Strawberry care in spring - we do it right and on time
The most basic strawberry care is needed in the spring. And the further development of your berries and the entire future harvest depends on how you do everything right. After the snow has melted, the spring weather has set, the bushes wake up, and they need to pay a lot of their attention. And if you have planted young bushes, then even more attention is needed.
Spring strawberry care
Although many people believe that strawberries are unpretentious, and they will grow in any climate and there is no need to care for them, because nothing will change at all. But this is absolutely not the case. Strawberry itself is a rather wayward plant, and some varieties, and in particular, are very demanding on the environment. After all, her yield directly depends on the correct care, if something is done wrong, you can generally be left without a berry. Strawberry care in spring is necessary so that your harvest is always at a high level both in quality and quantity.
In spring, care for strawberries should be started almost as soon as all the snow has melted. And it will be possible to finish caring for strawberries only when the first autumn frosts come. Accordingly, you need to take care of the whole season constantly. And since in different regions of our country there is a different climate, then the time of spring care for everyone starts differently.
In the Moscow region, it is best to start caring for strawberries in the second half of March. Indeed, in this region, by mid-March, the snow always melts, and enough moisture remains in the ground. Accordingly, if you correctly start caring for strawberries at this time, then the strawberries will be healthy and begin to actively bear fruit.
But in Siberia and the Urals, the best time to start caring for the beds is mid-April. After all, it is at this time that you need to start putting the strawberry plantings in order so that the bushes develop correctly and bear fruit well in the future.
Proper care of strawberries is especially important if the bushes are mature. If you grow strawberries in tunnels, then you need to regularly ventilate them every day, otherwise you risk overheating the plants in the direct rays of the warm spring sun. The tunnels are opened every day, gradually increasing the airing time to allow the strawberries to adapt. But it must be closed at night.
But if you grow strawberries in the open field, then every night it needs to be covered with either a covering material or a film. And this is done in order to protect the bushes from spring frosts and sudden changes in temperature. Also, in the open field in the spring, in the aisles, it is necessary to remove a layer of earth up to 5 cm. This is done for prevention, because diseases or pests can form in the ground that easily tolerate the winter. It is also desirable to loosen the soil well in the aisles by 5 cm in depth.
Before planting young strawberry bushes, for the regions of the Moscow region, Siberia and the Urals, you need to choose the right varieties. First of all, they must be well resistant to frost, grow quickly and actively, respectively, the harvest should ideally be early. These varieties are bound to have good taste and excellent immunity. The varieties must be resistant to diseases and pests. The ideal option is to plant several varieties that will bear fruit in turn.
Ideally, fertilizer should be applied to strawberries in the fall, then in the spring, when planting new bushes, it will be possible not to fertilize the soil. After the autumn fertilization, there will be enough nutrients in the soil for a whole year, but fertilizers are needed in a certain amount.If for some reason the land was not fertilized in the fall, then it will be necessary to apply top dressing in the spring, at a time when the leaves will form. The main thing is to be in time before flowering. In no case should you fertilize strawberries during flowering.
Then feeding is carried out when ovaries appear on the bushes, and the next time fertilizers are applied after the last harvest. When planting a young plant, it is imperative that it cannot be planted very deeply, the core of the plant should always remain outside.
After the strawberries have been planted, they need to be watered every day. But after two weeks, when it has already taken root, it is already necessary to water every other day. And when the bushes begin to grow actively and develop well, water should be generally watered once a week. But if there is a strong heat outside, the watering rates change dramatically, and then the strawberries should be watered looking at the state of the earth, that is, when it dries up. After each watering, the land must be carefully loosened, and it is best to cover the bushes with freshly cut grass, and this is done so that the ground remains moist for as long as possible.
As soon as the snow melts and the ground dries out a little, the most difficult period begins for strawberries. After all, it is at this time that strawberries are very vulnerable, all these temperature changes, instability of the weather and possible frosts have a very strong effect on it. To create the best conditions for strawberries, you need a lot of effort and knowledge of care.
In order for the snow to melt faster on the strawberry beds, they are sprinkled with ash, the ground is watered around the bed with hot water, and the bed itself is covered with a film or covering material. But you need to water the ground with boiling water when the bushes have not yet woken up. Watering will help not only the earliest warming up of the earth and the melting of snow, but also boiling water kills all diseases and pests that easily endure the winter and remain in the ground. After the snow has melted and the bushes have woken up, they need to be cleaned of dry leaves and grass, which in the fall was covered with a garden bed for insulation.
Proper care of strawberries in the country
In spring, strawberries are taken care of gradually. Good and proper care of strawberries is necessary in order for your bushes to grow healthy, develop correctly and, accordingly, give a good harvest in terms of quantity and quality. All stages of care must be followed in order.
