The content of the article
- How to grow strawberries in a greenhouse
- Russian technology
- Dutch way
- Pros and cons of greenhouse strawberry cultivation
- Types of Greenhouses
- Frame made of polyethylene
- Home greenhouse
- How to equip greenhouses for growing strawberries all year round
- Garden beds or shelving
- Lighting with fitolamps
- Organization of a drip irrigation system
- Ventilation system
- Organization of the space of the greenhouse
- DIY greenhouse for strawberries
- How to choose a location
- Preparation of the project and drawings
- Foundation arrangement
- Frame erection
- Coating mount
The greenhouse systems available today are excellent for growing strawberries year-round. This berry is in great demand in the modern market, so many farmers and gardeners choose it as the main product for generating income. Consumers are actively buying fresh strawberries, as it is very tasty, healthy and fragrant. If you follow certain principles, you can provide your family with a large number of strawberries at any time of the year and establish your own and quite profitable business.
How to grow strawberries in a greenhouse
This berry is an unpretentious plant, which nevertheless requires proper care. It can be grown in any room with heating (warehouse, garage, etc.), the main thing is to create the necessary conditions. The air temperature inside should fluctuate from +10 to + 25 ° С depending on the growth period of the culture, and humidity should be about 70–80%. Traditionally, this berry is grown in greenhouses. Due to the greenhouse effect in such rooms, it is possible to create favorable conditions for plant growth and the ripening of a large number of berries.
The growing popularity of growing strawberries in greenhouses using Dutch technology, which implies the development and growth of crops in closed ground conditions. At the same time, seedlings are planted in plastic bags and not only. A less troublesome method is the use of hydroponics, but it is the most expensive. For growing crops, the minimum area should be a few square meters. At the same time, a large volume of products for sale does not work out – enough only for home consumption. A small greenhouse pays off quickly.
When using this method of cultivation, first divide the entire area of the greenhouse into two parts along. Between them leave a technical lane for movement. Fill with 5–6 cm fine crushed stone or expanded clay chips, then 8–10 cm with sand. Lay on top fertile soil 7–8 cm thick, superphosphate and ammonium nitrate in an amount of 10 g / m2. Further actions:
- Make dimples in the soil 8-10 cm deep at a distance of 30 cm. Plant the berry rosettes in a row or in a checkerboard pattern. To save more moisture and avoid weeds, often use agrofibre or oilcloth, but you can do without it.
- As the soil is depleted, apply superphosphate, potash fertilizers, ammonium nitrate. Use nitrogen supplements for the first 2 months. Perform abundant drip irrigation – the first 3-4 weeks almost daily.
- For strawberries, the quality of lighting is important, because it is a warm and photophilous plant. If daylight hours last at least 16 hours, then the berries will begin to form and mature already on the 35th day after planting the crop. Do not forget about artificial pollination if the variety is not self-pollinated.
The method of growing strawberries in bags has gained some popularity – a peculiar Russian response to Dutch technology. For this, ordinary plastic bags (bags) are used. Their standard size is 16×20 cm, and the thickness is 0.2 mm. The disadvantages of the method are the inconvenience of processing and watering. Instruction:
- Prepare a substrate of sawdust, perlite and peat in a ratio of 1.5: 1: 2. Fill them with 3/4 volume of each plastic bag.
- Seal the top of the bags with a soldering iron or iron. Cut with a sharp object in each bag 2-3 longitudinal holes with a length of 7 to 9 cm.
- Lay the bags in even rows on the floor or flooring so that between the resulting beds there are from 25 to 30 cm.
- Bring 3 dropper tubes to each bag with a substrate: immerse one on the bottom layer, the second on the middle, the third on the top. Water consumption should be 0.5 l / day for 1 bag. Then plant seedlings in each slot.
- At the initial stage of crop growth, maintain the temperature in the greenhouse at + 10 ° C, then gradually increase the indicator to + 20 ° C. During flowering, the temperature should be up to +20 to + 24 ° C. The optimal indicator of humidity at first is about 80%. During flowering, lower it by 5-10%, then reduce it by another as much when the fruits begin to form.
