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About Strawberries Without Secrets (part 1)
About Strawberries Without Secrets (part 1)

The experience of growing everyone's favorite strawberries in risky farming

Without a doubt, picking strawberries is a real fabulous madness. Buckets of delicious and aromatic berries literally drive you crazy, and before you have time to finish one batch, the next ripens. And therefore, strawberries are considered the generally recognized queen among summer berries.

Its advantages are innumerable: it is unusually beautiful, tasty, and useful in addition. Therefore, there is nothing surprising in the fact that it was she who became one of the first berries that came to a person's taste in very distant times. However, strawberries are not only a tasty treat, they also have other advantages.

Decorative strawberry

It would seem that everyone has long known that strawberries are grown for their wonderful berries. However, this is not quite true.


Now in the West, this plant is increasingly beginning to be used as a ground cover plant. In terms of decorativeness, the first place is occupied by the Pink Panda variety(hybrid of garden strawberry with marsh cinquefoil). It forms a mass of whiskers and grows on any garden soil, in the sun and in partial shade, quickly covering the ground (it is enough to plant only 5 plants per 1m2). This plant is ideal, for example, to revitalize the rock garden. It blooms for a long time, from spring to autumn (like small-fruited strawberry varieties, however, in winter some of our plants, in the Urals, freeze out). There are very few berries, but they are quite edible. Western breeders continue to actively work on replenishing the assortment of strawberry ground covers. There are already varieties with flowers of red, white and pink colors. True, all of them are not frost-resistant enough. But this is also a problem for many small-fruited remontant strawberries. However, we grow them quite successfully.

Strawberry preferences

  1. The strawberry origin is, of course, a forest plant. But in the forest, the ancestors of modern strawberries did not grow in more often, but on the edges and sunny glades. This is why it can tolerate a little shading, however, it requires a lot of light to get a high yield. In strong shade (for example, under the dense crowns of trees), it grows well, forming powerful leaves and many mustaches. There is even a belief among some gardeners that strawberries grow better in grass. However, the number of berries in the shade is small, and they themselves are not at all sweet, and in our conditions they are much more affected by gray rot. That is why open sunny areas are preferable for strawberries.
  2. Strawberry roots are located mainly in the arable horizon, at a depth of 15-25 cm. Therefore, it does not tolerate drought well and is considered a moisture-loving crop. The need for water increases during the flowering, fruiting and post-harvest phases. However, high humidity is practically destructive: strawberries grow poorly, and berries are affected by gray rot (which, in fact, is observed in our country almost every summer). Therefore, in the Urals, watering strawberries, despite all their moisture-loving nature, has to be insignificant. And a thick layer of mulching material saves from overdrying.
  3. This plant can grow in a variety of soils, but prefers light to medium loamy, slightly acidic soils rich in organic matter. Strongly depleted, swampy or heavy clay soils are completely unsuitable for its culture. When grown on sandy ones, their preliminary cultivation is required by introducing a large amount of organic matter. When planting strawberries in low wetlands, the winter hardiness of plants is greatly reduced, they grow poorly, and in winter they most often get wet.
  4. Strawberries generally do not have good winter hardiness. On the one hand, the plant hibernates well only under the snow cover (under the snow it can tolerate a drop in temperature to -20 … -30 ° C). And at the same time, it can freeze out if frosts hit before the moment the snow falls (in the absence of snow cover, the plants completely die at -18 ° C). On the other hand, with significant snow cover and high winter-spring temperatures, many plants vomit. Especially significant shrub attacks in our region on strawberries in the last 2-3 years.

Strawberry agricultural technology


Spring chores. Spring, as a rule, is not in a hurry with us: at least I have plenty of snow in my garden and in mid-April. But the closer to the city, the faster the snow melts and the strawberry plantations are freed. And, as far as I know, in the gardens near the city of snow, it happens, there is already at the end of March - early April. What do gardeners do? Immediately rush to the site and try to put everything in order, let's say: "to put the outer gloss." And overwintered strawberries look, frankly, not very aesthetically pleasing: some of the leaves are green (after all, strawberries are an evergreen plant, and its green leaves hibernate under snow), and the other part are brown and withered. In addition, it does not seem to hurt to loosen the strawberries.

The quieter you go, the further you'll get! Honestly, I do not recommend starting the first thing to tidy up the strawberries. Remember how low our night temperature sometimes drops at this time. A heap of strawberry leaves creates a kind of tent around the plants and, at least slightly, increases the temperature. In addition, strawberries, as everyone knows, is very responsive to loosening. Once you loosen it up, and after a week you may not know: new leaves will appear and flower stalks will begin to prepare for the release. And the weather is still very suspicious, and you can expect everything from it. So is it worth the risk? Yes, of course, and I want everything on the site to be beautiful, but for some reason I don't strive to lose part of the harvest purely because of an aesthetic desire to put things in order early.

Therefore, once again I urge gardeners not to rush into processing strawberries, because there are plenty of other things to do: this is the preparation of greenhouses, greenhouses, and early spring spraying of trees, shrubs and the same strawberries, and the planting of carrots, parsley, turnips, all kinds of green crops.

But when it warms up reliably by about the middle of May - quickly and do some strawberries. And she will not miss her. If you want to get early berries, then after processing the plantings, you must immediately hide them under a reliable covering material.

Early spring strawberry work

  1. Early spring spraying of plants with 1% Bordeaux liquid to combat gray mold.
  2. Cleansing plantings from old leaves and other debris. Trimming the leaves should be done very carefully: without cutting off the entire bush to the base (this can damage the rudiments of new leaves in the center of the outlet), but carefully cutting out the old, dried leaves with scissors (without jerking with your hands).
  3. Application of nitrogen and complex fertilizers (preferably with microelements).
  4. Loosening the soil around the bushes.
  5. Mulching the soil around the bushes with semi-rotted manure. This will protect the roots exposed after spring from drying out and provide the necessary nutrition for the development of plants.

And if the frost?

During the flowering of strawberries, frosts sometimes occur (especially if you were in a hurry to harvest the strawberry plot). Naturally, lowering the temperature to -1 … -1.5 ° C can lead to the death of flowers and ovaries. The only reasonable remedy for plant protection in this case, I think, is a covering material that attacks the plants in advance when the temperature drops.

In addition, there is a high probability that the pollen of frozen strawberries will become sterile. Therefore, in order not to risk it, at the slightest suspicion, it is better to spray the plants during flowering with fruit-forming stimulants. It is preferable to do this on the first day of the opening of flowers. This technique promotes the formation of a normal ovary even in cold weather. As a result, the yield increases markedly, and the berry becomes larger.

To be continued →

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