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Growing Strawberries In A Greenhouse And Film Shelters
Growing Strawberries In A Greenhouse And Film Shelters
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Getting off-season strawberries

growing strawberries
growing strawberries

One of the first berries in the season is strawberry. High taste and dietary qualities of fruits, early maturity, small size of plants, plasticity and adaptability of them to various environmental conditions, annual high yields made it an important berry crop.

With the standard technology of strawberry cultivation, fresh berries are delivered to the consumer's table only in the summer season. In order to extend the period of obtaining fresh strawberries, a number of techniques and methods are used:

• Select varieties with different ripening periods (early, middle, late). Moreover, the berry picking period can last 30-40 days.

• They grow remontant varieties that allow getting berries in the autumn.

• Delay the vegetation of plants (until the snow melts) by covering with various materials - sawdust, peat, compost, paper, etc. for later fruiting of plants - for 7-10 days.

• Accelerate the beginning of the growing season by covering the plants with a light film, which creates an increased temperature and better conditions for the growth and development of strawberries, which allows for earlier production.

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For this purpose, various film covers are used. The simplest of them is frameless, when the film (which can be used) is spread along the rows of strawberries in a continuous canvas during the snow melting. In this case, the edges of the film are fixed on wooden blocks. Such a shelter provides a "run" in plant development for 5-7 days. When new leaves form, the film must be removed from the plants to avoid burns.

It is convenient to use small-sized film shelters - tunnels, under which the berries ripen 10-12 days earlier, and the yield increases by 70-80%.

In some years with cold autumn, the film tunnels can also be used to shelter plants of remontant and semi-renovated varieties in order to allow all berries to ripen during autumn fruiting.

As small-sized film shelters, you can use collapsible greenhouses (they are commercially available complete with plastic wrap) or wire arcs onto which the film is pulled (the film is attached from above with the same arcs), as well as other frame designs.

Based on many years of studying the cultivation of strawberries under film shelters, two simplest methods of making film tunnels are recommended for gardeners.

The first way

growing strawberries
growing strawberries

The arc-shaped frame for the tunnel is made of scraps of wire, tubes, plastic or willow rods, etc. The thickness of the material is 4-8 mm, the length is 1.8-2.0 m, the distance between the ends of the arcs at the base and the height of the arc is 0.7- 0.8 m. The arcs are installed along the rows of strawberries at a distance of 1 m, deepened into the soil by 0.3 m and tied at the top with twine. Then the film is rolled out and fixed in the same arcs every 2-3 m. At the ends of the tunnel, the film is attached to the stakes, boards are placed or nailed on the sides and sprinkled with earth. Arcs are installed on the site in late September - early October.

As a tunnel frame, you can also use two wire arches connected by a special hinge lock. This design allows the production of the film tunnel in advance. Arcs are placed in rows of strawberries every 1.0-1.5 m and a film is stretched over them. To prevent the film from being blown away by the wind, its edges 8-10 cm wide on both sides of the tunnel are wrapped outward and glued together every 25-30 cm to form pockets. They should contain cargo in the form of water, sand, earth. It is also convenient to glue narrow sleeves across the film, and insert a wire arc into them.

In this case, the shelter can be ventilated by fixing the film at a certain height with a clamp.

Second way

growing strawberries
growing strawberries

The second method, in contrast to the first, allows the use of wire (or other arcs) with two layers of film. The double coating provides a higher and more stable mode in the tunnel. Sleeve film canvases up to 2 m long are pulled over the arcs. Separate sections are installed on the site, covering rows of plants with them, and connected to each other in two or three places with small pieces of aluminum wire.

When installing arcs in the fall, the film is pulled to one side of the wire frame, and in the spring it remains only to put it on the arcs and connect them.

For all types of film shelters, the following must be taken into account:

• At first, it is necessary to monitor the tightness of the shelter, and when warm weather sets in, the air temperature under the shelter, which should not exceed 25-30 ° C;

• during the flowering period of plants, to ensure their pollination, the film should be lifted from the sides if the air temperature is below 5 ° С;

• when using perforated film during the flowering period, it is not removed;

• during the growth of berries, the film is not opened, but during the ripening period - removed.

When growing strawberries under a film, it is advisable to pre-mulch the soil with a warm film and place the plants in a two-, three-line pattern. Film covers give the greatest effect on early varieties of the first and second years of fruiting.

To obtain early production (20-25 days earlier), large-sized film shelters - film greenhouses are also used, but it should be borne in mind that the success of a crop in film greenhouses is possible only with early planting, maximum use of the area, the introduction of high-yielding varieties and advanced agricultural techniques … If these rules are observed, cultivation of strawberries in plastic greenhouses provides a yield almost twice as large as in open ground.