Strawberries on shelves or vertical tubes are a vertical way in which the cultivation of crops is carried out in accordance with Dutch technology. The same requirements apply to plant care as in the previous case. As the soil for planting seedlings, use the same substrate. As containers, you can use plastic pots or buckets, plastic bags.
Seedlings are placed both horizontally and vertically. With the latter method, the internal space of the greenhouse is used as rationally as possible. All that is required is to fill the bags with substrate and hang them from the upper beams of the greenhouse. For hanging, you can use metal racks with supporting strips. As a container for growing strawberries, you can even use plastic pipes. They are distinguished by reliability and durability; therefore, they do not require frequent replacement, like plastic bags. The technology in this case is as follows:
- Make a 100-110 mm section in the pipe with a screwdriver and a 6 cm diameter hole. They should be on the same line at a distance of 20-25 cm from each other.
- Take a pipe with a diameter of 200 mm and cut holes in it so that only the upper part of the circle cuts out. To do this, hold the crown at an angle to the pipe. Controlling the pressure on the tool, make sure that the slot is made exactly half the circle.
- Then bend the cut out parts of the semicircles in a large pipe, heating them with a construction hairdryer. After that, insert a 110 mm pipe into it. Fix it with wooden blocks and wire so that it locks in the center.
- Fill the space between the pipes with soil. Close the bottom end of the narrow pipe with a suitable plug, in which several holes should be made to exit excess moisture.
- Fill the inner space of the narrow pipe with plant material (sawdust, branches, peeling potatoes) and organics.
- Plant in the holes (previously bent semicircles) of the larger pipe culture seedlings. Watering is required only 1-2 times a week, pouring water into a narrow pipe.
Pros and cons of greenhouse strawberry cultivation
Before you build greenhouses for strawberries, get acquainted with the positive and negative sides of this method of cultivation. The profitability of the business partially depends on this, because you need to take into account all the points in advance. Benefits:
- lack of dependence on weather conditions;
- the opportunity to feast on your favorite berry throughout the year;
- primary business costs, subject to strict adherence to agrotechnical rules, will pay off in just one season;
- saving space on the site, especially when using a vertical landing;
- look after a berry growing in a greenhouse is easier;
- the possibility of obtaining clean products that do not contain substances harmful to the body.
As in any business, growing strawberry crops indoors has its “pitfalls.” Disadvantages:
- the need for artificial pollination or purchase of self-pollinating varieties;
- the need for artificial increase in daylight hours, which entails the cost of electricity;
- the costs of greenhouse cultivation are several times higher than the costs associated with the cultivation of strawberries on the open ground;
- the need to find a profitable market.
Types of Greenhouses
There are several types of greenhouse structures that differ from each other in the material of manufacture, durability and cost of construction. Some options are assembled quickly, while others, on the contrary, take from several days to 2-3 weeks. If necessary, you can buy a ready-made collapsible object, which is suitable for a summer cottage, but if you have a farm, then it is better to build a small greenhouse complex yourself. In general, there are three main options:
- wooden structure covered with plastic wrap;
- aluminum frame with polycarbonate sheets;
- glass coated metal system.
Frame made of polyethylene
A greenhouse covered with a film (covering material) is an option for any wallet. It is possible to install such a frame construction made of wood in a short time. This option is the most common, due to the simplicity of the device and the cheapness of the necessary materials. The disadvantage of such a heifer is that it is not suitable for year-round berries growing, because the film is not able to provide plantings in winter with sufficient protection. This option is ideal from March to October. Such an object can be equipped even with a small garden.
The best option for year-round strawberry harvesting is a polycarbonate greenhouse. Inside, both heat and moisture are well preserved. Polycarbonate perfectly transmit sunlight. Aluminum is often used for the manufacture of the frame, due to which it is light and durable – especially since this material is not subject to corrosion. True, polycarbonate sheets have insufficient abrasion resistance. At the same time, they expand and contract under the influence of high and low temperatures, which is important to consider when the structure will be manufactured.
A metal frame with glass ceilings is the most expensive. Despite this, the optimal microclimate is perfectly preserved inside such an object, and it warms up quickly. Heat loss from a metal object with glass ceilings is minimized. This option is also well suited for the strawberry business. A heating system can be installed inside the facility, and the glass coating perfectly transmits sunlight. The downside is not only the high cost, but also the need for a foundation. In addition, such an object has large dimensions..
