 30-40 days, a new portion of the rosettes is ready for rooting. Cutting the rosettes again will provide ready-made seedlings for the next season, after overwintering, they can be used both as mother plants and for setting up a plantation for fruiting.
In order not to damage the mother plant, it is better to cut the shoots with rosettes with a sharp knife. And then, in shading conditions, cut into ready-made cuttings and lower them into water so that they do not wilt. The stalk is a rosette with root rudiments, 2-3 developed leaves, an apical bud and a part of the lash (heel) no more than 2 cm for ease of planting
After that, it is necessary to plant the prepared sockets on a ridge or in a special nursery made of any material (frame filled with soil). Strong soil moistening is required before planting. We stick the sockets with the heel into the soil and press the place where the roots should begin to grow more tightly to the ground, but do not deepen. In order not to confuse the varieties, they can be separated from each other with any available material (chips, sticks, etc.). Re-cut rosettes can be left for wintering in nurseries.
Plants can be planted according to the 5x5 cm scheme, this is a compacted planting for quick rooting within 3-4 weeks, the 10x10 cm scheme will provide seedlings with a developed root system and a maximum leaf surface. The optimal use of the area with the arrangement of plants 7x7 cm, as well as the sparse scheme, is suitable for overwintering strawberries.
Recently, the use of cassette technology for growing strawberries has been recommended. This is due to the fact that when transplanting seedlings with a closed root system, the plants are less damaged and do not get sick. In Finland and Norway, strawberry seedlings are grown using 5x5 cm cassettes, similar to vegetable seedling cassettes. In cassettes, good results are obtained when rooting apical rosettes, which practically do not have root primordia, only emerging root tubercles. Within three weeks, with regular watering, a ready-made seedling is obtained; it is not necessary to keep the plants in cassettes longer, since the limited volume of the cassette retards the further development of the root system.
For the rooting period, for a more active formation of roots and leaves, it is recommended to use white lutrasil or spandbond as a covering material. It is a porous material that allows water to pass through and creates an optimal humidity regime. After planting, water the seedlings regularly, preventing the soil from drying out. During the first week, three to four waterings per day are sufficient, provided the weather is not very hot. It must be remembered: the higher the air temperature and solar activity, the more often you will have to water.
Under these conditions, in 30 days we will receive ready-made seedlings, which can be used for laying a new mother plant, since it is necessary to plant a mother plant every year. Moreover, it is most convenient to use it in this capacity for one year, and then transfer it to the category of a fruiting plantation. As a result, there may be 4-5 different-aged plantations on your site. In the last year, we grub up a fruit-bearing plantation and plant a young mother plant. This method of growing strawberries will allow us to have enough berries and a large number of seedlings, which will be enough not only for your plot, but also for neighbors.
L. Balueva, postgraduate student
Young shoots of garden strawberries do not need moisture very much, so it is important not to overdo it with watering... Waterlogging promises the appearance of mold on the walls of containers or, even worse, the emergence of such a dangerous disease as "black leg" in seedlings.
But with the appearance of the first true leaves, seedlings become much more demanding for watering. But this is not the only thing that strawberry seedlings need in the initial stages of growth. She also desperately needs a lot of light. Therefore, you need to grow strawberries on the lightest windowsill, and if necessary - supplement (at least 10 hours a day) with special lamps. The favorable temperature for the growth of seedlings is 18-20 ° C.
The film should be removed from the containers only when the first true leaves appear on the plants. If you do this earlier, then strawberry seedlings may die due to a sharp drop in humidity. It is better to accustom the seedlings to indoor conditions gradually, each time increasing the airing time. This procedure is called hardening.
When the strawberry seedlings get used to the environmental conditions, a pick can be made. By this time, they should already have 2-4 real leaves. It is best to transplant young plants by the transshipment method: removing the seedlings together with a small clod of earth from the moistened soil and transferring them into separate containers measuring 9 × 9 cm.
By the time of the pick, strawberry seedlings should have 2-4 true leaves
When the second pair of true leaves appears in the seedlings, they can be fed once a week. Strawberries need fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, for example, Kemira-Lux, Aquarin or Solution (see the dosage on the package).
fertile, medium fertility, neutral, loamy
direct sunlight, scattered sunlight
We used to call strawberries large and juicy garden strawberries (Fragaria ananassa) and its many varieties. Although by right this name is the only botanical species - nutmeg strawberry (strawberry), or musky strawberry - Fragaria moschata... But it so happened that in horticulture and cooking the terms "strawberry" and "garden strawberry" are applied to large-fruited strawberries on an equal footing, and many of the first designation is even clearer.
