Strawberry variety Kent: features of cultivation and care
Every year, new promising strawberry varieties appear, but many old varieties are not inferior to them in their characteristics. These include Kent strawberries - cold-resistant, large-fruited and sweet. This article introduces this popular variety.
Biological features and characteristics of strawberries Kent
Kent was bred by Canadian scientists in the 1970s. After passing all the tests, in 1981 the variety was officially registered and gradually began to conquer other countries. He was introduced to Russia in the 1990s. and became extremely popular. This variety is adapted for the cool climate of Canada, so it is suitable for growing not only in the southern and central regions of Russia. Under cover, it gives a good harvest even in the harsh conditions of Siberia.
Bushes of Kent are tall and sprawling. The leaves are large, dark green, on tall erect petioles. Because of the sprawling nature, the plants appear to be thicker than they really are. There are many flower stalks, they are also tall, at the level of leaves. But under the weight of the ripening berries, they lie on the ground, so there is a need for supports for peduncles or a mulch of straw or agrofiber so that the berries do not lie on the ground. The root system is strong, highly developed. Each bush gives an average number of mustaches. Thanks to this, the beds do not thicken, but seedlings for propagation are quite enough.
Did you know? Strawberry berries are rich in vitamin C. Having eaten 100 g of this delicacy, you can replenish your body with 98% of the daily rate of ascorbic acid.
- The advantages of the Kent variety are its unpretentiousness. For example:
- shade tolerance, i.e. juicy sweet fruits ripen even in the shade;
- drought tolerance: bushes tolerate drought well, but can yield less yield;
- not afraid of high humidity: long rains do not impair the quality and quantity of the crop, but the threat of fungal infections is growing.
Video: Kent Strawberries
Description of berries
The biggest advantage of the variety is its berries: large, beautiful and very tasty.
Characteristics of berries:
- large and medium size;
- weight - 40-50 g with a subsequent decrease to 20 g;
- the shape is conical and heart-shaped, in the first berries there are growths near the neck;
- color is dark red;
- the surface is smooth, shiny;
- the pulp is red, dense, but juicy and without a crunch;
- the taste is excellent, sweet, with a bright aroma, tasting score - 4.6–5 points;
- universal application;
- perfectly tolerate long transportation, do not crumple;
- good keeping quality: they can lie up to 10 days without deforming and without losing taste.
Did you know? Unlike other berries, strawberries have seeds not inside but outside. About 200 small seeds can form on each berry.
Kent is an early ripening strawberry . You can collect sweet berries starting in the first half of June. But the fruiting is extended, so the harvest is extended for a couple of weeks. This is beneficial for those farmers who massively grow strawberries for sale. They have enough time to collect all the berries.
This variety, like many others, is a short-day variety. This means that fruit buds for the new crop are planted at 12-hour daylight hours or less . Such conditions appear in late summer or early fall. Typically, these varieties yield once a season. But if favorable weather conditions develop, and the care will be at the highest level, then Kent can “thank” the second crop in August.
Seedlings planted in the spring, will give the first crop only in the next season. And during the autumn planting, strawberries will begin to bear fruit already in the spring.
About 700-800 g can be harvested from one bush, and 17-18 tons from 1 ha. Young plants do not yield a very large crop, since only 5-8 peduncles are formed on the bushes in the first year. The next year, their number increases to 10-15 pieces with 10 berries each. In the future, the fruits become small. In this regard, the maximum fruiting is observed in the second year. Important! Starting from the third year, the berries are smaller and the yield decreases, so it is recommended to renew the planting every 3 years.
Variety Kent familiar to the cold. He even needs cold weather in winter. And this is one of its main advantages, because the plant feels comfortable in a temperate continental climate. In Siberian winters, bushes survive well in greenhouse conditions. In open ground and without shelter, strawberries tolerate winter temperatures up to -20 ° C. But if the region is characterized by freezing below -10 ° C, then plants need to be insulated with a thick layer of straw or covering material. The plus is that even flowers withstand spring frosts without damage.
Rules for planting seedlings
Kent’s planting technology is not very different from other planting features. This variety stands out for its unpretentiousness, for which many gardeners love it. But still, certain rules must be adhered to.
Read also, after which you can plant strawberries in the same place.
Strawberries of this variety can be planted both in autumn and spring . Autumn planting is best done in September, when it is still quite warm. So the seedlings will have enough time to take root before the onset of winter. In this case, the plants will begin to bear fruit in the coming spring. But for cold regions with characteristic early frosts, this option is not suitable. If the soil freezes before the seedlings take root, it is likely to freeze.
Spring is the right time to plant strawberries for all regions, especially northern ones. For planting, you do not need to wait for spring heat. You can start in early spring, when the snow melts and the soil completely dries out.
