How to protect strawberries from frost?
Harvest strawberries depends not only on competent care for it during the active growing season, but also on wintering. Shelter of culture is especially important for regions with little snowy harsh winters. Therefore, in order to protect the bushes from overheating and frost, it is important to understand when, how and how to shelter them for the winter.
Is it necessary to warm strawberries for the winter?
In modern gardening, there are many new varieties of strawberries and strawberries, characterized by high winter-hardiness. In a temperate climate, with a stable snow cover of at least 30 cm, such plants can not be covered. If winter rainfall rarely appears in your region so that the berry does not freeze, shelter is necessary for it.
Did you know? Strawberry is not a berry, but a nut. The fact is that the true fruits of this plant are small yellowish achenes that are located on the surface of a huge red receptacle.
The method of warming strawberry planting depends on the climatic characteristics of a particular area. For example, in the vastness of Russia, the technology for preparing a culture for wintering will vary significantly in Siberia, the Moscow Region and the Kuban.
It is important for the gardener to understand that lowering the air temperature to -8 ° C adversely affects the bushes. Lower thermometers increase the risk of plant death. Therefore, the feasibility and method of sheltering the beds should be determined based on:
- temperature regime of a specific region;
- precipitation in winter;
- the location of the strawberry berry (protection from the through wind, the depth of groundwater, the illuminance of the site).
Strawberry Shelter Dates
In order to warm strawberries in a timely manner, it is preliminary important to understand the value of the temperature regime for it. Then the gardener will be able to draw the right conclusions about the full development of the culture, the existing threats and critical temperatures.
Important! It is strictly forbidden to close the plants ahead of schedule, as under such conditions they will be subject to intense evaporation of moisture and heat, resulting in blooming or ripening. In the first case, actively vegetating specimens will die already at the beginning of the cooling, and in the second, one will also have to reject part of the berry planting new bushes in rows.
The main feature of garden strawberries and strawberries is that its root zone is located at a depth of 6–8 cm. These soil layers freeze even with slight frost. If the aboveground part of the bush can withstand such conditions, then during a sharp temperature drop, the bush dies.
It is impossible to unequivocally answer the question at what temperature it is worth starting to build a shelter on a strawberry bed. After all, winter-hardy qualities of varietal plants play a significant role. For example, for some, the temperature may be -4 ° C, while others will survive -8 ° C. In addition, it is worth considering that strong gusts of wind reduce the temperature regime in the area.
Experts advise novice gardeners to start covering work on the strawberry plot during the first frosts. It is important to focus on monthly forecasts of weather forecasters, since the coming warming after a decrease to minus temperatures can ruin strawberries.
How to keep strawberries from freezing and how can they be insulated?
Many, even experienced, gardeners often wonder what to cover with a strawberry front garden. After all, it is important here not only to strictly observe the shelter technology, but also to correctly select the necessary material.
Learn how to plant strawberries under cover material.
Some solve the problem with purchased specialized canvases, while others manage with improvised means. Judging by the reviews, agro-fiber, various kinds of vegetation and sawdust gained more trust among consumers. Read on for the pros and cons of each option.
This is a profitable alternative to a polyethylene film obtained by melting polypropylene (also called spanbond). The material is environmentally friendly, it passes air well, promoting aeration of the roots, but it does not block sunlight and retains heat. It can be used to protect against birds, hail, frost, weed activity.
The main advantage of this option, experts call a moderate concentration of moisture and heat, which allows you to maximize bring the internal climate to the ideal. In addition, the fiber is characterized by high wear resistance and strength.
- Among the shortcomings are worth noting:
- high cost;
- the need to measure the beds in order to calculate the required amount of canvas;
- each bush will need to make a separate cut;
- there are high risks of damage to the culture in the spring when it will be necessary to remove the shelter.
In assortment there is a white and black agrofibre. The first option is designed for the greenhouse effect, as it is well-permeable to oxygen and allows plants to grow. The second is used exclusively for mulching. Its essence is the deprivation of life of weeds and the creation of the necessary microclimate in the inner balls of the earth.
Important! In addition to the color of the fiber, it is necessary to pay attention to its density. For its measurement, the specific gravity of the material is used, for example, 50 g / sq. m. If this figure is lower, then the weight of the material per square meter is also less, which means that the thickness of the fiber decreases.
We are talking about the use of fodder hay, mowed grass, fallen leaves, tops, straw, spruce spruce branches, straw . All these materials retain heat well, but at the same time they pose a threat to strawberries, being a cozy abode for wintering pests.