Garden strawberries (hereinafter referred to as strawberries) appeared in the 18th century as a result of spontaneous pollination of two American species - Chilean and Virginia. All modern varieties have gone from the resulting hybrid. Nowadays, strawberry cultivation is popular all over the world. In Russia, one of the first strawberry varieties that won universal love was the variety Victoria... Therefore, strawberries in some areas are still called victoria or victoria.
Growing strawberries - conditions
Lighting. Garden strawberries need full light throughout the day. Even a slight gliding shade (for example, from a nearby tree) significantly reduces the yield and quality of berries. Only some varieties are relatively shade-tolerant.
A place for planting and growing strawberries. Smooth or with a slight (up to 5 °) slope to the south. It is undesirable to grow strawberries in depressions, where cold air accumulates in spring, and flowers often suffer from late frosts. The place should be protected from the wind (so that the snow does not blow off in winter). The root system of strawberries begins to freeze at a temperature of -10. -12 ° С, long snow-free frosts are dangerous for her.
Garden strawberries are not planted in flooded areas, and the groundwater level should be no closer than 0.8 m to the soil surface. If the groundwater is higher, with intensive care (frequent watering or drip irrigation, snow retention), strawberries can be cultivated on raised ridges.
Soil for planting strawberries. Preferred sandy loam, light or medium loamy, with a neutral or slightly acidic reaction (pH 5.5-6.5). Before planting, the soil is dug onto a shovel bayonet, peat and humus (5-8 kg / sq. M), complete mineral fertilizer that does not contain chlorine (40-50 g / sq. M) are applied. Particular attention should be paid to cleaning the soil from the roots and rhizomes of weeds: strawberries are usually grown in one place without replanting for 3-4 years, perennial weeds will greatly complicate weeding and care.
Acceptable Strawberry Precursors: Beetroot, lettuce, cyclic salad.
Best predecessors: Siderata, peas, beans, beans, onions, garlic, radishes, parsley, dill, carrots, celery, corn.
Bad predecessors: Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, zucchini, potatoes, raspberries, cabbage.
Optimal planting dates for strawberries in the middle lane (Moscow region, Ural, southern Siberia)
Strawberries are a super intensive crop. If you plant it in early autumn, then next summer you can already pick the berries. But although strawberries live for twenty years, it gives maximum yields only in the first three years. With each next summer, everything will decrease and worsen: the number of berries, their taste and size.
Strawberry planting scheme
For more information on the technology of planting strawberries on agricultural fabric, see the master class: Planting strawberries
Keep the soil on your plantation loose and weed-free throughout the year. Mulching can make the cultivation of strawberries much easier.
Watering. In dry weather, strawberries are watered all summer at least once a week, until September.
Top dressing. Even the most unpretentious single-fruiting varieties require 3-4 feeding per year. Moreover, the most important feeding is after the strawberry harvest. Repaired strawberries need to be fed every 7-10 days until September.
After harvesting, the plantation is cleaned of plant debris and whiskers unused for reproduction. It is also recommended to remove old leaves affected by spots and mites.
Most often, strawberries are propagated vegetatively - by daughter rosettes, in June - July, immediately after fruiting. Usually this method is called whisker propagation, although the strawberry whiskers themselves (the shoots on which the daughter rosettes are located) are not used for reproduction. Seed propagation has recently become popular. Seed strawberries can be grown in the garden in summer or sown in peat tablets at home.
Diseases and pests
The most common diseases of strawberries: late blight and verticillium wilting, brown spot, gray rot.
Read more: Strawberry Diseases
Strawberry pests. The transparent strawberry mite causes the leaves to bend by sucking up their juice. The raspberry-strawberry weevil damages the buds, significantly reducing the yield of strawberries. Strawberry worms, or kivsaki, eat strawberries touching the ground.
Strawberry varieties - garden strawberries
There are many varieties of strawberries. And thanks to the efforts of breeders, their number is increasing. Here are just a few. First of all, these are early varieties 'Alpha' (sweet, with sourness), dessert 'Vegera' and 'Holiday', sweet and sour 'Talka'. Medium early berries include large universal berries 'Vityaz', 'Divnaya', 'Dukat'. Most of the middle varieties: large 'Kokinskaya otbodnaya', dense dessert 'Lakomaya', large dessert 'Troitskaya', 'Fireworks', 'Relay'. Varieties 'Bounty', 'Red Gauntlet', 'Zenith' are medium late, and 'Borovitskaya' is a very late variety.