It is not difficult to choose a place on the site for this variety. Its unpretentiousness is manifested in the fact that it takes root in almost all types of soils. But the best harvest can be obtained from bushes planted on black soil and dark gray forest soil . And the worst result will be obtained on swampy, clay and calcareous soils. We advise you to learn how to plant strawberries under cover material. It doesn’t matter if there is no suitable plot for strawberries in an open, sunny place. Unlike other varieties, Kent develops well and bears fruit even in partial shade. But it is very important that the site is flat or on a hill. The lowlands in which rain and melt water linger are not suitable. Groundwater should not be located close to the surface (not closer than 60 cm).
The selected site must be prepared. To do this, remove all weeds with roots. Earth, especially poor, must be fertilized with organic matter (humus or compost). Feeding can be combined with digging. This must be done in advance: 2 weeks before planting, or better - a month.
We recommend reading our electronic magazine about growing strawberries.
Direct landing technology
Recommendations for planting strawberries in the ground:
- it is better to plant strawberry seedlings in cloudy weather, it is also possible in the morning or in the evening, so that the sun does not scorch seedlings;
- the roots of the seedlings should not be very long; if necessary, they need to be shortened to 10-12 cm;
- the holes are dug according to the scheme 40 × 40 cm or 50 × 50 cm, so that there is enough space for spreading bushes and a developed root system;
- seedlings need to be planted vertically, the roots gently fall asleep with fertilized soil, but so that the root neck remains at ground level;
- water the seedlings well;
- when water is absorbed, cover the ground with a layer of mulch to avoid drying out.
Variety Care Features
Unprincipled Kent does not require special attention. When caring for it, it is enough to adhere to the basic agricultural techniques. These include regular watering, fertilizer replenishment, mulching, loosening and weeding.
Video: How to properly care for strawberries in spring, summer and autumn
Strawberry Kent, like other strawberry varieties, loves moisture. Watering should be regular, and frequent in hot weather . But the amount of water should be moderate so that the earth does not get too wet. Excessive moisture reduces immunity, promotes the development of fungal infections and reduces frost resistance.
Read more about how to water strawberries frequently and correctly.
The best way to water before flowering is sprinkling, which contributes to the growth of green mass. When the bushes bloom, they can only be watered under the root. Irrigation water should be warm (+15 ... + 20 ° С). It is advisable to warm it in the sun.
Strawberry bushes take a lot of nutrients from the ground, so it needs to be fertilized throughout the growing season. At different stages, plants need certain minerals:
- in early spring - feeding with nitrogen (ammonium nitrate or urea);
- before flowering - spraying the green part of the bush with a solution of urea or potassium sulfate and nitroammophos;
- during flowering and the formation of berries - phosphorus and potassium (superphosphate and potassium sulfate);
- in the fall, before wintering - organic fertilizers (solution of chicken droppings or mullein, humus, wood ash).
Important! If you carefully feed the strawberries in autumn with organic matter, then mineral fertilizers in spring and summer may not be needed.
Soil care involves loosening after each moistening and mandatory weeding of weeds . This can also include mulching with straw, dry grass, sawdust, pine needles or compost. Organic mulch is laid, if not in early spring, then during the ripening of the berries (layer - at least 6-8 cm). The best option is to mulch the earth with black agrofiber during planting seedlings. Mulch inhibits the growth of weeds and retains moisture in the ground. Due to this, there is no need for loosening and weeding, and the berries hanging from the bush will not come into contact with the ground.
Diseases and Pests
An essential advantage of Kent is its strong immunity. With good care, strawberries are not affected by powdery mildew, gray rot, different spots and even strawberry mites. But with the drawbacks of agricultural technology, it is susceptible to verticillosis.
We advise you to read about processing strawberries from pests and diseases.
Prevention of this disease is proper agricultural technology. For example:
- strawberry bushes should not grow in one place for longer than 4 years, to renew planting, new seedlings are planted in a new place;
- Do not take seedlings from a diseased bush;
- when planting, it is advisable to dip the roots of the seedlings in a solution of biofungicide.
Of the pests, Kent is threatened by the Colorado potato beetle . With it you need to fight with special insecticides.
Harvesting and storage of crops
The first berries ripen in the first half of June. Then for another 2 weeks, the rest mature. Good weather conditions and care contribute to the ripening of the re-harvest in late August or early September, but it will be more modest than the first. Large fruits are easily removed from the soft stalk, so the crop is harvested in a short time, which is very important for mass plantings.
The berries are dense, do not flow and do not lose color over time. They can lie in a cool place without spoiling for about 10 days. Thanks to this, farmers have time to sell the entire crop. Strawberries transport well over long distances. For long-term storage, the fruits are frozen or harvested in the form of jam, jam or compote.
We also recommend that you read how to grow strawberries in winter.
Strawberry Kent unpretentious, frost-resistant, tasty and transportable berry. The variety has been known for a long time, but is still in demand. It can be grown both in summer cottages and on an industrial scale.