Features of growing strawberries in open ground
Growing strawberries in open ground is associated with a large list of subtleties. A beginner gardener needs to learn how strawberries grow, what technology is best to plant a crop and how to care for it. There is no definite answer to these questions. In agronomic practice, over decades of cultivating strawberries, various cultivation methods have been developed. Care, in many respects, depends on the variety, of which there are also a large number. However, the averaged rules still exist, and using them, the farmer will successfully grow any variety. Further in the article you will learn about the nuances and secrets of growing strawberries.
Description and features of strawberries
Strawberries or garden strawberries are a perennial herbaceous plant bearing berries. Outwardly, strawberries look like a bush up to 25 cm high. On the petioles there are triple green leaves with notches at the edges. Inflorescences are a multiflowered scutellum with light buds. The culture is bisexual, therefore, an additional planting of a pollinator variety nearby is not required.
Did you know? Garden strawberries - artificially derived culture from wild strawberries. A cultivated variety appeared in the Netherlands in the 18th century.
Berries ripen mainly conical or cylindrical in shape. Almost all varieties, with the exception of some hybrids, differ in fruits in shades of red. Fruits in scientific terminology are called multi-roots. Seeds of botany are called nuts or real fruits. Grains have a light yellow color and are located on the surface of the peel.
Strawberry Growing Methods
Agronomists distinguish classic and non-standard methods of breeding a culture in the garden. They, in turn, are divided into several types each.
Classic ways to plant strawberries
There are two classic ways of planting a crop - one-line and two-line:
- Single line . The method involves planting strawberries in single rows at a distance of up to 0.6 m in the aisle. Bushes in rows have a distance of 15 cm.
- Two-line . Bushes are placed in rows at a distance of 20 cm from each other. In the aisles, they keep a distance of 30 cm.
For high yields, a single line method is recommended. Rows with this method are close, so the yield from 1 m² will be larger. However, with a two-line planting, the plants in the rows are denser, which allows you to successfully survive the cooling. For this reason, in cold regions it is better to resort to single-line landing.
Custom landing methods
In horticultural practice, in addition to classical methods, there are non-standard methods. They allow farmers to save space and time.
We recommend reading our electronic magazine about growing strawberries.
Among non-standard methods, it is possible to plant under agrofibre, in film tunnels, bags and create vertical structures:
- Agrofibre . Bushes are planted in the ground and covered with agrofibre with slots for plants. Strawberries planted under agrofibre easily tolerate winter frosts and cooling during the growing season. Among the benefits are also enhanced moisture retention in the soil and minimal weed exposure.
- Film tunnels . When landing in an open area, metal arcs up to 0.5 m high are built over the rows and covered with plastic wrap. The method creates a semblance of greenhouse conditions. As in the case of agrofibre, the film shelter protects the plantings from sudden changes in weather.
- In the bags . Strawberries are planted in bags with a fertile substrate. Care for the bushes is standard. The advantage of the method is in the mobility of the stands. However, bags often lead to stagnation of moisture, which causes the root system to suffer. Soil during such a landing is quickly depleted, so it should be changed periodically.
- Vertical designs . In the absence of a full-fledged garden, strawberry bushes can be grown in vertical structures. You can find them on sale or make them yourself. The material for the creation are pots, pipes, barrels, tires. In a limited space, the culture can be grown in plastic bottles. The vertical version is optimal for landing in the country with a limited land area.
1 - Landing in the pipe; 2 - Planting in potted nests.
Rules for growing crops
The easiest method of growing - planting finished seedlings. Seedlings can be obtained by dividing a bush or propagating a mustache. A more time-consuming method is growing from seeds. Before sowing, you need to determine the timing, choose the right soil, prepare the seeds, perform the sowing according to the correct technology and learn the basics of competent care for seedlings. The rules for planting seedlings and caring for the bushes need to know, regardless of the method of cultivation.
Important! Hybrids are best not propagated by seeds - daughter plants most often do not adopt varietal characteristics.
Seeds are sown for seedlings from February to May. The approximate sowing time can be determined based on the estimated date of planting grains in the soil.
|Sowing seeds||Transplanting||What terrain is recommended for|
|May||End of August - beginning of September||Southern areas, middle lane|
|February||The end of May - the beginning of June||Northern areas, middle lane|
Also, the timing depends on whether you plant early strawberries, middle or late. The exact time after how many days the seedlings will emerge depends on the varietal characteristics - the data of the originators will be indicated in the instructions on the bundle.
When growing strawberries, the type of soil plays an important role. It should be understood that for sowing seedlings and when planting in open ground, the characteristics will differ. For sowing seeds, you can purchase ready-made soil in the agricultural market. It will contain all the nutrients necessary for the culture. If desired, the substrate can be prepared independently.
To do this, mix:
- 3 parts of the earth;
- 3 parts of compost;
- 0.5 parts of wood ash.
There are other recipes for soil preparation.
Important! Disinfect the substrate before sowing. The soil can be poured with a 1% solution of potassium permanganate or calcined in the oven at + 180 ° C for 40 minutes.
Also, for growing a crop, a mixture is suitable:
- 3 parts of sand;
- 1 part of the earth;
- 1 part humus.
When choosing an open area for planting seedlings, the characteristics that you need to pay attention to are different.
The soil must meet the following parameters:
- acidity at pH = 5.5–6.6;
- loamy or sandy loamy type;
- groundwater not higher than 0.8 m.
Seeds can be obtained independently by removing them from the peel of the berry with a toothpick or tweezers. Also, seed can be purchased in specialized stores. However, regardless of where you took the seeds, they must be prepared for planting.
We recommend that you learn how to grow strawberries from seeds.