Strawberry varieties are: single fruiting, remontant and neutral day.
Buying strawberry seedlings
The seedlings should have three to four healthy green leaves. You should not be afraid of stains - they may well form due to the drying out of the leaf during transplantation. The main thing is that the "heart" (the central bud, the leaf that has not yet blossomed) is whole. Experts recommend buying seedlings with a closed root system - then the plant will definitely take root.
Read more: How to choose good strawberry seedlings
Learn about how to grow plants, what gardening work needs to be planned, you can from the articles on our site... Also, please pay attention to the information block to the left of the text. The links located in it lead to articles of related topics.
Grows in any fertile soil. Neutral loams and sandy loams are well suited. Too wet or too dry soils are not suitable.
Very sun-loving, only some varieties are shade-tolerant.
Strawberry plantings are regularly watered, especially in dry weather. After watering, the soil in the rows can be loosened. Weeds are removed.
Diseases and pests: fusarium wilting, spots, powdery mildew, mites.
Garden strawberries are usually called strawberries, and in the old way - victoria. The name suits her: by harvesting the aromatic berries, you really feel like you've made a small victory. And the secret is intensive care.
Strawberry bushes age quickly and lose productivity, so it is not recommended to keep them in one place for more than 4-5 years. The ideal option is to plant a new bed every year, and remove it after five years. Thus, five plots of different ages will appear in your garden:
Among your friends, there are probably those who have successfully grown garden strawberries in one place for 6-7 years and longer. There is nothing incredible in this. Not all varieties age quickly, there are also "long-livers". Nevertheless, it is better to change both plants and their planting place in time - this will reduce the spread of pests and diseases, and help restore soil fertility.
You have to renew the assortment not only out of curiosity: if you grow the same varieties from year to year, pathogens gradually adapt to their immune profile. The variety, as it were, "educates" its own freeloaders - more or less harmful races of fungi, subtypes of viruses capable of "splitting" its defenses. It happened with a fragrant and tasty variety Festivalnaya... He was dropped from the favorites of the market because of the mushroom Verticilliumcausing verticillary wilting. At first, the disease bypassed Festival side, but then a new race appeared, which took a liking to this variety, which literally did not live in nurseries or in garden plots.
Strawberry / garden strawberry seedlings
Rotation of strawberry varieties allows not only to highlight the most delicious and suitable ones for your garden, but also to reduce the threat of the spread of diseases. True, neither advertising, nor the recommendations of "experienced" do not give a complete picture. How many people, so many opinions about what the ideal strawberry should be. The best way out is, without neglecting the advice of friends, to gain your own experience by regularly buying and testing several copies of different varieties. And multiply the ones you like.
Self-sowing or with an accidental purchase, aggressive weed "varieties" can take root in the planting of garden strawberries: Suspension, Bakhmutka, Zhmurka, Dubnyak... They differ somewhat from each other: some do not bloom at all, others form barren flowers or small crooked berries with any, even the best care.
Weed strawberries are distinguished by strong vegetative growth. Its plants are usually larger than their cultivated relatives and produce countless whiskers. Even one specimen per season can spread over a large area, "strangling" the varietal plants surrounding it.
Keep an eye on the plantings, identify and destroy aggressive lean specimens.
A new strawberry plantation is usually planted partly with purchased plants, partly with their planting material. It is better to start preparing seedlings at harvest time. At this time, evaluate the strawberry bushes and keep an eye on the best ones. Do not be fooled when you see one berry the size of a chicken egg on a strawberry bush: if a handful of "strawberry peas" ripens behind a single large berry on a plant, it means that the plant's genetic inclinations are low and you will not achieve yields from either it or its offspring.
Choose and peg plants with a large number of healthy and more or less even-sized berries - they are the most productive, from them and only from them it is worth taking planting material for laying the next plot.
Marking a successful bush of a garden strawberry / strawberry for further propagation.
When whiskers begin to appear on the "selected" plants, it is better not to tighten them with rooting - delay will affect the quality of the planting material. Choose the most powerful first-order outlets (extending from the mother bush). Weaker bushes are obtained from sockets of the second and subsequent orders (extending from other daughter outlets).
