Description and characteristics of Luna strawberries
Most summer residents prefer early ripe strawberry varieties, but this does not mean that among the late varieties of strawberries there are no worthy options. An example of a good choice in this case is Strawberry Luna, but in order to get the maximum benefit from growing such a plant, you should study all the features of planting and further care of seedlings in advance. What exactly is worth knowing about the features of the Moon strawberry itself and the nuances of its cultivation - read on.
Description and history of selection of varieties
Strawberry Luna is one of the latest hybrid varieties of strawberries, intended for a single harvest, although this small drawback is fully compensated by the large fruits of the variety and a fairly high yield of berries. A new plant was obtained by crossing the varieties Fragaria and Ananassa, which not so long ago were engaged in by English breeders.
Did you know? The largest strawberry grew in the garden of the Japanese farmer Koji Nakao, which was 12 cm long with a length of 8 cm and its weight reached 250 g. It is noteworthy that the berry grew so without any additional human intervention.
Young Luna strawberry seedlings quickly form compact and highly leafy bushes, on which large, oval or slightly conical berries, weighing 40-60 g each, later appear. At the stage of full maturity, they all have a dark cherry color and taste resembling wild strawberries. A lot of ovaries are always formed on the peduncles, but there are never any small berries.
Characteristics of the Moon variety
The external data of strawberry berries is only half of the important characteristics that you should pay attention to when choosing one or another cultivar for growing on your site. No less useful information will be regarding frost resistance, disease resistance and the overall yield of strawberry bushes, therefore, these criteria should be paid attention to when choosing the Luna variety.
Drought resistance, frost resistance
Strawberries of the described variety can be grown without problems in the southern and central regions of Russia, because even in frosty winters the plants do not freeze . In the northern regions, the success of cultivation depends on a properly organized winter shelter, especially when it comes to seedlings planted this year.
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In the future, the moisture content of the substrate can be reduced by making sure that the earth does not crack on the surface and always remains slightly moist. The drought tolerance of Luna is at an average level.
Strawberry Pollinators Moon
Strawberry Luna grows well in areas without other varietal varieties of culture, however, given the late harvest, it is advisable to plant representatives of other varieties, which will provide you with fresh and tasty berries from June to early autumn.
Given the large size of Luna strawberries, up to 800 g of crop is often harvested from one adult bush. The weight of the berries can be different, often reaching 80–110 g, but the average weight of the fruits of the described culture is 50–60 g.
Fields of application
Strawberry berries Luna are characterized by universality of purpose, therefore, they are excellent for fresh consumption, as well as for all kinds of processing for culinary purposes. Some housewives make jams and preserves from them, others often use them to complement desserts and pastries, but in any case, due to the pleasant sweet taste, these fruits will be a beneficial ingredient for a variety of dishes.
Important! For processing for winter preservation, it is advisable to use only fully ripe berries, without the slightest acidity in taste. They are better than greenish boiled for jam and jams, and the taste of the sweet billet will be better.
Disease and pest resistance
Almost all hybrid varieties of various crops are characterized by increased resistance to fungal diseases (in particular, powdery mildew), and are also characterized by excellent resistance to pests.
Such features are also characteristic of the Moon strawberry, however, of course, it is impossible to completely exclude the possibility of the development of the same rot (gray or white), especially since much in this regard depends on the correctness of the organized care. Of the pests, slugs can annoy the stands, but they are also rare on the variety.
Advantages and disadvantages of the variety
Having studied all the varietal features of the English strawberry Luna, it is easy to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of this culture.
- The list of benefits of its cultivation includes such characteristics:
- large sizes of berries;
- profusion of fruiting;
- good commercial quality;
- excellent indicators of portability and durability;
- low demands on the composition of the soil at the place of cultivation;
- universality of application;
- high resistance to common strawberry ailments and pests.
As for the shortcomings of such strawberries, the most noticeable of them is late fruiting, but if other varieties of culture are grown on the site (for example, early or mid-early varieties), then this will not cause significant inconvenience.
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Rules for planting strawberry seedlings
General rules for planting strawberries Luna coincide with the requirements for planting other varieties of late ripe strawberries, however, certain nuances of the procedure still exist. For this reason, it is necessary to take into account the most suitable deadlines for planting events, choose the right place to place strawberries, and of course, adhere to the technology of planting seedlings exactly.
Timing and seat selection
The exact timing of planting a crop depends on several key factors: the climatic conditions of a particular region and the requirements of the planted plant itself. In the case of late ripe strawberries, most gardeners choose an autumn planting (performed in September or early October), especially if the site is located in southern Russia or in the central part of the country.
Important! If groundwater comes too close to the surface of the earth, and you don’t have an alternative choice of a site, then high embankments on the beds or laying a good drainage layer will help to solve the problem.
In the northern regions, spring planting of seedlings is allowed, but only after the threat of return frost has passed. As for the choice of a place for strawberries, then the Luna variety does not impose special requirements, the main thing is that the territory is not flooded with groundwater and warmed well by sunlight.
The composition of the soil for plants can be any, but the best fruiting is noted on light fertile substrates: sandy loam or sand. Peat and sod-podzolic lands are not the most suitable solution for planting strawberries, since their fruiting under such conditions will not be so plentiful.
Preparation of the site and seedlings for planting
For spring planting, the preparation of beds for strawberries begins in the fall, while with the autumn procedure, you can organize them 1–1.5 months before.
In any case, the algorithm for pre-landing actions will be as follows:
- Dig the entire section to the depth of the shovel bayonet so that just before planting you can only slightly fluff up the soil.