1. You are removing the shelter that you put in the fall for insulation.
2. Prune, remove excess bushes, trim the mustache from the rest. And those that you want to plant in the future, leave.
3. Watering the strawberries.
4. Loosen the ground.
6. Apply fertilizer.
7. Treat various diseases and pests.
8. And only after all this, you can plant new bushes from those mustaches that you left earlier, or even transplant ready-made bushes. Just do not forget that the planting material must be healthy and of high quality.
All these rules and procedures must be followed. All strawberry care activities must be carried out correctly.
Initially, in early spring, immediately after the snow melts, the shelter and fallen leaves are removed. Immediately after this, pruning should be carried out and those bushes that did not endure the winter well should be removed. Then the strawberry bed should be well watered, and after watering, gently loosen the ground so as not to damage either the bushes or the roots of the plants. And after loosening, the ground needs to be mulched. After that, preventive treatment against diseases and pests is carried out. if the strawberries have grown and the bushes began to grow too close to each other, they should be planted, as well as the mustache that you left when pruning.
In the spring, as soon as warm weather sets in, the strawberry beds need to be covered with a film or covering material, this is done so that the bushes are not damaged by a drop in day and night temperatures, and your berry gives an earlier harvest.Only you need to cover not directly on the bushes, but on the established arcs, it turns out that the strawberries are in a kind of greenhouse.
After the snow has completely melted and you spill hot water around the garden, the shelter can be removed. And even then, the bed is cleaned of foliage and mulch. Cleaning can be done with a rake.
In the mulch and leaves, when they mutely support, various pests and diseases, as well as a fungus, begin to develop. Therefore, everything must be removed from the beds very carefully so that no debris remains. And after harvesting, they remove the top layer of the earth, up to 5 cm. Then those pests and diseases that remained from the last season, and survived the winter in the soil, will be removed and will not damage your plantings in the future.
For the best result in the destruction of everything that can harm the strawberries, spill the earth with a weak solution of potassium permanganate. The main thing is to observe the dosage, otherwise you can burn the plants. After processing with potassium permanganate, it is advisable to add a new layer of earth mixed with humus; for a better result, you can add a little sand to the mixture. Thus, you form a fertile layer of the earth. But before pouring this mixture, you also need to spill with a solution of potassium permanganate, only already hot.
If you did not cut off the top layer of the earth, then it must be dug up to the same depth, not less than 5 cm. When adding a new layer of soil, the earth around each bush must be raked. But this must be done so that the points of growth are above the surface of the earth, and also this land should in no way interfere with the growth of bushes.
Pruning must be done. Each bush should be carefully examined and any dry, old leaves should be cut off. Also, the damaged areas of the bush must be carefully trimmed. Frozen and damaged ones should be cut off first. And also the extra mustache is cut off, because they take all the strength from the bush, which affects the flowering, the amount of harvest and the size of the berry. With this pruning, only those mustaches that grow on the best bushes are left, and you will plant them in the future. Tough leaf stalks cannot be torn off; they must be cut off with a very sharp knife. Indeed, when cutting off, you can damage the core of the bush and its young leaves, which can be detrimental in the future. All leaves and whiskers removed from the bush must be burned.
It is carried out only with warm water, and this is done either in the morning or in the evening. In the afternoon, when the sun is shining, you should never water. Water for irrigation must necessarily be sediment. The first time in spring, strawberries are watered when the earth dries up, this is visible externally. Before the strawberries begin to bloom, water it only once a week.
For each strawberry bush, you need to pour at least half a liter of water. When you just transplanted strawberries, then for the first 2 weeks it should be watered every day, this is necessary in order for it to take root faster.
Peat, straw, pine needles, freshly cut grass, black film or covering material can be used as mulch for strawberries. While the strawberry is bearing fruit, it should be watered immediately after the berries have been picked. And if it is hot outside, then both the amount of water and the frequency of irrigation are increased. That is, strawberries are watered every day, and it is necessary that the earth be moistened by 40 cm in depth. At such a time, drip irrigation would be ideal for strawberries, because they will be watered evenly, and the moisture will not evaporate.
After each watering, the soil must be loosened. But this must be done very carefully so as not to damage the bushes and plant roots, because they are very close to the surface of the earth. The strawberry bed should always be clean and free of weeds. When loosening the soil around the bush, be sure to make sure that the soil does not fall into the bush itself. When loosening, oxygen is better supplied to the roots, respectively, the bush develops better.And also the ground under the bush and around it does not dry out so quickly. If the roots of the bush are bare, then they must be immediately spudded so that they do not dry out in the sun. But at the same time, the plant cannot be buried.
Feeding strawberries is just as necessary as any other plant. It is needed for fast growth and better fruiting. And if you have remontant varieties, then you need to fertilize them several times more often. In early spring, after the snow melts, strawberries are fertilized in order to fill the soil with nutrients. All these substances in strawberries are essential for active growth and proper development. In the spring, feeding is carried out several times.
- The first feeding is carried out when 2 true leaves are formed near the bush. At this time, such fertilizers are applied to the ground, which contain the most nitrogen.