The remains of grains in straw can attract rodents to the bed. The wet mulch begins to whine, destroying thereby the plants underneath. When a strong wind gusts, the shelter can fly apart, exposing a cold-sensitive culture.
Experts advise in regions with cold winters not to resort to such experiments and to insulate the plantation with agrofibre.
This is an effective and affordable shelter option that transmits oxygen, water well, and also keeps the desired microclimate. its benefit lies in the fact that when wet, small particles do not fly away when the wind blows.
Read also our e-magazine on strawberry cultivation.
However, for regions with unstable snowfall, such a shelter threatens to freeze, since a wet ball on the earth's surface is a conductor of cold to the root system of the bushes.
It is possible to provide a plant with a safe wintering under such shelter by first covering the bushes with some kind of frame, for example, spruce spruce branches and polyethylene. If frost has fallen on dry ground, sawdust can be strewed directly onto the strawberry tops.
It is preferable to harvest sawdust from hardwood, since conifers contribute to the formation of an acidic soil environment. On a square meter of plantation they will need no more than a bucket. The protective layer of mulch should be about 7–9 cm.
In the spring, it is important to carefully remove all particles of covering material. Otherwise, it will oxidize the soil, which is contraindicated for strawberries and strawberries.
Did you know? Residents of the Italian town of Nemi annually arrange a strawberry celebration, the main treat of which is ripe berries drenched in champagne. and prepare a treat in a tub with a capacity of several thousand kilograms.
How to warm strawberries: a step-by-step scheme
Having determined the covering material, you can begin to prepare the plantation. Regardless of where the strawberries grow - in open ground or in a greenhouse - before the start of the winter season, it needs to be fertilized, spud and mulch.
Experienced gardeners are advised to perform these works, guided by the following rules:
- In early autumn, weed and loosen the soil around the bushes. It is advisable to remove weeds from the beds until their seeds ripen.
- Every 3-5 years, transplant bushes to a new place. If the plants remain in the same place, be sure to cut the foliage.
- In late August - early September, trim the mustache that the plant gave. Otherwise, they will weaken the bush, which is extremely undesirable before wintering.
- To apply organic fertilizers in the form of humus or compost. These substances will heal the plant and protect it from the cold. However, do not overdo it with their quantities, because excessive doses can destroy the bushes.
- Perform preventive spraying of the bed from pests, the most common of which is a transparent tick. In the fight against it, fungicidal preparations or wood ash, malathion are effective. In the case of slugs, snails, it is recommended to use metaldehyde.
Further actions depend on the location of the strawberries.
Important! In the spring, it is recommended to fertilize strawberries and strawberries with nitrogen-containing substances. And during flowering and the formation of the ovary, the plant needs potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
In the greenhouse
Due to the year-round positive temperature regime, greenhouse strawberries begin fruiting 1.5–2 months earlier than the one that grows in open beds. To maintain stable heat in unheated structures, it is necessary to insulate the plantation.
The gardener should take care of this even before the planting of seedlings. It is important that the soil under the strawberries does not freeze . To do this, at the place where it is planned to plant, you need to build a low fence around the perimeter of the beds from the bars and boards.
Then spread on the bottom:
- plastic film;
- mesh netting;
- a layer of compost or humus up to 10 cm thick;
- a layer of mulched grass up to 12 cm thick;
- nutrient soil layer up to 25 cm thick.
It is important to control the temperature regime so that the plant does not over-ripen and does not start premature vegetation.
In the open ground
After preventive disinfection of the strawberry beds, you need to wait until it completely dries. And only then can you build a shelter. Note that the material should cover the entire plantation completely.
You will be interested to learn how to grow strawberries in the winter.
Regardless of the chosen product, before you cover it with strawberries, be sure to build a fence from the planks around the plantation. Its height should be 10 cm above the bed. Such a fence will serve as a trap for snow, accumulating it in the desired area.
Then the bushes prepared and covered with spruce branches can be generously sprinkled with mulch. If you plan to use spanbond as a shelter, you will need accurate measurements of the site. The canvas is spread on top of the plants and do not make special openings for bushes in it. Such manipulations are needed only in the case of using agrofibre in the spring (to destroy weeds and create the right microclimate). It is important to securely fix the edges of the fabric so that they are not torn by the wind.
Did you know? At New Orleans' Arnaud's, strawberries are served as the most expensive exclusive dish, worth several million dollars. It consists of fresh fruits, cream, mint and a 5-carat pink diamond ring.
Growing strawberries is troublesome, because without the participation of a human resource it is never successful. But all the energy spent will be rewarded with useful and very tasty berries. A plentiful early harvest is quite possible with proper care.