To get the maximum yield, it is better to plant strawberries in July, in a well-lit area (even a sliding shadow from a tree prevents the plant from blooming and bearing fruit). The soil at the site of the new planting should take a break from garden strawberries (4 years), from potatoes, tomatoes and other nightshades (at least 2 years). Usually, they choose places that, around the middle of summer, are freed from asparagus beans and peas, radishes, lettuce, onions, garlic, and herbs. Suitable predecessors are beets and carrots, but it is desirable that these be separate beds planted "for summer consumption", because in September, when the main harvest of beets and carrots is harvested, it is too late to plant strawberries.
You can greatly facilitate your work when growing strawberries in pots, if you use not primitive flower pots, but self-watered pots. You can install them both in the greenhouse and in the loggia.
No less successful garden strawberries in such smart containers will grow on a rack on the street. The self-watering pot can be hung on a fence or on the wall of a barn. The shape and size of the self-watering container can be different; for strawberries, the main thing is that the volume of soil per bush is at least 2 liters.
Self-watering pots can look very aesthetically pleasing, with their help the design of the loggia and balcony will meet all modern beauty requirements. On the loggia, you can hang ordinary flower pots for growing strawberries and pick delicious berries growing in pots for your breakfast.
If the farm does not have a greenhouse, this is not a problem. On the street, you can build a structure of plastic pipes with your own hands for growing strawberries in containers or pots.
A canopy is definitely needed to protect the strawberries in pots from heavy rainfall and the bright, scorching sun. The technology for the care and reproduction of garden strawberries on the street differs little from the greenhouse technology. The main differences are the timing of planting in pots and the duration of fruiting. In a greenhouse, the growing season starts earlier and lasts longer.
All other agricultural techniques are similar. When growing large-fruited or remontant strawberries on the street, they also need timely watering, regular fertilization and rationing of the crop. Watch an interesting video about the experience of growing strawberries in pots on the street:
There is no unequivocal answer to the question of which mulch is the best for strawberries. Each of its types has its pros and cons. The choice of material also depends on the area of cultivation of garden strawberries, the type of soil on which they grow, and even the type of crop.
Organic mulch enriches the soil with useful substances, increases its fertility. However, it needs to be constantly replenished, because organic matter decomposes and passes into the ground. Artificial mulching materials are more durable, but they cannot increase soil fertility and can overheat in hot weather.
The leading position among all organic materials for mulching strawberries is straw. It is the most accessible, transmits water well and reflects the sun, restrains evaporation of moisture from the soil and protects the berries from contact with the ground.
For mulching strawberries with straw, choose only dry material, spread it around the plants in an even layer about 15 cm thick. Do not think that this is too much: the mulch will soon settle.
The fiber contained in the straw decomposes slowly, which prevents its rapid decay. But its nutritional value is also lower. In addition, straw acidifies the soil and draws nitrogen out of it. To compensate for its loss and feed the strawberries, mulch the bushes with a mixture of straw and compost or rotted manure.
In the autumn-winter period, straw serves as a refuge for rodents and is carried around the site by the wind, therefore, it is not recommended to shelter plants from cold weather. During autumn work, it should be collected and disposed of.
Unlike straw, hay contains readily biodegradable fiber, which provides strawberries with good nutrition. But this is not for long, because rapid decomposition depletes a thin layer of mulch, and in a higher layer it leads to rotting of the lower layers. Therefore, hay is more suitable as a temporary top dressing. It must be laid in a layer of 7-10 cm and changed every two weeks.
When hay decomposes in the soil, hay bacillus multiplies - a beneficial microorganism that prevents fungal infections from occurring on strawberry plantations.
Before laying the hay, beat and shake well to "knock out" the weed seeds, then soak and dry in the sun.
Weeds (without seeds or roots) or lawn mowed can be an alternative to straw and hay. They contain rapidly decomposing ingredients that provide the strawberries with the necessary nutrition. Such mulch is obtained free of charge, it is easy to lay out, it retains soil moisture well.
However, the raw materials must first be dried, otherwise the greens will rot in cloudy weather. For the same reason, this mulch can only be used in the summer.
A layer 5-7 cm thick, like hay, must be changed every two weeks. After the grass or weed mulch is laid, the beds should not be watered for the next 7 days.