This concept means a glazed room intended for growing flowers, shrubs, citrus fruits, etc. With a competent approach, it can be adapted for planting strawberries. In an ordinary apartment, organizing such a winter garden is difficult, but possible. An ideal place for a conservatory would be a loggia or balcony. The best choice would be a country house, one of the premises of which can be given for the arrangement of a home greenhouse. In this case, you can grow much more berries than in an apartment building.
How to equip greenhouses for growing strawberries all year round
Having decided on the material for mounting the frame and its coating, it remains to foresee the equipment of the object. Inside it is important to recreate the optimal microclimate. For this, it is necessary to provide for the use of ventilation systems, drip irrigation and lighting. In the latter case, you can use phytolamps.
The heating system also matters. To create an artificial heating system, you can lay infrared cables or pipes underground, through which heated air will be driven. Other options are stove stoves and an electric boiler. Only with such a thorough approach will you be able to engage in year-round strawberry cultivation, regardless of the climatic conditions of your region.
Garden beds or shelving
You can plant seedlings in the greenhouse right on the beds, but this option is not the most suitable. You can save space by planting the berry in containers that need to be placed on shelves. The result will be several tiers with tanks. The distance between the tiers should be at least 50 cm, so that all plants have enough light. Some experienced gardeners hang pots for these purposes..
You can place the berry bushes in bags, the distance between which should be 20 cm. For watering, use plastic bottles with a volume of 2 liters or more. Above each bush you will need to place such a bottle of water, make several holes in its cover and insert droppers (2–5 pieces) into them. The ends of the last place to the roots.
Juicy and tasty berries can ripen on shelves, on which containers with strawberries are hung. Such structures should be metal, for example, steel. Only in this way can they withstand heavy loads. Shelving should have supporting strips that are concreted in the ground. Skids made of metal are attached to them, the width of which depends on the volume of the pot with the culture, because they will insert containers.
Lighting with fitolamps
Illumination is necessary in winter and autumn, when daylight hours become noticeably shorter than in summer or spring. To get a normal crop, strawberries need at least 10-14 hours of daylight. Install 400 Watt sodium lamps that can simulate sunlight. One bulb should illuminate no more than 1 m2 and be at a height of 1 m above the plant. An alternative is the LED phytolamp. It does not produce heat, does not fail at one-time voltage drops and works for 5–10 years.
Organization of a drip irrigation system
Due to the fact that strawberries best tolerate drip irrigation, you need to build a special system. It will consist of a barrel of water, which is installed above the shelves with bushes, and a rubber tube, which lies on the surface of the soil. In the tube you need to make small holes, the number of which should equal the number of bushes. Irrigation due to this will be uniform and constant. This approach will significantly save time and facilitate the care of plants. Do not forget to constantly add water to the tank.
It is necessary to regulate the microclimate inside the object by a ventilation system, due to which the influx of fresh air will be adjusted and the optimum level of humidity will be maintained. Airing hardens fruit crops and is very useful for seedlings that are grown for planting on the site. The full-fledged operation of this system should be oriented to the operation of heating devices. Airing can be of two types:
- Tame. Based on the independent use of roofing and side windows, doors. To accelerate cooling and ensure full air exchange, different side vents can be made in the frame. They should be located at the level of racks or much higher than the surface of the soil.
- Automatic. In this case, special hydraulic and electrical equipment with a variety of sensors is used. This ensures the automatic opening and closing of the air vents as a certain temperature is reached inside the greenhouse.
Organization of the space of the greenhouse
Of particular importance when arranging a greenhouse for growing berries is the organization of space. Everything needs to be planned so that access to the beds or shelves is easy and free – for example, provide free paths in different parts of the object. Additionally, note that the distance between the rows (if the bushes are planted in the ground) should be 35–40 cm, and between the individual plants — within 20–25 cm. The maximum width of the bed is about 1.2 m. With this width it is convenient to care for the bush standing on the track, otherwise you have to step on the ground.
