How to choose and buy strawberries for planting
To get healthy strawberry bushes that will grow well without disease and give a large harvest of sweet berries, you need to plant high-quality seedlings. How to choose the right material for planting? Experts recommend buying annual seedlings with a closed root system (in cups). They should have fibrous roots at least 5 cm long and no more than three well-developed leaves.
A good harvest is given by elite varieties of strawberries. It will be good if you purchase and plant such seedlings on your plot. Even for the cultivation of this crop, gardeners use frigo-seedlings, which are carefully selected from the bushes of berries available in the garden, then dug out in late autumn and stored in bags at a slight negative temperature.
Inspect the seedlings, there should be no signs of disease on the leaves and stems
Where is the best place to buy strawberry seedlings? If you buy it in the markets from private manufacturers, then there is a chance that the purchased plant will be infected with diseases and pests. It is best to take healthy seedlings obtained from sterile plants grown according to a special test-tube method. Such seedlings are sold by large manufacturers. In specialized nurseries, strawberry seedlings are sold from the end of July to the beginning of August.
The earlier at the end of summer you plant the bushes of this plant, the more likely it is that flower buds will be laid on them, and the first harvest will be next year. When choosing seedlings, inspect the seedlings well. If you see pale, shriveled leaves on the plants, or there are some points on them, it is better not to buy such material. These signs indicate the poor quality of seedlings, infection with diseases / pests. Buy strawberry seedlings with the following features:
- the leaves of the seedlings are leathery / with pubescence, have a rich, healthy, shiny, green color;
- the horn of the seedling has a thickness of at least 0.7 cm;
- the length of the roots of open seedlings is more than 7 cm;
- seedlings do not have damage to the roots, leaves;
- the core of the bush is strong, elastic, has a rich green color;
- for seedlings in cups or cassettes, the roots should entangle the entire volume of the container in which they are located;
- the peat pot should be with roots that have pierced it through and look out;
Planting strawberries is best at the end of the summer season in August. It is desirable to do this in sunny places and on southwestern slopes with a slope of 2-3 degrees. It is not desirable to use plots in lowlands or a closed type for growing this plant. The acidity of the soil for planting seedlings of strawberries should not be more than 5.5-6.5 pH. Bushes of berries will give a good harvest if they are planted on chernozem podzolized soils or on dark gray forest soil, which has a medium or light composition.
The berry will also bear fruit well on sod-podzolic, sandy loamy soils. It is not advisable to plant strawberries where groundwater is close to the surface. Before planting seedlings in a certain area, it is necessary to first examine it for the presence of pests, and if they are found, destroy the insects with special means. The land for planting strawberries is first cleared of weeds. Then, 2 weeks before planting seedlings, prepare the soil for planting seedlings. 2-3 buckets of organic matter per 1 sq.m. are scattered over the territory of the site.
What crops to plant after: strawberry predecessors
When choosing a site for planting strawberries, consider which plant grew on it before. You should not use the land for growing this delicious berry if plants from the Asteraceae, Ranunculus or tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, sunflowers have recently grown on it. So after what can you plant strawberries? And is it possible to plant this plant after onions? The harvest of berries will be good if you plant seedlings in the soil where they previously grew:
After planting, strawberries need to be watered abundantly.
At what distance to root a berry: planting scheme with a photo
When planting seedlings, do not bury them too deep into the ground, otherwise the central point or heart of the bush will be below ground level, which will lead to the death of the plant. It is also impossible to allow shallow planting of strawberries. This is fraught with drying of the heart and death of the bush. Seedlings will take root well and will grow if planted so that the central point of the seedling protrudes slightly above the soil surface.
- When planting seedlings in a hole, you need to make a mound in it and put a plant on it.
- The roots should not be bent, they should smoothly descend along the tubercle. If they are too long, be sure to trim them a little.
- After planting the seedlings, the plant should be watered abundantly and a solution of HB 101-93 should be applied under each seedling, diluting 93 drops of this substance in 1 liter of water.
- Then young bushes are mulched with compost (5-6 cm) or straw, hay, sawdust (10 cm) and covered with special material to create a greenhouse effect for better rooting of seedlings.
