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My experience of growing strawberries
Our dacha is located in the Pskov region in the village of Polichno. Every year I look forward to the start of a new season to go from St. Petersburg to my favorite plants. I have already told readers about a lush rose garden that I created in the village garden. And now we will talk about other cultures, which from year to year delight me with their fruits, despite all the vagaries of our unpredictable weather.
There is probably no such country or garden plot where there would be no beds with garden strawberries. I started growing this delicious and fragrant berry as soon as we got our own land. At that time I did not have any special knowledge; I had to thoroughly study the agricultural technology of this culture.
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I prepared the soil in advance, introduced manure, made furrows and planted rosettes of strawberries of the Festivalnaya and Victoria varieties on the ridges. It was ten years ago, but this plantation still produces an enviable berry harvest every year. I know that experts recommend renewing plantations in 4-5 years. But, as they say: they do not seek from goodness. And if my plantation continues to produce a bountiful harvest of delicious berries, then why renew it? Of course, she looked after the plantings diligently, but I can't say that there were any special secrets in the cultivation technology. I just did my best to provide strawberries with sufficient nutrition and protection from pests.
In the spring, I carefully remove all the remains, leaves, then loosen the soil to provide air access to the roots of the strawberries, because they warm up better on the ridges. Then I water the plants, and put rotted manure and some complex fertilizers into the aisles. I dig shallow soil to cover fertilizer from the surface. In a day or two, I rake the already enriched soil from the row spacing to the ridges, to the roots, while trying not to fill the hearts of the rosettes, and mulch them a little with sawdust.
I spray the plantings with "Zircon" and "Epin" and, just in case, with biological products for the weevil. During the growing season, I also use Silk preparations, immunocytophyte, foliar and root dressing with fertilizers with the obligatory addition of Gumi. To protect strawberries from recurrent frosts during flowering, I cover the strawberry plantings with spunbond in advance.
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When the green ovary began to grow, I sprinkled sifted ash directly over the plants. I watered the strawberries only in the aisles so that the plants worked, getting water and food for themselves, and as a result, the root system grew, became powerful, providing a good harvest.
After each berry harvest, she again watered the strawberries along the furrows so that the bushes and future fruits remained dry. She constantly cut off the mustache, preventing them from growing more than 1-2 cm, so as not to weaken the plants. Of course, this is tedious and time-consuming work, but this measure is necessary and justified.
After collecting the last berries, I again remove excess leaves, weeds, if any. I loosen the soil again, water it, put rotted manure into the furrows, water it with complex fertilizer (after all, it's still summer), dig up the aisles, and after a couple of days I form higher ridges, covering the roots of strawberries, mulch with sawdust. Gradually, the plantings acquire an even emerald color, new leaves grow - strong, thick, shiny, new horns appear around the bush, and the middle of the rosette thickens - a future harvest is laid. Closer to autumn, I water the plantation again, after which I fertilize the last time without nitrogen, pollinate the plants with sifted ash - and my strawberries go to winter strong, rested, one might say, re-hatched.
To care for the plantation, I started my own schedule of activities at all stages of the growing season and never deviate from this schedule. And this helps me to harvest stable yields of delicious berries every year.
All gardeners love to try new things. I am also an addicted person. Over time, two varieties of strawberries in the garden ceased to suit me, so I started looking for new ones. Before buying, I studied the characteristics of varieties, their requirements for agricultural technology, growing conditions. As a result of the search and selection, two small plots appeared in the garden, which I am rightfully proud of. They collected twenty varieties of strawberries - 2-3 each, but what berries are there! What a taste and aroma they have! All the neighbors envy me, but they don't want to grow them. I planted all these new varieties using a black mulching material - Agrospan (60 microns).
