How to keep strawberry seedlings before planting?

One of the options for planting strawberries is the spring planting of seedlings. When buying seedlings in the autumn, the question arises of how to preserve seedlings until spring. There are several methods for storing bushes, each of which consists in certain subtleties. About how to save strawberry seedlings before planting, read on in the article.

Selection and preparation of seedlings

An important factor in growing strawberries is the choice of healthy seedlings.

Seedlings must meet the basic quality criteria:

  • fibrous root system with a length of 7 cm;
  • leaf plates are dark green, evenly colored, pubescent or leathery;
  • the rhizome is moist;
  • horns with a thickness of 0.7 cm;
  • rhizome entwines with an earthen lump (when buying seedlings with a closed root system);
  • the absence of dark and light blotches, stains, rot and plaque on the leaves.

Further preparation of seedlings depends on the type (with covered or open ground) and the storage method chosen. The general rule for all methods is fungicide treatment. To disinfect plants from fungal infections, the bushes are treated with Fitosporin or another suitable preparation according to the instructions. It is also important to check the moisture of the root system. Do not leave bushes with over-dried rhizomes for storage.

Important! Try to buy seedlings in specialized nurseries. Professional stores always provide customers with a certificate of quality.

Where is the best place to store?

Agronomists name several ways to store seedlings in winter.

Among the acceptable options are:

  • in the basement or cellar (in boxes with moss);
  • in peat substrate in containers (for apartment storage)
  • in the refrigerator (Frigo system).

Storage in the open ground is also allowed - many gardeners dig seedlings until spring.

Strawberry Storage Technologies

Seedlings with open and closed root systems are stored in various ways. For seedlings with a closed rhizome, the storage method in boxes with moss or in peat soil is suitable. Bushes with open roots can be stored before planting in the refrigerator.

Did you know? Garden strawberries, as a wild strawberry cultigen, were bred in Holland in the 18th century.

Open root system

Seedlings with open rhizomes are difficult to preserve for the winter before planting. The only suitable option is Frigo storage. The method consists in placing seedlings in temperature conditions of +1 ... + 2 ° С. Strawberry bushes before storage for extra leaves. If seedlings of own cultivation are used for planting, they are dug up in the last decades of November.

At this moment, the bushes fall into winter sleep and cease to actively develop. At the same time, generative buds have already formed on the plant. Before planting, the bushes are gradually thawed. The first leaves grow 5 days after planting in a permanent place. After 2–2.5 months, fruiting can begin.

Closed root system

The simplest method of storing plants with a closed root system is in a cool room in pots with peat soil. With this storage, seedlings can bloom at the time of planting and will be ready for fruiting. A more professional way involves storing seedlings in boxes with moss.

Read also our e-magazine on strawberry cultivation.

Containers are placed in basements or cellars. Optimum microclimate parameters are humidity 80–90% and temperature +2 ... + 6 ° С. Own cultivation of strawberries is ceased to be watered in late August and dug up in late September. Thus, seedlings cease to actively develop and stop the development process.

How to save seedlings before planting

The technology for placing seedlings for storage depends on the type of bush and the method chosen.

Important! Strawberries in boxes with moss can be stored for a period not exceeding 10 months.

To store plants in moss boxes, follow these instructions:

  1. Prepare drawers with lids.
  2. Lay the moss at the bottom of the drawers.
  3. Lightly crush the earthen lump from the roots.
  4. Moisten the roots.
  5. Place the seedlings in the drawers.
  6. Close the containers with a lid.
  7. Transfer the containers to the basement or cellar with the optimal microclimate described above.

Frigo technology for seedlings with an open root system involves the use of a refrigerator. Before placing seedlings, adjust the temperature in the device.

Prepare the plants themselves according to the following algorithm:

  1. Prepare clean plastic bags.
  2. Sort the seedlings by size.
  3. Lightly moisten the roots of the plants.
  4. Place the bushes in packages according to sorting.
  5. Place plastic bags with seedlings in the refrigerator compartment.

Autumn seedlings can be stored this way from late September to April.

Did you know? Doctors recommend eating strawberries for depression. Only 150 g of berries per day will help get rid of apathy and conquer stress.

Tips for Beginners

Experienced farmers are advised to pay increased attention to the moisture content of the roots. Beginners often neglect this rule. In no case should the rhizome be overdried - the plant may freeze or, when planted, will not be taken into growth. Professional agronomists in basement storage try to control not only the air humidity, but also its quality.

It is desirable that in the air was 2.5% oxygen and 5% carbon dioxide. Regardless of the choice of method, study the recommendations of agronomists and professional farmers. Adhering to technology and taking into account the nuances of the process, the gardener will successfully save strawberry seedlings until spring planting.

Interesting Articles