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We Grow Strawberries At The Desired Time Using Frigo Seedlings
We Grow Strawberries At The Desired Time Using Frigo Seedlings

Video: We Grow Strawberries At The Desired Time Using Frigo Seedlings

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Video: How To Transplant Strawberry Seedlings? | Mistakes to Avoid | Whimsy Crafter 2023, February

What are frigo seedlings? This is a high-quality seedling that is dug out of the mother liquor only in late autumn, already during the dormant period, when, in favorable autumn conditions, it has formed a vastly branched root system with a rather thick rhizome and a well-developed aerial part with one or several horns.

The dug out seedlings are freed from the ground, leaves and shoots are removed, leaving young small leaves around the growing point, which usually remain green in winter under the snow. It is packed in bunches, placed in polyethylene bags, tightly closed and put in a refrigerator for long-term storage (before planting). Depending on the period of planting in the refrigerator, seedlings are stored from several weeks to 7-10 months.

A strawberry plantation established with such chilled seedlings yields a berry harvest in 8-9 weeks. Consequently, when planting frigo seedlings in June-July, gardeners will receive the first harvest in August-September, which will significantly extend the time for obtaining everyone's favorite fresh strawberries. The next year, the crop is harvested at the usual time.

And now let's talk in more detail about the possibilities of producing frigo seedlings in the conditions of the North-West of Russia.

In Central Europe, frigo seedlings have been produced for over two decades. In Finland and other Nordic countries, this technology found widespread use only in 1990. Interest in frigo seedlings increased after the possibility of using them to obtain a fresh strawberry harvest at the scheduled time was identified.

In the North-West of Russia, similar plantings are already known in small areas. This experience confirms the possibility of obtaining frigo seedlings in years with a long and warm autumn, although it does not always turn out to be extra class.

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What are the requirements for the conditions for obtaining frigo seedlings?

  • The soil in the mother liquor should be well fertilized, clean of perennial weeds, have a light texture, so that when the seedlings are excavated, it easily crumbles from the root system, even if it is rainy weather;
  • the time of laying the mother plant affects the number of formed seedlings: in a short growing season during spring planting, mother plants do not have time to give a normal seedling yield by autumn, so the mother plant should be laid in August of the previous year in order to get about 30 seedlings from each mother plant. In this case, one must take into account the possibility of the appearance of flowers on the mother bushes next summer, which must be removed so as not to weaken such a plant.

Planting scheme

Mother plants in open field are planted in one row. The size of the row spacing during mechanized harvesting with a digger is left up to 150 cm, but with manual digging, the distance varies. 30-50 cm are left between the plants, depending on the growth strength of the variety and the conditions of the place of growth. At the beginning of the growth of rosettes, the whiskers are systematically directed away from the mother plants.

It is also recommended to use ridges for the production of frigo seedlings, as they increase the soil temperature and promote earlier growth of vegetative shoots. The width of the comb should be such that the rosettes fit on it (about a meter). In case of waterlogging of the soil when digging seedlings, the comb will facilitate mechanized harvesting.

Weed control

It is very important in the production of frigo seedlings - even a small amount of weeds makes it difficult to dig out and sort the seedlings. When growing a large number of seedlings, chemical protection is the only option for weed control, but it is not recommended to use soil-acting herbicides such as simazine, as they can damage young strawberry seedlings.

Experiments have found that on loamy soil, the following herbicides are the most effective for treating frigo seedlings:

  • galtix (2 kg / ha) + betanal (3 l / ha) - two treatments in a row, when the weeds are in the cotyledon phase;
  • galtix (4 kg / ha) + betanal (3 l / ha) - one treatment, when the weeds are in the cotyledon stage;
  • betanal (3 l / ha) + venzar (0.4 l / ha) - two treatments, when the weeds are in the cotyledon phase.

Time and technology for digging seedlings

Frigo seedlings are dug up in late autumn when the plants are dormant. In the conditions of the North-West of Russia, this period for strawberries begins approximately in the middle of October (plus or minus a week) at a temperature of 0 … -3 ° С, the optimal one is -2 ° С.

The resting depth also influences successful storage. Frigo seedlings in deep dormancy last longer than seedlings dug up too early in the fall or spring. It has been established that seedlings dug out at the optimal time are less affected by fungal diseases, for example, gray rot, which sometimes appears in storage.

The options for the optimal time for digging seedlings in different regions may vary annually. This, first of all, depends on the fluctuations in the weather, as well as the differences in the varieties in the rhythms of development. Most failures in the production of frigo seedlings are the result of too early digging.

In practice, visual observation and weather forecast is a reliable way to determine the optimal time for digging seedlings. Particular attention is paid to the change in the color of the root system. The roots extending from the rhizome should be even brown, not counting the very tips. The lateral roots extending from them at this stage are partly brown and partly light. The tone of the color of the roots is determined immediately after the seedlings are dug out of the soil, because after that the tone changes quickly. An experienced, trained person is able to fairly reliably determine the time of digging by changing the color of the leaves.

In small areas, frigo seedlings are dug up manually, in production areas - mechanically. After digging, the seedlings are immediately cleaned of excess soil and transported to cool rooms, where they are further processed.

Processing of seedlings after digging

It consists in cleaning, sorting and packaging. The optimum room temperature for processing seedlings should be about 10 ° C. To prevent changes in the seedlings in the dormant stage at the processing stage, the temperature should not exceed 15 ° C. Seedlings should be processed immediately, at least not later than two days later. If the seedlings do not have time to process quickly enough, they can be temporarily stored in plastic bags at a temperature of -2 ° C.

