Garden strawberries: the secrets of growing strawberries in the open field

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Garden strawberry or, as it is also called, strawberry is an incredibly tasty and healthy berry that can be found in almost every household plot. In the article, we will consider the main subtleties of growing and caring for this popular crop, the observance of which will allow you to get a good harvest..

Garden strawberries: the secrets of growing strawberries in the open field

Choosing a landing site

Strawberries “love” well-fertilized light soils – they grow best on loam and sandy loam soils, they do not tolerate lime and peat soils. How to determine the type of soil and methods of improving its structure, described in detail in the article “How to improve the structure of the soil and increase its fertility”.

For arranging strawberry beds, you should choose warm, sunny places. This crop should not be planted in lowlands, in shaded, too damp corners of the backyard. Moreover, the best predecessors for strawberries will be: legumes, radishes, carrots, garlic, onions, celery, marigolds. For planting, you cannot use places where potatoes or tomatoes were previously grown – quarantine in this case should be at least four to five years.

Preparing the soil for planting strawberries

The soil should be well prepared before planting strawberries. The first step is to remove all weeds, especially perennial rhizomes. Such “monsters” as sow thistle, runny, wheatgrass, loach can simply strangle young strawberry seedlings with their powerful roots.

Garden strawberries: the secrets of growing strawberries in the open field

We dig the site to a depth of 40–45 centimeters, while introducing organic fertilizers, which are excellently proven by rotted mullein or well-ripened compost. Organic matter is added at the rate of 10-20 kg per square meter.

Arrangement of beds

Strawberry beds are arranged in the form of ridges, ridges or furrows – in this case, everything will depend on the characteristics of the land plot. If the groundwater is high, the plantings are raised above the soil level, forming ridges or ridges. If the plot of land is arid, strawberry bushes are planted in deepened furrows.

Garden strawberries: the secrets of growing strawberries in the open field

Strawberries planted in specially equipped beds will not only give a good harvest, but also become an adornment of your personal plot. How to organize such beds can be found in the article “Organic farming. How to create “smart” beds “.

When and how to plant strawberry seedlings

Seedlings are planted in spring (in April) or at the end of summer. It is not recommended to do this later in August – young bushes may not have time to take root well and will die in winter..

When planting, the main thing is not to deeply deepen the heart (apical bud), but it is also impossible to plant it high, the root system should be completely covered with earth. When planting, straighten the roots, and if they are too long, it is recommended to trim them.

Garden strawberries: the secrets of growing strawberries in the open field

After planting, strawberry beds are mulched with a layer of organic matter – this greatly facilitates further plant care. Well-ripe humus, straw, sawdust, needles can act as mulch in this case.

Strawberry seedlings are planted in the evening or in cloudy weather during the day, keeping the distance between plants – 25-30 centimeters, and between rows – 60-70 centimeters.

How to speed up the ripening of berries or growing strawberries under a film

You can get a harvest of garden strawberries 2-3 weeks earlier than usual by growing them under a transparent plastic wrap. Due to the better warming of the soil and increased air humidity on the beds covered with a film, the aerial part of the plant develops more intensively, the number of peduncles increases, and therefore the yield.

Garden strawberries: the secrets of growing strawberries in the open field

Strawberry beds are covered with foil in early spring (late March – early April), and removed 10–12 days after the berries start ripening. It is most convenient to stretch polyethylene on lightweight portable frames, which are placed over the beds. In cloudy cool weather, the frames are kept closed, and on a sunny warm day they are slightly opened for ventilation.

Growing strawberries under film not only allows you to get a harvest at least two weeks earlier, but also significantly increase its amount. In dry years, yields can increase by 50–70% compared to open ground. In addition, practice shows that film shelters effectively delay the development of fungal diseases..

Properly care for strawberry beds

The main care of strawberry beds is weeding, removing unnecessary daughter outlets (mustaches), loosening and watering in hot dry times. The mustache should not be torn off, they are carefully trimmed so as not to damage the bush.

Strawberries are very demanding on soil moisture – during drought the berries become smaller, and waterlogging can lead to decay and the development of dangerous fungal diseases. If there is no rain, the beds are watered every 7–10 days during the growing season, and every 5 days during the fruiting period. Watering is carried out at the root very carefully so that water does not fall on top of the leaves and berries. Drip irrigation is very relevant for strawberry beds, the organization of which can be found in the article “Drip irrigation is the technology of the future”.

Garden strawberries: the secrets of growing strawberries in the open field

In the spring and after harvesting, the soil in the beds should be fertilized. Rotted mullein or bird droppings are ideal for this. The fertilizer is prepared as follows: a bucket is filled 1/3 with mullein or droppings, filled to the top with water, covered. Leave to ferment for 10-15 days, stirring occasionally well. Then a half-liter jar of the finished infusion is bred into a bucket of water and the beds are watered – a liter of fertilizer for each bush.

Garden strawberries: the secrets of growing strawberries in the open field

It is not recommended to grow strawberries in one place for more than three years. Therefore, in order to constantly have a good harvest, you need to organize new beds every year. After two to three years of cultivation, the old beds are dug up and sown in their place in the fall of green manure (oats, mustard, rye) – this allows the soil to rest and restore fertility.

Preparing a strawberry plantation for winter

Garden strawberries do not tolerate severe frosts, so the beds should be specially prepared for winter. As a rule, healthy strong bushes hibernate under a layer of snow well enough, but if winters in your region are snowless or it snows late, before the onset of cold weather, strawberry beds are covered with coniferous spruce branches.

Garden strawberries: the secrets of growing strawberries in the open field

Some gardeners, after the strawberries bear fruit, mow the bushes almost at the root, and by autumn they have young foliage. This technique is a wonderful measure for preventing the development of fungal diseases. However, in the northern regions it cannot be used, since there is a risk that strawberry bushes will not have time to gain strength before the cold weather and may not survive severe frosts..

As you can see, if you follow fairly simple rules, it is not difficult to grow a good strawberry harvest. To do this, you should study the needs of this culture and strictly adhere to the above recommendations..

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