Among inorganic materials for mulching strawberries, black polyethylene film with a thickness of 30 microns or more is most often used. It retains moisture well, prevents the growth of weeds, prevents the mustache from rooting, raises the temperature of the soil by several degrees, which allows you to get a harvest earlier. Its cost is lower than that of nonwovens.
However, it is recommended to use the film only for spring mulching: in winter it will not be able to protect plants from frost. In addition, the mulch film does not allow air to pass through and can cause strawberry roots to dry out. Also, during spring frosts, condensation accumulates on this material, which can cause damage to plants.
The disadvantages of using this material include the need to organize drip irrigation.
In southern regions, it is better to use a two-color film (the bottom layer is black and the top one is white). Such material will reduce the risk of soil overheating during hot summers.
The danger of overheating the soil can be reduced in another way: simply spread grass or straw on the surface of the black film.
Mulching with black film is carried out at the stage of planting young strawberry rosettes. In the spring, weeds are removed, the soil is dug up and organic fertilizers are applied. A furrow 10 cm deep is made along the perimeter of the beds, the surface is covered with a film (20-30 cm more than a strawberry bed) and cross-shaped slots or rounded holes with a diameter of 8-10 cm are made in it every 30 cm.
The next same row with holes is made, departing from the previous 60 cm. Through the cross-shaped holes, holes are dug in the ground and strawberry bushes are planted there, and the film is fixed with hairpins or heavy objects.
Despite the fact that plastic wrap is much cheaper, experienced gardeners still prefer to use black spunbond (agrofibre) with a density of at least 50 g / m2. It does not transmit light, maintains temperature and moisture in the soil. In addition, it lasts longer and is better fixed in the garden. Spunbond can also be used to water and feed strawberries.
The disadvantages, in addition to the price, include overheating of the land in the southern regions and the risk of developing fungal diseases due to condensation that collects under the surface of the canvas in areas with high humidity. To avoid drying out of the roots of strawberries, they practice airing, for which they periodically raise the spunbond along the edges of the beds.
The technology of laying mulch from this material is similar to that of a film.
Garden chips are the most durable material for mulching garden strawberries (lasts up to 5 years). It protects the soil well from overheating and freezing, inhibits the growth of weeds and gives an aesthetic look to the beds. For mulching, mainly pine or larch bark of small or medium fractions is used.
Chips are laid in a layer of 5-7 cm. But due to the fact that it retains moisture worse, more frequent watering will be required. The ground under it quickly dries up and compresses, which is not the best way for the development of strawberries, which need loose and moderately moist soil. And then removing chips from the site is much more difficult.
Needles can mulch the soil in spring and autumn. The mulch layer is 3-5 cm
As mulch, not only the needles themselves (needles) are used, but also cones, thin twigs and bark of coniferous trees. Such material quickly decays, from which the soil becomes loose and nutritious. In addition, the needles prevent the spread of gray rot and protect the berry from pests. The layer is laid with a thickness of 3-5 cm.
Mulching with needles in the fall will protect the strawberries from frost. But keep in mind: this mulching material must be used with caution on acidic soils, since as it decays, it further acidifies the soil. There it should be brought in by mixing with ash. And collecting the required amount of needles is not easy, as well as laying it.
Fresh sawdust and shavings look beautiful in the garden. They reflect the sun's rays well and retain moisture, better than hay and straw they inhibit the growth of weeds, interfere with the movement of snails and slugs.
However, this mulching material does not protect garden strawberries from pests well: insects live in the sawdust. In addition, when decomposing, sawdust takes nitrogen from the soil. Therefore, you need to use either old rotted sawdust, or before using fresh ones, feed the strawberries with an increased dose of nitrogen fertilizers.
The frequent use of pine needles and softwood sawdust acidifies the soil, therefore, when using these mulching materials, ash or dolomite flour must be added to the strawberry bed.
Methods for growing strawberries in different areas
Growing strawberries the process is not quite simple. Strawberries require care and proper planting... This tasty and aromatic summer berry remains a favorite among garden berries for many years and even centuries. With large plots of land, you can grow a huge amount of strawberries and even get a good income from selling them.
Owners of small plots should not lose heart, there are many methods to grow a lot of strawberries on a minimum plot of land, there are even methods that do not require a land plot, strawberries can be grown simply in the yard, even if it is asphalted. We'll go over all of these growing methods so that you can choose the one that suits you.