In the future, regular weeding of the bushes is carried out and the mustache is removed. If the weather is dry after planting the seedlings, you need to water the crop so that the ground on the site is wet. During this period, flower buds are laid, on which the next year’s berry harvest depends. There are several schemes for planting strawberries:
- one-line. This is planting seedlings in one row. The distance between the bushes of plants should be 15-20 cm, and between the rows – 60-70 cm;
- two-line. This is planting with ribbons, consisting of 2 rows of bushes. The distance between the ribbons – 60-70 cm, rows – 30 cm, bushes – 15-20 cm;
- natural agricultural technology. With this scheme, seedlings are planted every 50 cm in one row on beds 50 cm wide. The distance between rows is 50 cm.
How to fertilize the soil before planting
2 weeks before planting seedlings, it is advisable to add to the soil (for every 1 sq.m) 40 g of double superphosphate, up to 20 g of potash fertilizers (wood ash or potassium sulfate). It is desirable to add organic matter to the holes for planting seedling bushes. To do this, dig a hole 25x25x25 cm under each seedling and fill it with a mixture consisting of 1 bucket of earth from the site, 1 bucket of compost, 1 bucket of rotted horse manure, 2 glasses of ash.
Planting garden strawberries with a mustache in open ground
One way to get strawberry seedlings is to root the mustache from a specially prepared mother bush of this crop. Rosettes and their own root system are formed on such shoots:
- 2 weeks before transplantation, separate the young seedling obtained from the rooting of the mustache with scissors from the adult plant. From now on, he will switch to his own diet;
- when the strawberry sockets ripen, transplant them to a permanent place. And when to plant strawberries with a mustache? It is better to start this process in time from the end of July to the end of August. This should be done on a cloudy day or in the evening, so that the root system of the plant adapts well to the new place;
- divide the plot for planting strawberries into rows with a distance of 1 m between them. Plant strawberries at a distance of 20-30 cm between the bushes;
- make the depth of the pit for strawberry seedlings 15 cm;
- the core of the outlet after planting should be at ground level. It is important not to deepen it and leave it above the ground so that the bush does not die;
How to plant under a black film
To get a large crop of strawberries, gardeners use the method of planting a plant under a black film or agrofiber. These devices cover the entire area. Holes are made in the film for planting berry bushes. Black material on the ground does not let sunlight through, and weeds and other plants that are undesirable in this area do not grow under it. To implement this landing method, you need:
- purchase agrofibre or black film, with an area equal to the size of the plot of the future strawberry plantation;
- then lay the mulching material on the ground, laying its corners in holes around the perimeter and filling it with soil;
- then start the process of planting seedlings. It is desirable to plant them in a checkerboard pattern with a distance between the bushes of 25-30 cm;
- on the film, pre-mark the places for the holes and make small perpendicular cuts in them;
- then dig holes through each hole with your hands and plant seedlings;
- holes in the film should not be large so as not to provoke the growth of weeds;
What fertilizer to use or how to feed in the fall
Plants planted in August must be fertilized. This is done using different top dressing. It is useful to treat strawberries with a solution consisting of 30 g of urea and 10 liters of water. Foliar top dressing is carried out with boron, manganese, molybdenum, zinc. Treated bushes will bring more harvest in the summer, and the quality of the berries will be higher than on plants not fertilized with these substances. To make a feed mixture, prepare the following ingredients:
- molybdenum – 2 g;
- manganese – 50 g;
- boric acid – 15 g;
- water – 15 l.
Autumn care for strawberries includes preparing the plant for winter. Cover the bushes of this crop with straw, peat, compost, fallen leaves or corn stalks. These natural substances will not only keep the plants from the cold in winter, but also fertilize the soil. Special materials are also used as mulch for bushes – spunbond, lutrasil. Covered strawberries will be protected from frost and will give a good harvest next year. Further agrotechnical work with strawberries begins in April.
Is it possible to plant different varieties of strawberries next to each other
In some reviews of gardeners, there is a deep conviction that it is impossible to plant different varieties of strawberries together. So they pollinate among themselves, and then on their bushes the quality of the berries becomes worse. But experts say that the reason for the deterioration of the crop in such cases is not that pollination occurs, but because the plant is degenerating.
If you delve a little into botany, then you can remember that during the pollination of crops, double fertilization occurs. As a result of this process, seeds are obtained that have the genetic information from the pollinator plant. However, the situation is different with strawberries, because its fruit is not quite what the botanist understands by this term.
A juicy red berry on a bush of this crop is an overgrown receptacle, which is part of the mother plant and carries only its genetic characteristics. Therefore, the culture whose pollen pollinates strawberry flowers does not affect the quality of the berries. This means that it is not forbidden to plant different varieties side by side. But when propagating a plant with a mustache, it is important not to confuse which variety of strawberries the daughter outlet belongs to.