How to get a good harvest of strawberries? This question, perhaps, has been asked by all summer residents, because garden strawberries (the official name for strawberries) are one of the most common and popular garden crops, and they ripen in the beds. -bands before the other bays.
However, strawberries do not always please with a good harvest, although they are not a particularly capricious crop. And all because when growing it, some gardeners miss important nuances. Why is this happening and how can you change the situation in your favor? We reveal the main secrets of a good strawberry harvest!
Of course, we assume that you initially chose high-quality planting material, and also responsibly approached the choice of a place and time for planting strawberries. Now it’s the turn of agricultural technology.
1. Mulch strawberry beds
If you are really determined to get a good harvest of strawberries, you cannot do without mulching the flower beds. This most important technique allows you to solve two problems at once: getting rid of weeds that take water from the berries and keeping the soil not too dry and loose in any weather. Plus, your berries will stay clean and dry until harvest. Mulching is especially important if you do not have the ability to monitor the condition of the beds daily.
It is necessary to mulch the beds after their thorough loosening and fertilizing. As mulch, you can use film, non-woven materials, chopped straw, needles, a mixture of loose peat with compost or well-rotted humus, even mowed lawn grass or cardboard .
2. Correct watering of strawberries
The simplest thing you can do to get your strawberries to increase their yields is to water the plantings properly. Yes, yes, everything seems so simple at first glance, but how seriously do you really take the question of the timing and volume of watering strawberries?
The most common mistake is to stop regular watering after harvesting strawberries. It seems that the berries were harvested and you don’t remember planting so often. But in vain – after all, this culture begins to lay next year’s flower buds precisely in the middle of summer, and if it is not watered, very few of them are formed. This means that there will be little fruit for next summer. So don’t be lazy and water your strawberries until the end of summer at least once a week.
And in the early stages of development, do not forget that strawberries, with their superficial root system, are water-loving and do not tolerate drying out of the soil. Drip irrigation is best suited for these berry shrubs, when the moisture goes directly to the roots, without affecting the leaves and berries and without reaching the weeds in the vicinity, although a sprinkler can also be used. before flowering. Also remember that overflow will not bring any benefit, dampness is harmful to strawberries.
On average (if there is no severe drought), watering is done once a week, increasing only during flowering and fruit ripening to once every five days. It is desirable to water the strawberries early in the morning or in the evening, without the scorching sun. Water consumption should be about 0.5-0.7 liters per bush.
3. Timely strawberry top dressing
Feeding strawberries during flowering, fruiting and also after harvesting is a responsible matter. During the season, plants should be fertilized at least 3 times, and do it correctly and on time. It is best to fertilize after watering or rain. How to feed strawberries for a good harvest?
The first time top dressing is given in the spring, when the bushes are carefully cleaned of dry and diseased leaves, and the earth is loosened so that the root system begins to develop faster. For these purposes, feed strawberries with a solution of urea or mullein (1 teaspoon of urea or 2 cups of mullein per 10 liters of water). Consumption rate – 1 liter for each bush.
The second time, fertilizers are applied to the strawberry garden at the very beginning of flowering (the budding period). For this, 1 tbsp. nitrophoska is diluted in 10 liters of water. Consumption rate – 1 liter for each bush.
After flowering, in order for all the berries to be large, the application of complex mineral fertilizer will not interfere. You can 2 tbsp. superphosphate and 0.5 cups of ash diluted in 10 liters of water. Consumption rate – 1 liter for each bush.
4. Protection of strawberries from diseases and pests
Most often, strawberries in the garden suffer from various ailments when the berries ripen in cool, wet weather. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the early diagnosis of garden strawberry diseases and their prevention.
After the first loosening, the beds and the plants themselves, as a preventive measure, can be sprayed with a 1% solution of copper sulfate. Before flowering, be sure to treat strawberries from pests. If mites, whiteflies, weevils have already appeared, Karbofos will help you (after treatment for an hour or two, cover the beds with a film).
Slugs and snails can be scared away by berry bushes by sprinkling the ground with lime or ash. Good agricultural practices and regular spraying with fungicides (Maxim, Planriz, etc.) will save garden strawberries from disease. During the ripening of berries, it is advisable to use preparations of biological origin – Fitosporin, Alirin-B, Baktofit, etc. You can also use folk methods – spraying plantings with infusion of onion, mustard or garlic, sprinkling with wood ash.
Remember that strawberry plants get less sick if they are replanted at least once every 3 years (in a new, well-lit place).
5. Remove leaves and extra whiskers from strawberries
By consuming nutrients from the soil, strawberries can expend them either for fruit formation or for reproduction. Thus, by removing the mustache, the plant can be stimulated to more abundant fruiting. In the spring, strawberries do not give too many whiskers, so you can remove them gradually, but regularly, or wait for their active growth and remove them all at once.
If they are not needed for propagation, even after the plant has finished fruiting, shoots should still be removed regularly. However, if you need seedlings, the mustache should have the ability to grow strong sockets.
It will also be useful during fruit set to remove excess leaves, especially those that cover the berries from the sun. Do not be afraid to overdo it – without harming the bush, you can remove a third or even more of the total leaf mass, and strawberries, falling under direct sunlight, will grow faster and larger.
When preparing berry bushes for the winter, also do not forget about the leaves and strawberry whiskers. All the leaves should be cut off, the same should be done with the mustache, leaving one per bush (next year young rosettes will grow from it, and berries will immediately appear). Before the frost, the plant will have time to grow new strong young leaves and will better withstand wintering, and in the spring the greens will begin to grow together. If you follow these 5 tips to get a good harvest of strawberries, your flower beds are sure to please!