A film greenhouse is a capital structure, therefore, a number of requirements must be taken into account during its construction. The greenhouse should be versatile enough (suitable for growing various crops), easy to manufacture and maintain, have a strong film cover (or stable) and be suitable for long-term use.

The greenhouse is installed on a flat, well-lit place with a fertile soil structure. On medium-fertile soils, fertilizers are applied at the rate of 1 m²: organic - 7-10 kg and mineral (phosphorus and potash, 30-40 g each).

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growing strawberries
growing strawberries

Periodically, after 3-4 years, a substrate from various soil mixtures (peat, turf soil, humus, coarse river sand, sawdust, perlite, etc.) is added to the soil of the greenhouse, the composition of which may be different. Acidic soils are limed to obtain optimum acidity by adding 1 kg of lime per 1 m². When using sawdust, additionally nitrogen fertilizers (ammonium nitrate - 1-1.5 kg / m²) are added to the substrate. If the substrate is prepared from peat alone, then it is enriched with fertilizers.

The success of growing strawberries in a film greenhouse depends on the application of the correct crop rotation, which maximizes the use of the greenhouse area as a result of combined and compacted plantings of different crops.

In the first year of operation, with early planting of strawberries (July 20-August 1), it is recommended to plant tulips (in the previous autumn) or green crops (sown in early spring, 7-10 days after the greenhouse is covered with foil) as its predecessors. After cleaning them, the site is dug up, leveled, low ridges are made and covered with a dark film. The width of the ridges is 120 cm (with a width of a dark film of 120 cm) or 150-160 cm (with a film width of 80 cm - in this case, two canvases are spread). The film is pressed to the soil with staples, cross-shaped cuts are made on it according to a 7-8x7-8 cm scheme and rosettes with root rudiments or small roots are planted in them, which are taken from pure-grade and healthy plants.

For good rooting of the outlets, the first 5-7 days they are watered and shaded daily. After 25-30 days, when the rosettes form fibrous roots, the strawberries are thinned through one plant, leaving a 15x15 cm layout. The dug seedlings are planted in open ground. The remaining direct seedlings in the greenhouse by the end of the first season have well-developed bushes. Kohlrabi cabbage is sown in the nests released after thinning the strawberries from August 1. During this period, the film from the greenhouse can be removed and grown strawberries and kohlrabi outdoors.

In the next (second) year of using the greenhouse in the second or third decade of May, tomato seeds are sown in the nests freed from under the kohlrabi or seedlings are planted according to the scheme 60x45 cm, i.e. some nests are left unoccupied, as the strawberry bushes increase in volume. However, it should be remembered that when

For growing in joint plantings with tomatoes, wilt-resistant strawberry varieties should be used.

After receiving the first harvest of strawberries, the plants are thinned through a row so that the feeding area of ​​the plants remaining for the second fruiting is 30x15 cm. Tulip bulbs are planted in the place of the thinned plants in mid-September.

Tomatoes in the greenhouse in the second year of its operation are grown until mid-September, and then removed from the ridge. Onions are planted in the nests freed from under them for the spring (next year) forcing of a feather.

growing strawberries
growing strawberries

The plan for using the greenhouse for the third year differs in that in mid-July, the fruit-bearing strawberries are removed from the ridge, tulip bulbs are dug up, and tomato plants are allowed to grow until mid-September. After their growing season is over, the area can be occupied with radishes or tulips.

When growing strawberries in a film greenhouse, it is necessary to maintain the correct temperature regime: the optimal daily air temperature at the beginning of the growing season should be 7-15 ° C, during the extension of peduncles and flowering - 18-20 ° C, during the formation and ripening of berries - 22-25 ° C, nighttime - 2-4 ° C lower.

The cultivation of strawberries in a film greenhouse is often accompanied by the formation of underdeveloped berries due to unsatisfactory pollination of flowers. The quality of pollination and berry setting can be improved by artificial pollination of flowers with a puff brush and by spraying the plants during flowering with a 0.3% solution of calcium nitrate Ca (NO3) 2, as well as with the help of bees.

Particular attention should be paid to the ventilation of the greenhouse. Enhanced ventilation reduces the damage to plants by fungal diseases, promotes pollination, and improves the aroma of berries.

Caring for strawberries in a greenhouse consists in cleaning plants from dry leaves in spring, spraying against pests and diseases, in rare watering (preferably not by sprinkling, but by filling under a mulching film or on paths).

Top dressing is given during the growing season no more than once every two weeks with solutions of mineral fertilizers per 10 liters of water: 30 g of ammonium nitrate, 180 g of superphosphate, 40 g of potassium sulfate, adding micronutrient fertilizer to the solution.

For a better enrichment of plants with carbon dioxide, a bucket of mullein solution can be placed in the greenhouse, which is also used to feed other crops grown in the greenhouse crop rotation.

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