Preparation is carried out in three stages:
- Disinfection . Grains are immersed in a 0.5% potassium permanganate solution for 30 minutes. After soaking, the seed is dried.
- Stratification . Place the seeds in a damp cloth, wrap, place in a container and leave for 2 days in a warm room. Then transfer the container with seeds in a napkin to the refrigerator in the vegetable compartment for 14 days.
- Soaking in a growth stimulator . Additionally, seed can be soaked in a growth promoter. Processing is carried out according to the instructions for the selected drug.
Sow the seeds using the following technology:
- Fill the elongated container for cultivation with a fertile substrate.
- Moisten the soil from the spray gun.
- Make grooves with a depth of not more than 0.5 cm at a distance of 3-4 cm from each other.
- Place the seeds in the grooves without burying them in the soil.
After sowing, cover the container with a transparent lid or cellophane film.
Place the container with crops in a lit place, for example, a window sill. The light should be bright, but diffused, so the western or eastern side is perfect. When growing, maintain a temperature of +18 ... + 25 ° С. With proper preparation, after 4–5 days the first shoots will appear. All seeds should germinate by 3 weeks after planting. While the seedlings are growing, ventilate them 1-2 times a day, removing cover from the container.
Spray the soil from the sprayer daily to saturate the crops with moisture. After the appearance of 2 leaves, the shelter is removed. Watering seedlings now need strictly under the root. For irrigation it is convenient to use a syringe without a needle. After the appearance of 4 leaves, seedlings from a common container dive into separate containers. In this case, the soil mixture is used the same as when sowing.
Read also about how to keep strawberry seedlings before planting.
After a dive, continue to water the seedlings. Now, seedlings can be moistened not every day, but as the soil dries. Continue to water the plants under the stems without touching the leaves. After a dive, the bushes begin to feed. Complex fertilizers are used as fertilizers, based on phosphorus and potassium and a low nitrogen content. Top dressing is applied every 1.5 weeks. From acceptable means - "Kemira" and "Mortar."
Planting seedlings in the ground
Plant seedlings in open ground as follows:
- Generously moisten seedlings in containers.
- Dig holes in the selected pattern with a depth of about 10 cm.
- Carefully remove the seedlings from the containers and move them into the pits.
- Fill the empty space in the wells with soil.
- Moisten the beds.
Did you know? Garden strawberries as a cultigen came to the territory of the modern Russian Federation in the 19th century. The first in the country brought the variety Victoria, named after the British Queen. Now this variety is outdated in its characteristics and is practically not grown.
Outdoor Strawberry Care
It is impossible to get a rich harvest without caring for strawberry plantations. Crop care includes watering, top dressing, weeding and cultivating.
Watering the beds should be with warm, settled water. The procedure should be carried out in the morning or in the evening, when the sun is exposed with minimal intensity. 6–9 liters of water are consumed per 1 m².
The frequency of watering depends on the weather:
- in the cool period - 1 time in 3 days;
- on warm and hot days - daily.
Also, the frequency depends on the type of soil. Loams, for example, retain moisture better, so watering can be done less frequently. Plantings in sandy loamy soil moisten more often, as the substrate dries quickly.
The average feeding rules say that plantings must be fertilized three times during the growing season:
- in early spring - nitrogen-based preparations (urea, ammonium nitrate);
- in the formation of fruits - potassium-phosphorus two-component substances;
- after picking berries - bird droppings, liquid mullein.
Acceptable drugs are selected based on varietal characteristics. Different hybrids and varieties can perceive different minerals in different ways. Because of this, it is important to pay attention to the recommendations of the originator.
Weeding and loosening the soil
After each irrigation or rain aisles must be loosened. Fluffy soil allows oxygen and moisture to pass through to the root system better. If you do not loosen the soil, the surface will be taken in a dense crust. Weed planting follows as weeds grow. The procedure is conveniently carried out during cultivation, when weeds are easily pulled out of the ground with the root.
Disease and Pest Prevention
In the process of growing crops, there may be a danger of developing diseases and pest attacks.
Among the most common diseases:
- gray rot;
- white spotting;
- brown spotting;
- late blight;
- verticillar wilting;
- powdery mildew;
- leaf rust;
- wrinkling of leaves.
Of the parasites for strawberries are dangerous:
- strawberry tick;
- strawberry leaf beetle;
Among the measures for the prevention of diseases and pests of strawberries:
- disinfection of seeds and soil before planting;
- moderate watering;
- regular loosening and weeding;
- treatment with fungicides, such as Bordeaux liquid, vitriol or Fitosporin M, according to the instructions;
- spraying with insecticides, for example, Actellic or Confidor, according to the instructions.
Learn how to treat strawberries from pests and diseases.
When can I harvest and how to store it properly
The ripening time of strawberries depends on the type of variety:
|Grade type||Ripening time|
|Early||Second half of may|
|Mid early||First half of june|
|Medium late||Second half of June|
|Late||End of June - beginning of July|
Berries have a wide range of uses.
In addition to eating raw, strawberries are processed for:
- preserves, jams;
Fruits can be dried and frozen for longer storage. Transportability of the crop depends on the variety. Early ripening varieties, such as Kokinskaya early or Dawn, are difficult to transport. Other varieties, such as Clery or Alba, do not lose their commercial qualities during long-distance transportation.
You will be interested to learn how to sugar strawberries for the winter without cooking.
The cultivation of strawberries in the open field is associated with many nuances, but after studying all the subtleties of the culture, the farmer will not have problems with its cultivation. The advantage will be the study of varietal characteristics - it depends on them when it is best to plant seedlings and how to care for it. With a competent approach to growing plantations, the gardener will eventually receive a ripe and tasty crop.