A raised bed under the film will solve several problems at once. Such a bed will better keep moisture, which is very necessary for the growth of strawberries. In such a bed there will be no such annoying weeds for everyone. It is also very easy and convenient to care for strawberries on such a bed and trim the antennae.
Raised bed under strawberry foil
So how do you make such a bed? For the garden bed, you will need boards and a special dark film, which can be purchased at any agricultural store or market.
You can make any length of the bed, but the width should be no more than 2 meters. If it is wider, then it will simply not be convenient for you to care for the strawberries, since you cannot walk on such a bed, you must conveniently reach the middle of the bed from both sides.
Now dig up a section of the required size. Take the boards, the height of the sides of the beds should be at least 40-50 cm, deepen the boards a little into the ground so that they stand well.
Now pour drainage on the bottom of the garden bed, ordinary slag or fine gravel, in general, any material available to you, will do.
Then, prepare a nutritious substrate for the strawberries. Mix soil from your garden with humus or rotted cow dung, sand, and rotted sawdust. The earth in this mixture should be 50%, and all the other listed components in equal amounts. Fill the bed with the prepared mixture. Of course, it is difficult to mix such an amount somewhere separately, so you can just cover it all in layers and then just mix it already in the garden with a hoe or a garden fork. Move the soil a little away from the boards.
Of course, a very important issue with this method is watering, because everyone understands that the film does not allow water to pass through. Here the laid drip irrigation will save. Such watering is not cheap, but there is an alternative.
Buy inexpensive plastic pipes and run them along the garden bed. The pipes should be located between the rows of strawberries, in order to understand how they will be located, just put the film on the bed and see where the strawberries will be, and put the pipes between the rows, deepening them into the ground.
Close one end of each pipe with a plug, drill holes in the pipe from which water will come out. Lay the pipes so that you can fill them with a hose. Then you will simply fill the pipes with water, and that one of them will flow to the plants.
Prepare the film, for this you need to make cuts on it for planting strawberries. This is easy to do. Divide the film visually or with chalk: line it into strips of 40 cm wide, so if you have a bed width of 2 meters, then there should be 4 strips, also line the film in width. You will have squares.
Make small cross-shaped cuts in the film, at the intersection of each square, just so that you can plant a strawberry bush in the cut. Cover the bed with a film, deepen the edges into the ground so that it lies there tightly and does not crawl out during planting.
Now plant 2-3 strawberry bushes in each hole, connecting them into one. After planting, be sure to fill the pipes with irrigation water or turn on drip irrigation.
In a small area, you can use the method of growing strawberries in plastic bags.
Growing strawberries in bags vertically
The advantage of this method is that it can be grown anywhere, even the smallest plot or even a balcony of an apartment will do.
The downside is leaving. It is necessary to provide shade for such strawberries in summer in the heat, because the soil in black bags dries out very quickly, wintering will also be a problem, the bags will need to be kept in a room where the temperature does not drop below 0 °, otherwise the roots will freeze.
You will need thick dark plastic bags, which can be purchased at any agricultural store. The bags must be filled with nutritious soil, for this take 50% of the garden soil, 20% sand, 10% humus and 20% small rotted sawdust. Fill the bags with the mixture.
Growing strawberries in bags horizontally
If you will lay the bag horizontally, make a cut in the center, but not completely, otherwise the bag will simply come apart. Plant strawberries in the cut, plant the bushes tightly to each other in a row. You need to water such strawberries in the same cut, but remember that this is a bag and all moisture remains in it, do not fill it.
The bags can also be placed vertically, they can be put on shelves or wherever you like. First, pull the string over the bag, you should end up with a sausage-like bag in a net. Make small cruciform cuts around the bag just so you can plant a bush. Water it on top in a bag. It is also recommended to spray with this method.
Vertical growing is just perfect for small areas. This kind of cultivation has quite a few advantages. The first, of course, is the saving of space and the ability to get a large harvest in a small area. The second convenience of harvesting, picking such strawberries is very convenient, there is no need to bend over to the ground and strain your back. Caring for her is very simple, it is convenient to trim the antennae. By growing strawberries this way, you don't have to fight weeds.
To grow, you will need a construction metal mesh, bags, and a pipe. You need a strong construction metal mesh, from which you will need to make a pipe with a minimum diameter of 50 cm.
Vertical cultivation of strawberries
Lay out the netting, place cut bags on top of it, or buy the stuff that makes regular white bags, like the ones that sell flour or sugar.
