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Strawberry Plantation Care: Fertilization, Watering, Frost Protection
Strawberry Plantation Care: Fertilization, Watering, Frost Protection

Video: Strawberry Plantation Care: Fertilization, Watering, Frost Protection

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Video: Strawberry Farming: Overhead Sprinklers for Irrigation and Frost Protection 2023, January
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Fertilization

strawberry
strawberry

The potential of strawberries can be more fully realized if the plants get enough nutrients. The need for strawberries in fertilizers depends on a number of conditions: the degree of soil cultivation, the thoroughness of its pre-planting preparation, the condition of the plants, the age of the plantation, etc.

With a good filling of the soil in the period preceding the establishment of plantings and mulching of new plants, plants usually grow well and bear fruit without additional application of organic and mineral fertilizers in the first year of fruiting. However, with insufficient growth and weak foliage of the bushes, young strawberries must be fed with nitrogen fertilizers: ammonium nitrate or urea at the rate of 10 g per 1 running meter of the row.

With an increase in the age of planting, the need of plants for nutrients, especially nitrogen and potassium, increases.

On a fruiting plantation, from the second year of fruiting in early spring, immediately after the removal of dry leaves, full mineral fertilizer is applied under the first loosening, scattering it over the entire area - in rows and aisles, since the root system of adult bushes grows in all directions.

Strawberries do not impose special requirements on the forms of nitrogen fertilizers, and from potash it prefers chlorine-free (sulphate potassium, potassium magnesium, kalimag, potash, wood ash), from phosphorus - superphosphate.

On soils with an average supply of nutrients in the spring, at the rate of 1 m², apply: nitrogen fertilizers - ammonium sulfate (35-40 g), or ammonium nitrate (20-22 g), or urea (18-20 g); phosphoric - superphosphate (30-35 g) or double superphosphate (13-15 g); potash - sulfuric potassium (18-20 g) or ash (300 g).

Strawberries are most demanding for fertilization in the second half of summer - in the period after the end of fruiting, when all parts of the plant are actively developing: the deposition of reserve nutrients in the rhizome, the growth of a large number of lashes and rosettes that deplete the bush, the growth of young leaves, new horns, young roots on them, the laying of flower and axillary buds for the next year's harvest, etc.

Therefore, it is completely unacceptable to be late with soil cultivation and fertilization during this period. Under the hoeing of the soil in the rows and deep loosening in the aisles, a complete mineral fertilizer is applied: nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers are approximately the same as in spring, and potash fertilizers are increased by 2-3 times.

Instead of these fertilizers, you can use a special fertilizer mixture for fruit and berry crops or complex mineral fertilizers containing three components (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) - diamofoska, nitrophoska, etc.

In addition, after fruiting, organic fertilizers are also applied, 2-3 kg per 1 m², either for hoeing, or as a mulching material. Depending on the cultivation of the soil and the state of the plants, the doses of fertilizers applied can be reduced or increased.

To enhance plant nutrition, if necessary, apply liquid fertilizing from slurry, poultry droppings, previously diluted with water, respectively, 10 and 20 times. Liquid fertilizers are applied before flowering and after harvesting (1 bucket per 4 running meters of a row). It is better to embed them in the grooves between the rows at a distance of 15-20 cm from the plants, after having abundantly watered the soil with water.

An important reserve for increasing yields and improving the quality of berries is the use of microelements for fertilization, the lack of which in the soil reduces the effectiveness of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizers. Trace elements (manganese, zinc, copper, boron, cobalt, molybdenum) contribute to an increase in plant metabolism and a more vigorous absorption of nutrients from the soil. The result is an improvement in the biochemical composition of berries and an increase in yield. In addition, trace elements increase the resistance of plants to drought, disease, etc.

At the beginning of plant growth, foliar feeding is effective with a mixture of trace elements: manganese, boron, molybdenum in 0.2% concentration. Double processing of strawberry plants at the beginning of flowering and during the growth of ovaries with 0.01-0.02% solution of zinc sulfate (1-2 g per 10 l of water) increases the yield by 15-17%.

Now there are a number of fertilizers containing not only basic elements (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium), but also microelements. First of all, this applies to such a complex fertilizer as Kemira, which is the best mineral fertilizer for strawberries.

Foliar dressing with solutions of macrofertilizers has a positive effect on the growth and development of strawberry plants. In spring, plants respond better to foliar feeding with nitrogen fertilizers, in particular, urea - 0.2-0.4%, in autumn - superphosphate - 2% and potassium - 1%. Treatment with a 0.3% urea solution in August also has a positive effect on strawberry plants - it promotes better budding of flower buds.

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Watering strawberries

strawberry
strawberry

The most important factor in the successful cultivation of strawberries is a normal water regime. The water demand of plants during the growing season varies depending on the phase of strawberry development and weather conditions.