In a small greenhouse facility, two beds are arranged along the length of the structure, between which a path with a width of at least 0.5 m is left. This is enough to take out weeds and crops in a wheelbarrow, carry water, etc. If there are three beds, then near the walls of the room they should be no more than a meter wide, and the central one can be one and a half meter, because there will be passages on both sides of it. So that the last does not take up a lot of usable area, make one passage large and the second narrow, intended only for walking.
Pay attention to the choice of coating for the tracks. An increased level of humidity affects them, because moisture drops make them slippery. If you leave the passages earthen, then puddles will form on them from watering. You can lay boards on the tracks, as they do not slip when wet. Another convenient option is a brick, previously crushed into pieces..
DIY greenhouse for strawberries
For the construction of a suitable structure, you do not need to be a specialist, unless you are going to build an industrial greenhouse. The finished greenhouse for strawberries must withstand the severity of precipitation during rains and snowfall, otherwise it will begin to bend and will soon be destroyed. In addition, you need to carefully select the area on your site, ideally suited for the construction of a structure that will be distinguished by strength and durability. Main stages:
- project preparation;
- foundation construction;
- the construction of the frame;
- cover mount.
How to choose a location
Not all gardening enthusiasts know that a greenhouse cannot be located in a lowland, especially if water accumulates there. In this case, even drainage can be powerless. If the building will be used only in the warm season, then it should be placed from west to east. If the greenhouse for strawberries is designed for year-round use, then orient it from north to south. The ideal place to build such an object should be flat and not shaded by trees. At the same time, other buildings should not interfere with him..
Preparation of the project and drawings
In the course of preparatory work, mark the place for the structure, calculate the dimensions and determine the appropriate type of foundation and the shape of the frame. The latter can be arched or in the form of a house. It is easiest to find ready-made blueprints for the greenhouse structure, which can be adapted in accordance with personal preferences and with existing terrain features..
The base of the object serves not only as a support for the frame, but also as a protection for landings from atmospheric phenomena. The strength of the structure depends on the correct drainage and how evenly its weight is distributed over the foundation. Of great importance is the strict horizontal footing and proper water drainage. A layer of bitumen or roofing material, which fits between the frame of the object and the base of the foundation, will not be out of place. Additional insulation will protect the building from decay and corrosion. There are two generally suitable types of foundation for a strawberry greenhouse:
- Point. It is built on stone, monolithic or wooden reinforced concrete pillars. The latter are installed strictly horizontally. For the preparation of pits for poles, a drill with a diameter of about 25 cm is suitable.
- Tape. It is the most durable, durable. This foundation is arranged if the greenhouse is designed for long-term operation. To fill it, the formwork is installed. Concrete, which is used for pouring, serves as a kind of heat accumulator. During the day it heats up in the sun, and at night it cools slowly and gives plants warmth.
The supporting structure is made of wood or metal. The first material is easy to process and environmentally friendly, but not durable, because susceptible to decay and destruction under the weight of snow or in strong winds. A wood frame will last longer if you soak it several times during the year with a special waterproofing and antiseptic solution. The second material is more reliable, durable, but it is subject to corrosion. When working with it, consider several nuances:
- When choosing a material, analyze the climatic conditions of the region. Metal pipes can withstand significant loads, but the steel profile is much cheaper.
- The strongest frame can be assembled from ready-made arcs. The disadvantage of this design is its large dimensions, so collapsible arcs with special connecting inserts are more popular.
- It is important to protect metal from corrosion. For this, the material is pre-primed and then coated with a special paint.
Polycarbonate is widely used for cladding a metal frame. The sheets of this material due to ductility are perfectly bent. They need to be bent only across the stiffener. Sheets are attached to the frame on ordinary screws, glued or welded. It is not recommended to drill arcs to fix them, otherwise the number of zones potentially dangerous for corrosion will increase. Polycarbonate manufacturers recommend the use of special fasteners that cover the arc of the frame on both sides and fix the material.
If you chose glass as a coating, then you can use old window frames. First remove the handles, hinges from them and clean them of paint. Further on their surface you need to spread an antiseptic. Before starting installation, you can carefully expose all the windows so as not to damage them during installation. Window frames can be nailed to the frame or screwed with screws.