Features planting and care for strawberries Ostara
One of the rather interesting in terms of quality is the Dutch strawberry variety Ostara. It belongs to the repair species, that is, it can produce crops year-round, which makes it possible to grow it in a shelter or even at home in pots. Read more about this variety and its cultivation rules, read below.
Variety selection history
The variety was obtained by crossing the varieties Redgauntlet and Macherauches. They brought her to Holland in the 70s of the last century. The originator of the variety is PRI.
Description and characteristics of strawberries
Culture belongs to the repair species. This means that the plant gives fruit throughout the season when grown in open ground, and when cultivated in shelters or at home, generally year-round. Plants are medium sized. They are bushes up to 30 cm high. Leaves of medium size are painted in dark green. They have a rounded shape, with blunt teeth along the edges. The veins are pronounced, protruding. Petioles of medium thickness also have pubescence.
Flowering is plentiful. The flowers themselves are large, with well-developed anthers. On one bush, male and female flowers are formed. The pollen of this plant is of particular quality, due to which it not only pollinates itself, but also is a pollinator for other varieties. Peduncles numerous, medium height, located approximately at the level of leaf blades.
The fruits of the plant form small, but in very large quantities. The size of one middle berry is only 15–20 g. The yield from one bush is 700–900 g. The shape of the fruit is broadly conical. The surface of ripened strawberries is painted in bright red color. Achenes are numerous, yellow. The pulp is moderately dense, soft, juicy, very aromatic in consistency. The taste is sweet with a delicate sourness.
Regarding use, the fruits are universal . Well suited for fresh consumption, processing for jams, preserves, marshmallows, juices, mashed potatoes. But, due to the insufficiently dense structure, the pulp is not suitable for production for sale, because it does not tolerate transportation at all. Important! The Ostara variety can be a pollinator for strawberry varieties with any ripening time, because it blooms several times during the season.
The main characteristics of the Ostara variety:
- immunity to diseases and pests - medium, is not affected more often than other varieties, timely preventive treatment is highly desirable;
- winter hardiness is relatively high, in the middle lane it tolerates winter well even in periods of little snow, in the north it needs shelter;
- heat resistance and drought tolerance are high, but in particularly hot periods, without additional watering, the berries become even less dense, but acquire a great sweetness;
- exactingness to agricultural technology - undemanding, even a beginner will cope with its cultivation;
- soil quality - bears fruit even on soils poor in nutrition, but if you follow the basic rules of agricultural technology, then productivity increases by 2 times;
- exactingness to soil moisture - the variety does not tolerate increased moisture, it is one of the strawberry crops that are better not to get water than to overfill;
- the variety is renewed every 1-2 years; this variety does not tolerate a longer period, because it produces fruits throughout the season, which greatly depletes the plants.
Giving plants to reproduce on their own is not worth it. The fact is that even smaller fruits are formed on the mustache. If you leave a mustache, then the variety will degenerate faster, and as a result, after 1-2 years only berries with a diameter of not more than 1 cm will be on the site.
Advantages and disadvantages of the variety
In order to avoid mistakes during the cultivation of the Ostara variety, its pros and cons should be evaluated.
- Among the advantages include:
- high productivity;
- undemanding care;
- high winter hardiness and drought tolerance;
- excellent taste of the fruit.
- Cons of culture:
- small fruits;
- the inability to transport crops and apply for commercial purposes;
- the need to update the variety every 1-2 years.
Features of planting strawberries Ostara
Strawberries of this variety are very easy to cultivate. It will require a minimum of space on the site, and given that the culture is not demanding on soil, this makes it possible to place plantings in almost any convenient place for the farmer.
Read also our e-magazine on strawberry cultivation.
The optimal planting period, depending on the growing region, is mid-July - mid-September. Before spring, the plants will have time to take root well, and already at the height of the season they will begin to produce crops.
Choosing a place to land
It is best to prefer a well-lit area, protected from the north wind. A good option is planting from the southeastern part of the buildings, as well as under the canopy of not too thick trees, for example, cherries or dwarf apple trees. Trees will provide additional protection from the wind in winter.
When choosing a site, it is worth considering that strawberries will often be affected by diseases and pests when grown after and in the immediate vicinity of solanaceous plants, beets, and potatoes. The most positive relatives and predecessors for strawberries are garlic, onions, legumes, phacelia, clover, and cereals.
Important! You should not have planting Ostar's strawberries in the lowlands, where a large amount of melt water accumulates in the spring, otherwise it will die from root rot.
The culture is not demanding on the quality of the soil, but the yield will be greater on loams and sandstones. The main condition is good aeration and high-quality premature preparation of the site for planting, suggesting an increase in soil fertility.
To prepare the site you need to start in the spring. First you need to clean it, then dig it to a depth of 20–25 cm. It is imperative to disinfect the soil. To do this, you can use copper sulfate - a solution of 3% concentration. You can replace this tool with the Fitosporin biostimulator - dilute 5:10. This drug not only has a disinfecting effect, but also helps to increase soil fertility.