It is very important to water the plantation in the first half of summer during the period of regrowth of leaves, peduncles, and especially in the phase of mass flowering of strawberries.

The need for moisture reaches its maximum during the fruiting period. Normal watering determines the size of the fruit and the yield. However, watering strawberries during the fruiting period should be very careful (along the grooves along the rows), avoiding wetting the leaves and berries in order to prevent damage to the fruit by gray rot.

After the end of fruiting, when the secondary active growth of plants begins and flowering and axillary buds are laid, special conditions for moistening the soil are required. Immediately after harvesting and until September, strawberries are watered sparingly, since the high moisture content in the soil during this period leads to increased formation of leaves and whiskers, which reduces the process of setting flower buds.

Abundant irrigation of the plantation is necessary between September and October (if the weather is dry) to ensure high yields the next year. In dry weather at the end of October, water recharge irrigation is carried out.

The irrigation rate depends on the type of soil and the amount of precipitation. Light loamy well-drained soils retain moisture weaker than soils with an average texture and heavy, therefore, in the first case, you need to water more often than in the second. Since the root system of strawberries is placed shallowly, for more efficient use of moisture, irrigation is carried out in several stages. The irrigation rate for strawberries, depending on all these features, ranges from 20-60 liters per 1 m².

Various methods are used to irrigate strawberries, the main of which are sprinkler irrigation, furrow irrigation and subsoil drip irrigation.

With sprinkling, the soil is moistened more evenly, and the moisture consumption is halved compared to furrow irrigation. Sprinkling is preferred when growing strawberries on a dark film. Furrow irrigation is more often used in arid regions with flat terrain and gravity flow through canals.

Such watering is used especially during the fruiting period of strawberries, while moisture does not fall directly on the plants and berries and, therefore, the risk of damage to the fruit by gray mold will decrease. For furrow irrigation, grooves are first made along the row at a distance of 15-20 cm from the plants. The depth of the grooves is 10-15 cm.

In recent years, subsurface irrigation has become widespread, in which irrigation water is supplied directly to the root layer through a pipe system, thereby eliminating the need to loosen the soil after irrigation. With irrigation water with drip subsurface irrigation, you can apply dissolved mineral fertilizers. This method of irrigation has shown the highest efficiency in comparison with others.

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Frost protection for strawberries

strawberry flowers
strawberry flowers

In the spring, during the return of cold weather, which often coincides with the budding phase and the beginning of flowering of strawberries, there is a danger of damage to the flowers. Usually, flowers in the open state and well-developed buds are damaged first. As a result, the receptacle turns black, and the berries are not formed. If only the stamens are damaged, deformed berries are formed.

At -1.1 ° C at the plant level, slight damage is observed, and at -3.3 ° C damage to the flower is severe. The complete death of pistils occurs when the temperature drops to -10 ° C, pollen at -5 ° C, and buds at -4 ° C. A drop in temperature for several hours is especially dangerous, in this case more flowers die and the first largest berries are lost.

The most effective method of combating frost is small-drop irrigation, in which not only plants are moistened, but also the soil, as a result of which its thermal conductivity is significantly increased due to an increase in the flow of heat brought with water. Sprinkling water forms an ice crust on the plants, and heat is generated when ice forms - and all this in general reduces the risk of severe damage to flowers.

During frosts, water should flow continuously and envelop the entire surface of the plants. Irrigation continues until all the ice on the flowers melts, and there is a layer of water between the ice and leaves.

Before freezing, a thermometer is installed on the plantation and its readings are checked after 30 minutes. Watering begins when the temperature at the bush level drops to -0.5 or 1 ° C.

Smoke is arranged in small areas to avoid damage to strawberry flowers during the period of returnable spring frosts. This technique can increase the air temperature on the plantation by 1-2 ° C. Suitable for smoking are brushwood, damp straw, hay, moss, sawdust, and smoke bombs. Smoke heaps are prepared in advance (width - up to 1.5 m, height - 0.8 m). Dryer materials are placed on the bottom of the heap, and wet ones on top. The heaps are covered with a 2-3 cm layer of soil.

They are set on fire after the onset of a critical temperature (0-1 ° C) and ensure that the smoke screen in the form of white smoke evenly envelops the entire area. Smoke is carried out closer to dawn and within two hours after sunrise before the onset of above-zero temperature.

In recent years, with the advent of covering materials for protection against frost, lutrasil and spunbond have been used, which are used to cover plants during the period of return cold weather. With a single-layer coating, the protective effect is up to -3-4 ° С, with a two-layer coating - up to -5-6 ° С. The protective effect can be increased by wetting the shelters with water from the sprayer without removing them. At the same time, the soil is also wetted, which reserves heat. This method is simpler and more reliable.

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