Attach the fabric to the mesh with a wire so that it does not slide out when you fill in the soil.
Then bend the mesh with the bag material into a pipe, fasten the ends so that they cannot disperse under the load of wet soil.
Install this makeshift pipe vertically, be sure to secure it to prevent it from falling even if there is wind. It is advisable to install such a structure in greenhouses or sheltered places.
You will also need a plastic pipe with a diameter of about 10 cm. Make holes in it on four sides at a distance of 20-30 cm. Install this pipe exactly in the center of the makeshift mesh tube.
Now start filling the soil. Be sure to fill the drainage layer at the bottom, because in such structures there is always more moisture from the bottom than from the top. Prepare the soil from a mixture of earth, sand, humus and sawdust. The earth should be about 60%, add the rest of the components in equal parts. Fill the soil into the pipe, backfill in parts, water each part a little, this is necessary for the earth to settle.
After falling asleep, do not plant strawberries right away, let the structure stand for a couple of days so that the soil sags a little and then does not pull the strawberry roots behind it.
Then make cross-shaped cuts in the burlap, make cuts on the four sides between the bushes there should be a distance of 30 cm.In each cut, you can plant 2 bushes. After planting, pour water into the irrigation pipe.
For the winter, such a structure must be well wrapped up in order to prevent the roots from freezing.
Here you can use any old tires of any size to grow strawberries. It is necessary to make small round holes in the tires, they should be enough for a bush to pass through them.
Growing strawberries in tires
Immediately prepare the soil for garden soil, sand, humus and sawdust. The land should be at least 60%, and everything else in equal parts.
It is necessary to form the structure gradually.
You can make a structure from one big tire. Then holes are made on the sides, insert bushes into the holes. Cover with prepared soil. Then plant the strawberries on top like in a flowerpot. It is better to plant at a distance, between the bushes, should be no more than 10-15 cm. Such a design is simply watered from above like a flowerpot.
You can make such a structure from several tires, the number of them is optional. Holes are also made in the tires.
Tire Irrigation Strawberry Pipe
But when using several tires in the center, it is necessary to put a pipe for irrigating strawberries in this structure, the bottom of the pipe is closed with a plug. It is necessary to make holes on the pipe at a distance of 15-20 cm. Drainage is poured at the bottom of the structure. After you have installed watering, push the bushes into the holes and cover with soil, tamp it a little.
Only after planting and backfilling the soil with the first tire, install another, do everything in the same way as with the first, and so continue on, setting the number of tires you need. You can also plant strawberries on top.
For the winter, it is recommended to wrap such a structure.
To grow strawberries using this method, you will need a regular plastic pipe of the largest diameter, usually pipes for conducting sewers.
Strawberry pipe device
It is necessary to make round holes in the pipes at a distance of 15-20 cm, the pipe is installed vertically, for installation it needs to be dug a little into the ground for stability. In the center of the pipe, it is necessary to put another pipe of a smaller diameter, holes must be made in it at a distance of 10 cm. Install it clearly in the center.
Next, fill in the prepared soil. Mix for the soil 45-50% of garden soil, at least 20% of sand and equal amounts of humus and rotted sawdust. Falling asleep the soil, water it a little with water so that it sinks a little. Plant strawberries in the holes made; it is better to plant 1 bush each.
For the winter, such a structure must be well wrapped.
For growing strawberries in boxes, any boxes that are available to you, wooden or plastic, are suitable. For cultivation, the box is all lined with agricultural film or material for ordinary non-woven bags. It is better to fix the edges well so that they do not slide off when backfilling the soil.
Growing tubers in boxes
A big plus of this method is that if you have a small plot, you can locate strawberries in any place convenient for you, you can distribute many of these boxes throughout the plot or put them beautifully in a pyramid on supports. The convenience of transportation is also a big plus, you can easily transport such strawberries to another place.
For the winter, you can not wrap such strawberries, but simply move the boxes to the basement or indoors.
For backfill, prepare the soil, for the soil, take no more than 50% of ordinary garden soil, 20-30% of sand, and rotted sawdust and humus in equal proportions.
Then just plant strawberry bushes in a box at a distance of 10-15 cm, you can plant 2 bushes together. Water the strawberries after planting.
If you create a structure from boxes with strawberries, never create it so that one box creates a shadow for the other; it is necessary to build a structure only according to the principle of a pyramid.
Choose for yourself a convenient method of growing strawberries and get a large harvest of delicious berries!