A week after disinfection, nutrients are added. Based on each m², for digging to a depth of 20–25 cm, lay:
- 20 kg of manure;
- 10 kg of peat;
- 10 kg of sand;
- 10 kg of deciduous humus;
- 70 g of superphosphate;
- 20 g of potassium nitrate.
A month before planting, the soil in the prepared area is again dug up to the same depth. For digging, 20 kg of compost and 600 g of wood ash are added to each m². Ash in this case will play the role of a substance that enriches the soil with calcium and phosphorus, which are necessary for quality rooting, and an antibacterial agent that prevents the development of bacteria and pests.
Learn how to fertilize the earth in autumn under strawberries.
The planting scheme for this variety involves the placement of plants in a row at a distance of 30 cm from each other. Between the rows make a step of 50 cm.
When planting strawberry seedlings, the most important thing is to monitor the level of deepening of the growth point. It should be flush with the soil after filling the hole. Did you know? Due to the high content of antioxidants in the composition of strawberry fruits, they contribute to the elimination of cholesterol.
Step-by-step landing instructions:
- Dig out the landing pits - depth 12 cm, circumference 20 cm.
- Mix the soil from the wells with fertilizers - add 10 g of superphosphate, 3 kg of compost per 10 kg of soil.
- Form conical mounds in the holes.
- Put a plant in the hole, straighten the roots, align with the growth point, and fill the hole with soil.
- Compact the soil around the plant, pour 1 liter of water into the hole.
- Wait for the absorption of moisture and partial subsidence of the soil, fill up the missing layer.
- Mulch the holes with sawdust and chopped straw.
When grown, the Ostara variety does not cause any worries to the farmer. The main thing in time to carry out work to maintain the looseness and fertility of the soil, as well as its moisture. The most important requirement is timely preventive treatment from diseases and pests, because plants do not differ in too high immunity and quickly weaken due to abundant long-term fruiting. Did you know? Strawberry is one of the strongest aphrodisiacs.
Watering and feeding
Strawberry bushes need to be watered every 1-2 weeks, depending on the amount of natural rainfall in the growing region. Under the bush make 1 liter of water.
Fertilizers are introduced from the second year. In the spring, at the end of April, dry chicken droppings are used. 300 g is diluted in 10 l of water. Contribute 0.5 l under the bush. After 20 days, the plants are irrigated with compost-ash infusion. To prepare it, add 20 kg of compost and 2 tbsp. To 20 l of water. ashes. The mixture is insisted for a week. After this, decanted, diluted 1: 1 with water and pour 1 liter under the plant.
It is very important, after each natural moistening (rain), as well as carried out artificially (watering, fertilizing) to carry out loosening of the soil under the bushes and in the aisles. Immediately after loosening, it is necessary to mulch the soil. To this end, it is better to use straw, hay or fresh grass.
Diseases and Pests
Most often, this strawberry variety is affected:
- gray rot - to prevent this process will help weeding the soil, mulching with dry sawdust or straw, as well as treating plants with a 1% solution of colloidal sulfur;
- brown spotting - to cope with this ailment, treatment with the Skor preparation will help according to the instructions with preliminary removal of all affected parts of the plant;
- powdery mildew - this pathology can be eliminated using the Fitoverm remedy (use according to the instructions); before treatment, all infected parts of the plant must be removed.
Did you know? In some countries, cooks pickle green strawberries. This appetizer is an analogue of the pickles we are used to.
Of the pests for Ostara are dangerous:
- strawberry weevil ;
- spider mite ;
- strawberry nematode.
The first two parasites can be dealt with by dusting the soil and the plants themselves with wood ash or dolomite flour. When a strawberry nematode appears, infected plants should be immediately removed and burned outside the site. We recommend reading about processing strawberries from pests and diseases.
As a preventative measure, at the end of the season, it is imperative to treat with 1% solution of copper sulfate or Fitoverm. In addition, the main measures to prevent the appearance of parasites and harmful microorganisms is the implementation of the above agricultural practices when caring for strawberries.
Harvesting and storage of crops
Harvest strawberries as they ripen. Picking berries from the bushes is necessary with the stalks. You can pinch them off with your hands or use well-sharpened, alcohol-disinfected scissors.
This variety is not subject to storage. In the refrigerator, berries can be stored for a maximum of 1-3 days, depending on the stage of ripeness at the time of collection. In this regard, it is better to sort them, leaving some for food, and the rest for processing. Of these, you can make various preparations for the winter in the form of jam, juice or compote.
Read how to properly store strawberries.
Ostar's strawberry variety is inferior in its characteristics to many other varieties, but in terms of taste, it holds one of the first positions. This is ideal for growing for personal consumption and various types of processing. In addition, Ostara is unpretentious in care, and can bear fruit in any conditions, so growing it will not be difficult even for a beginner.