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Mulching Garden Strawberries
Mulching Garden Strawberries

Video: Mulching Garden Strawberries

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Video: Mulching and Protecting Strawberries 2023, January
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Garden strawberries without the hassle

Mulching strawberries
Mulching strawberries

A real home garden involves the cultivation of ornamental and fruit and berry plants, among which some of the most delicious crops are different types of strawberries: garden (or pineapple), nutmeg (real strawberries), forest. In addition, the now established sale of mustaches and seedlings with a closed root system, that is, in glasses, pots, containers, allows you to plant strawberries in the beds from May to September. Although most often gardeners plant strawberries from grown mustaches in August.

At the same time, many lovers of this berry are deterred from acquiring a mustache and growing large strawberries, in general, the high labor intensity of this crop with the usual methods of planting and growing. After all, the plants of garden strawberries or "strawberries", as many call it, when growing among bare soil, it is necessary not only to provide moisture and nutrition, but also to weed, remove bad leaves.

But do all gardeners know that most of the work of caring for garden strawberries can be simplified? For example, in order to feed the plantings less often, you need to add humus to the holes, and from mineral fertilizers choose those that have a long-term effect, for example, AVA. And the most time-consuming care activities are weeding and watering, after which loosening is often required due to the formation of a soil crust. But even these works can be minimized by mulching the soil, that is, by covering it with organic materials, which are both natural and artificial.

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Natural mulching

From natural organic materials, straw cutting, sawdust, shavings, bark, pine needles, dried cut grass, peat, compost can be used as mulch.

Straw is one of the most useful mulching materials. In rural areas, it is used by farmers to mulch row spacings when growing strawberries and other plants on an industrial scale.

Sawdust and shavings as mulch are able to protect berries from contact with the ground and give the strawberry beds beauty. However, they also have disadvantages. Firstly, they are poor in nitrogen, therefore, if fresh sawdust is used, an additional dose of nitrogen fertilizers and lime is required to be added to the soil. Second, these mulching materials can be a pest shelter.

Chips or bark - These are often used as decorative coverings in garden beds to avoid the appearance of bare ground. On paths, such a coating requires the mandatory use of bumpers so that the mulch does not crumble and is not washed off by rain. This mulch works well for plants that prefer acidic soil. When growing other crops that require low soil acidity, it is desirable to additionally add lime or ash under such coatings. Do not dig these materials with soil.

Needles. Of the advantages of pine needles, it can be noted that it inhibits gray rot. The disadvantage may be the presence of weed seeds.

Cut grass is one of the best and most commonly used mulches. When it decomposes, it releases nitrogen into the soil. The cut grass must dry in the sun for a day or two before being used as mulch.

Hay is a good mulch, but it can contain weed seeds. A layer of several newspapers under the hay can save you from this problem. Avoid color-printed newspapers, however, as colored ink is considered more harmful. Avoid using only hay as mulch without lining a layer of newspaper or other paper, as this usually leads to a weed problem.

Peat is an excellent mulch, it protects the soil well from the sun's rays and helps to maintain its moisture. Even on light soils, it helps to structure them and preserve humus. Peat is used as a loosening agent in the development of heavy soils, which improves their structure.

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Industrial (or man-made) mulch materials

These include cardboard, roofing material, newspapers, mulching films, non-woven covering materials such as spunbond. The last two types have recently become widespread. Newspapers, paper, cardboard are very good options when they are used as a lining under other types of mulch, for example, under hay.

The methods of planting strawberries in beds covered with mulch film or spunbond have become popular.

You can plant a mustache on film with a different sequence. However, in my opinion, it is most convenient to do it like this:

  1. Garden bed preparation.
  2. Laying the film on the garden bed. Covering the beds with foil and fixing it with boards or earth.
  3. Cutting holes in the film. The holes are often made cruciform with the corners bent inward. However, some gardeners pierce the film with a stick or metal bar, some make holes with a pipe.
  4. Small holes are made through the holes in the ground, for example, with a stick or a rod.
  5. Removing the film.
  6. Planting strawberry plants in designated places.

Mulching films are produced in different colors for different effects on plants. Black and other dark-colored ones are used to enhance soil warming and to obtain earlier harvests of garden strawberries. A two-color film has already been invented and produced: one side is black, the other is white. Laying such a film with the light side upwards contributes to more uniform illumination and, accordingly, ripening of berries from different sides.

This allows you to successfully grow large-fruited strawberry varieties, such as Gigantella, Ruby pendant and others, in which, under normal conditions, the berries remain for a long time with white or green tips. In addition, depending on the weather conditions, you can choose which side to lay it on.

Plants planted on film are watered through cut holes or by drip method.

To make plants breathe better

Black covering material such as spunbond, agryl or lutrasil is best suited for mulching. Such a material is free from many of the disadvantages inherent in impermeable polyethylene films. At the same time, he retains all their virtues. Rain penetrates through such material, moreover, it shades the soil and keeps it moist. At the same time, the soil under the covering materials breathes. They are not very hot by the sun and do not overheat the soil. Weeds do not grow under these materials.

When mulching the row spacing of already planted plants, it is important to choose the right time when the soil is already warmed up and at the same time moist.

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