- The second time more phosphorus is introduced into the ground, and this is done strictly before flowering. Indeed, at a time when it blooms, no fertilizers can be applied.
- The third feeding is tedious for strawberries when ovaries appear. At this time, organic, mineral or complex fertilizers are applied.
- And for the fourth time, fertilizing is applied after the harvest. Strawberries at this time need a complex of their potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. Fertilizers are applied to the ground for the active growth of the bush, and the increase in foliage on it. And this is precisely facilitated by feeding with a high nitrogen content. Then the berries will become larger, and there will be more foliage, but when there is little nitrogen, the berries become smaller each time, and new leaves simply do not grow, and the bush becomes more rare.
All top dressing is applied to the soil only after watering, this is a prerequisite for fertilizing strawberries. Most often, nitrate or urea is added to the soil as fertilizer. In addition to the fact that it contributes to the active growth of the bush, it also makes the berries sweeter, saturating them with sugar.
But when feeding under each bush, it is imperative to pour a little wood ash, it creates a balance of nutrients in the soil. With the same success, chicken manure is used as a fertilizer, but in no case fresh, it must be diluted 1:10 with water and watered with strawberries. If the droppings are not diluted, then your plants may simply burn out. The rest of the feeding can be done at different times, as needed.
Protection from pests and diseases
Strawberries are simply full of pests and diseases, for example: gray rot, spotting, aphids, various slugs, whiteflies, leaf beetles, strawberry mites, weevils, etc. To protect against them, mandatory prophylaxis is needed, and it is carried out twice a year. When the first snow melts and before the strawberries bloom.
You can use both chemicals and folk remedies for this. It is imperative to carry out processing in dry, calm weather, mainly in the evening. The main thing is that there is no sun. Strawberry beds are sprayed for the first time, immediately after the shelter is removed and cleaned up. If pests appear during the flowering of the bushes, they can be treated with an infusion of garlic and laundry soap, or another folk remedy, but chemistry at this time is completely prohibited.
From chemistry for the treatment of bushes, such drugs are most often used as: Urea, Actellik, Karbofos, Calypso, Envidor, Aktofit, Teldor, Heterofos. All these drugs are used strictly according to the instructions.
The mustache is transplanted in the spring or fall. In the spring, they begin to replant at the beginning of May, when the earth is already warming up. There should be no stagnant water in the landing site, it is best if it is a sunny area on a hill. There should be enough organic fertilizer in the soil for the plants to take root well. And when planting, the best option would be to add wood ash to each hole. The place before planting must be prepared in advance, preferably in the fall.The site is dug up, organic fertilizers are applied and covered with a film, covering material, or covered with dry sawdust. And it is best to plant in dry, calm weather, at a time when it is cloudy and there is no sun.
The roots of the seedling should be strong, but not longer than 10 cm. If the roots of the seedling are longer, then they must be cut off. At least 5 true leaves must be formed on the planting material. The best distance between bushes is 25-30 cm.
Strawberries are transplanted to a new place after 4 years, after which it can be returned to its original place. before planting, the holes must be well shed with water, sprinkled with ash and you can add a little humus. The bushes cannot be buried during planting; after planting, it must be watered well again and covered with a film or covering material, thus creating a greenhouse. During the day, the strawberries must be ventilated, and must be closed at night. After two weeks, the shelter can be removed.
Strawberry Care and Growing - Common Mistakes
- Most often, gardeners make mistakes such as improper cleaning of the beds and pruning of bushes. This is done most often at the wrong time, mostly later than the due date. And it is often forgotten that all trimmed parts of the bush must be burned.
- Just as often, when hilling, a too thick layer of earth is piled on the bush. In this case, the roots grow longer, respectively, and the berries appear much later. It is imperative to remember that the growth point of the bush must necessarily be on the surface of the earth.
- Many people refuse mulching, forgetting that if you mulch the plants, the moisture in them will remain much longer, because moisture will not evaporate. And thanks to this, strawberries will need to be watered less often, respectively, and the risk of disease is reduced.
- For some reason, many gardeners water strawberries with cold water, but this is absolutely impossible, because the roots will have hypothermia, and this greatly affects the strawberries. And remember not to water during the day!
- Also, be sure to loosen the soil, this not only gives the roots a lot of oxygen, but also helps to get rid of weeds.
- The wrong landing place is also a common mistake of many people. The site should be well lit, with a complete absence of drafts and water accumulation.
- Some people plant strawberries in unfertilized soil, and feed them only after planting, which also negatively affects the development of bushes, the quality and quantity of the crop.
- If you do not regularly pick ripe berries, then when overripe they will start to rot, and pests will appear on them that will ruin the rest of the harvest.
In general, strawberries are everyone's favorite berry, which has a lot of vitamins. Therefore, care for strawberries must be timely and correct. If you do everything in order and in due time, then not so much effort and time will be spent, but sweet, ripe berries will delight you all season.