When processing seedlings, large leaves and residues of vegetative shoots are removed, leaving small leaves around the growing point. The soil must be well shaken off the root system. In no case should you rinse the roots in water and do not shorten them before storing, even if they are too long.

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Storage of frigo seedlings

The technology of this operation has been studied in detail by many researchers and is widely used in strawberry-producing countries. After processing the seedlings, they are packed in bundles of 50-100 pieces and placed in polyethylene bags 40X50 cm in size or in boxes lined with foil from the inside. Film thickness can be 0.04-0.05 mm (best 0.05 mm), but some sources recommend using a thinner film (0.02 mm), which allows carbon dioxide to pass through but retains moisture. Experiments have shown that with a bag film thickness of 15 mm, plants die. Depending on the development of seedlings, 350-700 plants are placed in one bag.

The air temperature during storage of seedlings in the refrigerator should be 0 … -2 ° C (optimal -1.5 ° C). A decrease in temperature below -3 ° C leads to freezing of plants, an increase to 0.5 ° C promotes a premature start of growth. It is very important that the temperature is in accordance with the recommendations, especially inside the package. The air humidity in the storage is kept within 90%.

Depending on the planting period, seedlings are stored from 2 weeks to 7-9 months. There is information in the press that frigo seedlings were successfully stored for 2-3 years. However, with long-term storage, the seedlings' ability to yield a crop decreases. Larger seedlings have also been found to suffer more from long-term storage than small ones.


Processing of seedlings after storage

After the storage, the frigo seedlings are cooled to the required temperature, transported to the planting site and thawed after being removed from storage in a shady place where they are warmed up for a day. If you need to speed up the defrosting a little, you can open the bags and pour the seedlings with lukewarm water. Thawed seedlings should not be left in closed plastic bags; they are immediately planted in a permanent place.

Leafless frigo seedlings are more difficult to plant than regular seedlings. It is important when planting to take care of soil moisture and the correct planting depth. Many years of experience and practice show that planting plantations with seedlings after cold storage significantly increases plant productivity, since plantations are laid with higher quality planting material formed in the fall in the most favorable conditions, having a well-developed root system and aboveground part. At the same time, favorable conditions are created for organizing the territory and planting, since the seedlings after cold storage can be planted in portions throughout the entire summer period - at any time convenient for the gardener, which, in turn, allows you to extend the period of consumption of fresh berries.

The seedlings planted after cold storage begin to bear fruit after 8-9 weeks and give a full harvest in the year of planting.

Therefore, in order to obtain fresh berries as long as possible, planting frigo seedlings can be laid not only in spring, but also in the summer months (June-July) at intervals of 2-3 weeks.

Experiments carried out in Holland, Canada and other countries have established that when summer planting frigo seedlings on June 10, strawberries bore fruit from August 10 to September 1, when planting on June 20, it bore fruit from August 25 to September 25, when planted on July 1, it bore fruit from September 5 to October 5.

The plantation yield reached 15-20 t / ha, the berries were larger. Plants, when planted in summer, take root and grow in conditions of a shortened daylight hours and at an optimal temperature regime for their development. All this contributes to the creation of the necessary supply of plastic substances, the timely establishment and differentiation of flower buds, the successful overwintering of the plantation and the formation of a high yield.

The results of planting plantations in summer with chilled seedlings showed that the increase in yield is quite significant - two or more times compared to the usual autumn planting.

In Poland, Bulgaria, Germany and other European countries, summer planting of cold-stored seedlings has become commonplace when laying strawberry plantations.

Early summer planting of chilled seedlings with a two-year-old strawberry culture has a positive effect on the yield and weight of berries not only in the first year of fruiting, but also in the second year, which ensures the stability and profitability of the crop.

In Western Europe and the United States, frigo seedlings are usually planted in spring, and in autumn, at normal times, with freshly dug seedlings. In more northern countries, the production of frigo seedlings, according to practitioners and specialists, is possible only in small volumes and mainly for spring planting.

In the North-West region of Russia in the 80s of the last century, at the Leningrad Fruit and Vegetable Experimental Station, a plantation of strawberries was established with frigo seedlings brought by Bulgarian gardeners (within the framework of the scientific community) in order to test this new agrotechnical method in the conditions of the Leningrad region. The strawberry plantation was established in the spring, and already in the first year of operation, the harvest was significant. And in three years, the yield increase was almost twice as compared to the usual spring setting.

Therefore, every gardener interested in increasing the yield of strawberries on his own and extending the timing of obtaining fresh berries can experience this new agricultural practice. I believe that the establishment of strawberry plantations with frigo seedlings will also be of interest to farms specializing in the cultivation of strawberries - the main berry crop.

Positive aspects of growing frigo seedlings

  • planting seedlings is possible at any scheduled time, since in the refrigerator during storage the stage of plant development remains unchanged;
  • storing seedlings in the refrigerator does not depend on the weather in winter, so getting seedlings is guaranteed, especially for spring plantings;
  • the ability to harvest at the desired time;
  • the formation of flower rudiments and the growth of seedlings occur in natural conditions, during storage, optimal conditions are maintained constant, therefore the natural rhythms of growth and development of seedlings do not get lost, and energy resources are preserved;
  • leafless seedlings easily tolerate drought after planting;
  • cold storage allows seedlings to fully emerge from the dormant period.

At the same time, gardeners should be aware that efficient production of frigo seedlings on a large scale is possible practically in regions with long growing seasons and warm autumn. Seedling processing requires a lot of manual labor. There may be risks associated with temperature fluctuations in the refrigerator.

Nevertheless, there are much more positive aspects here, and it is worth testing this new agronomic technique in a small volume, which significantly increases the yield of strawberries and allows you to extend the time for obtaining fresh berries of this tasty and valuable crop.

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