The result pleased me very much, even the size of the berries increased, and the harvest began to take off two weeks earlier. And in the winter, the strawberry bushes left these areas healthy, strong, not ill. Now the varieties Divnaya, Sudarushka, Fireworks, Relay, Borovitskaya, Rubin, Korona, Marmalade, Polka, Khonei, Vityaz, Vesta, Hello Olympiad, Tribute, Hiome honey and others grow there. Even the last berries on these bushes do not shrink, do not dry out, they delight with their large size, healthy appearance, and most importantly - taste. They are dense, saturated, do not flow. From each newly acquired rosette, I first grew 2-3 tendrils, preventing the strawberries from bearing fruit. And only by laying the berry plant, she allowed them to form berries, for which she was rewarded.
Growing grapes near Pskov
I have also achieved success in growing grapes. An old dream came true - I got the first harvest, tasted the fruits of a wine berry. It all started with the fact that one day I was lucky - I received three cuttings of a vine with three internodes. I was happy. But it happened in the fall, the first problem immediately arose: how to save the cuttings. I solved it in an original way: I put on a potato on both sides of each stalk, wrapped everything in good paper and put it in the refrigerator until February. Weekly I checked the condition of the cuttings so that they did not get moldy or deteriorate.
In February, she freed the cuttings from potatoes, refreshed the slices on both sides and soaked them in water with the addition of "Zircon" for two days.
Then I prepared a very loose substrate: moss, sand, black earth, vermiculite and planted cuttings in it, covering them with glass jars on top. Three weeks later I saw little white roots, and shoots began to develop from the buds - my grapes began to grow.
I decided that I would grow it in a wall culture on the west side of the house. I prepared a place there in the fall, dug up the earth, added manure, fertilizers, ash, dolomite flour. The husband made a greenhouse along this wall. In the spring, I planted my jewel there, looked after, watched how my grapes developed, made sure that he did not get sick. At the same time I tried to study grape agricultural technology from literature. The brochures and books of R.E. Loiko seemed especially valuable to me.
By autumn, two vines had grown on two shoots, and on the third, only one. I cut two plants in front of the shelter for the winter with four eyes on the upper shoot and two eyes on the lower one for a replacement knot, and the third plant - into two eyes. And she covered the vine very well for the winter. Perhaps even too good, because in the spring of the three plants, only two survived, and the third was dug up by moles, even the roots were on the surface. I was very upset, but the desire to have my own grapes did not fade away, but grew stronger.
The vines grew throughout the season, and new ones were added to them. In the fall, she cut them off again, covered them for the winter. In the spring, all my vines were in good condition, but I was in no hurry to raise them, on the contrary, I covered them with spunbond, after watering the plants and spraying them with a copper-containing preparation for the prevention of diseases.
Quite quickly, the vines started to grow, greens appeared, fruit arrows began to grow. I had to tie the vines horizontally, and fasten the fruit arrows vertically. Once, during the next morning round of my possessions, I found small pimples on the fruit arrows, on small legs. These were the future bunches. Their size increased every day. To pollinate the grape flowers, I also sprayed the grapes with a solution of the "Bud" preparation over the pimples - twice with an interval of a week, and when the small white-green flowers opened, I came to the vines every day from 10 to 12 o'clock and shook the brushes while in place little flowers did not appear.
At first they grew slowly, but then they began to fill up faster, changing their color. I watered, fertilized, and sprayed the vines with the preparations "Healthy Garden" and "Ecoberin", infusion of onion peels, trying not to use chemicals. Summer was very rainy, dampness was everywhere, even in the air. But my grapes were not sick with anything, the berries were poured, they grew prettier, gradually turning from dark green to light green with a slight yellowness.
The end of September came and my grapes were ripe. So that the vines could prepare for wintering, I decided to remove all the brushes at once - carefully cut them off with a pruner. The weight of the bunches was from 480 to 760 grams. There were 26 bunches in total. And I made a very interesting conclusion for myself - the longer the grapes lay, the sweeter it became. It seems to me that I have never eaten such delicious grapes, perhaps this is because I grew it with my own hands.
The variety Bianka yielded a crop, there are also varieties of Arcadia, Pleven, Aleshenkin, Rusbol, Korinka Russian, Alexander. If I grow something, then there must be a lot of varieties, because it's more interesting to analyze their development, compare, select the best ones.
Read the next part. How to get a turnip onion from seeds in one season →