- Add organic or mineral fertilizers (for example, 5-6 liters of rotted manure per 1 m² of territory).
- In the presence of parasites in the soil or in the case of fixation of crop diseases in the past, it is worth additional to spill the soil with a potassium permanganate solution or a specially purchased disinfectant (one of the popular fungicidal or insecticidal formulations can be used).
- Mark the area in accordance with a suitable planting scheme. When growing Luna strawberries, the optimal values are 15–20 cm between adjacent plants in a row and 60–70 cm between rows with strawberries. The depth of incorporation of the rhizome of young plants should not exceed 10-15 cm.
Preparing seedlings for planting is based on a thorough examination of the root system and the aerial parts of young seedlings, removing dead roots and treating the remaining roots in the root stimulator (for example, “Kornevine”). In addition, if the length of the roots of the seedling exceeds 10-12 cm, then they are cut with scissors, but in no case break off manually. This can lead to stunted growth.
Read more: proper planting of strawberries in spring.
The process of planting young seedlings
After the successful completion of all preparatory measures, with the advent of the right moment for planting strawberries on the site, you can proceed to the implementation of the plan, based on the following phased plan:
- Once again gently fluff up the soil and in the designated places organize holes for the purchased seedlings (a hoe or a small shovel will help).
- Well moisten the soil in the wells and wait until the moisture is completely absorbed into the ground.
- Take the prepared seedling and keeping it strictly upright, place it in the hole, carefully spreading the roots of the plant.
- Fill the rhizome with earth, but only so that there is no free space between the individual roots (the level of placement of the root neck and soil should coincide).
- Once again, compact the soil around the stems of the seedlings and, having watered the soil abundantly, mulch it with a thin layer of straw or wood sawdust, which will allow for a long time to keep moisture in the soil.
Strawberry Care Rules Moon
The very next day after planting strawberry seedlings on the site, a long process of plant care begins, on the success of which the further development and fruiting of the crop depends.
The main activities in the next few years of cultivation will be regular watering, soil fertilizers and the prevention of various diseases and pests. In addition, when growing plants in regions with a cold climate, winter shelter may be required.
Read also our e-magazine on strawberry cultivation.
Prevention and protection against pests and diseases
Strawberry of the Moon variety is characterized by high resistance to the main ailments of strawberries, however, with waterlogging of the soil, the development of gray and white rot is possible. To prevent this from happening, it is important to normalize irrigation, and plant the plants themselves twice a season with a 2% Bordeaux mixture: the first time in early spring, and the second in autumn, shortly after harvesting.
Of the pests, the most popular are slugs that damage not only the leaves of the crop, but also the already formed berries on the bushes. For the prevention and elimination of an existing problem, rows of stinging nettles are placed in the aisles or scattered mustard, making it difficult to move the slugs.
During the first two weeks after planting strawberries at a constant place of growth, you need to water the beds daily, soaking the soil well, but at the same time, try not to wash the roots.
In the future, the regularity of substrate wetting is reduced to 1 time in 2 days, and as soon as young plants are fully strengthened, they can be watered only if necessary, when the upper soil layer is completely dry.
To preserve moisture for a long time, it is recommended to mulch the aisles with straw or sawdust, replacing the mulch layer about 1 time in 2-3 weeks.
Read more about how to water strawberries frequently and correctly.
Since the Strawberry variety Luna belongs to varieties of late ripening, even when organizing feeding, you can adhere to the general scheme of fertilizing for such plants:
- For the first time, strawberries are fed 14 days after planting at a constant place of growth, using ½ cup of wood ash and 30 g of superphosphate as nutrient composition, which, after mixing with a bucket of water, are poured under each bush (one dose will be enough for 3-4 plants )
- During the flowering of bushes, an organic mixture prepared from a weekly infusion of mullein (diluted in water in a ratio of 1: 6) and ½ cup of wood ash will be relevant.
- After another 2 weeks, Luna strawberries can be fed with organic infusion, with the addition of superphosphate fertilizer, repeating this procedure after a few more weeks.
In whatever period you fertilize the crop, you need to add nutrients only after high-quality abundant watering of the plantings, which will help prevent a burn of the root system. In addition, you should not pour fertilizer closer than 5 cm from the trunk of the bush and perform more than four main dressings per season.
Strawberry variety Luna is characterized by increased resistance to frost, therefore, when grown in the central or especially the southern part of the Russian Federation, no special winter preparation for plantings is required.
As with the cultivation of other varietal varieties of this crop, autumn top dressing (for example, 10% mullein solution mixed with ½ cup of wood ash), plentiful watering at the end of September and sanitary cutting of damaged leaves will suffice.
When growing crops in regions with very harsh climates and with little snowy winters, the spruce can play the role of snow cover. Such material is completely natural and unattractive for rodents, and this is an important detail for a successful wintering of strawberries.
Learn more about how to protect strawberries from frost.
Harvesting and storage of crops
In most of the territory of the Russian Federation, the harvesting of the Luna strawberry crop begins only in August, but if you intend to transport the fruit over long distances, it is advisable to plan the procedure a week earlier than the approximate date of full ripeness of the berries.
In general, the Luna strawberry variety is deservedly considered one of the most suitable options for cultivation in central Russia, and the comparative unpretentiousness in care and high indicators of frost resistance only increase its value.
Therefore, if you have not yet decided on a specific cultivar for growing in a summer cottage, and all the characteristics of the described strawberries fully comply with the stated requirements, it is worth buying several seedlings.