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From letters to the editor:
Do I need to pull off the strawberry mustache? And if so, when is it better to do it? Will the bushes hurt after that?
The question, as they say, is an interesting one. It's all about what you want from the plant. First of all, I want to say that the mass use of the name "Strawberry" fundamentally wrong. Indeed, there is such a plant Strawberry, they say, even grows wild in forests, for example, in the Urals. My friends told me that they picked the berries of this plant there in the forest, they are tasty, fragrant, have a nutmeg aroma. Breeders have created several varieties of strawberries, but this plant is bisexual: on one bush there are only female flowers - berries will be tied on them after pollination, on the other male ones - for pollination. This fact itself suggests that the yield from such plantings will be lower. But, in addition, strawberries and fruits are much smaller than strawberries. Until now, I have not had the opportunity to communicate with such a gardener or summer resident who would grow any sort of strawberry.
And what grows in any garden plot, in the private gardens of villagers and in summer cottages is nothing more than garden strawberry (you can also add - large-fruited). It is this plant that has spread all over the world, many hundreds, maybe thousands of its varieties are known. But gardeners stubbornly call strawberries garden strawberries. Moreover, this term is already found in many gardening magazines and newspapers. Probably, gardeners are afraid that their garden strawberries will be confused with wild strawberries.
Now to the question of the mustache. They are really actively formed on plants of almost all varieties of garden strawberries. For example, these are large-fruited varieties of remontant strawberries: varieties Ali-Baba, Baron Solemakher, Ada, Rugen, Sakhalin remontantnaya, Yellow miracle. And these varieties can be propagated either by dividing the bush or by seeds.
But most mustache varieties are kicked out, and quite a few. So what do you do with them? There are two options here. The first is to remove all the mustache, because the plant spends a lot of energy and nutrients on their formation, which means a decrease in the yield of garden strawberries (strawberries - I repeat, as many people incorrectly call them).
The second option is to keep the mustache... For what? For propagation of this variety and the creation of a new strawberry plantation. But there are many mustaches, some bushes literally entangle all the space around them. If they allow it, then you will see few berries. What is the way out?
There are again two ways. Very experienced gardeners who are seriously engaged in the cultivation of garden strawberries, and they need a lot of seedlings to plant more and more of its plantations, create special beds in their garden - mother plants, on which they plant the bushes of garden strawberries of the best varieties that they want to propagate. They plant them more freely, not like in the garden, so that there is room for the whiskers to protrude and their successful attachment to the soil. Moreover, these gardeners even break off the entire ovary, preventing the fruit from forming, so that the mother plants do not waste their nutrients on this, and all their efforts are directed to forcing the whiskers and providing them with nutrition until the young plants themselves create a powerful root system and will feed from the soil. As a result, such gardeners on the mother garden get strong, healthy seedlings of garden strawberries of the varieties they need, not only for their own needs, but also for sale to everyone.
As far as I understand, you - Marina - are a beginner gardener, if you are interested in the fate of the mustache on the bushes of garden strawberries. Usually, the first whiskers appear on them with the beginning of flowering, and the main, massive forcing of the whiskers occurs after the end of fruiting. Therefore, if you do not need young strawberry seedlings to renew or expand the plantings, then remove the whiskers as they appear. Experts recommend not to pick them off, because you can harm the plant itself, and young bushes can generally be pulled out by pulling the mustache. They need to be cut with scissors or pruning shears, leaving a piece of antennae up to 10 cm long near the bush.
If you want to multiply your garden strawberry varieties, then you need to keep the mustache, but not all. Usually, only the first, strong outlet is left, which is next to the mother bush, the rest are remote, weaker sockets and mustaches are cut off. And the first outlet can even be helped to settle down in its place. You can, while it has not formed a tuft of roots and is not rooted, even move it to the place you want. For example, if a bush died in this row in the neighborhood (frozen out), then in its place you can root this outlet, which will eventually fill the free space. Or move the outlet to a free, sunny spot in the aisle, creating favorable conditions for it. In this case, you can even gently press the mustache near this outlet with a wire or wooden slingshot so that it comes into closer contact with the soil, you can add humus to it (without filling the heart) and even water it from time to time. Then this rosette will quickly form a healthy bush, which can be separated from the mother plant in August, and transplanted with a lump of earth to a permanent place allotted for a new plantation. Before the cold weather, such young seedlings will create a powerful root system, dense foliage and easily endure the winter, and next summer they will please with the first harvest. But you need to take such sockets only from the very first whiskers, which the strawberries expel at the beginning of flowering and preferably from those plants that were very productive last season. Or, wait until the garden strawberries yield a harvest in the current season and choose the first rosettes from the most productive varieties and bushes of this variety.
I repeat, it is advisable to leave only the first rosettes formed near the mother plant, and there should be no more than three such outlets from this bush (from different whiskers). Otherwise it will weaken the plant.
About the timing of pruning: here either you need to constantly prune, preventing the spread of the mustache throughout the plantation (if you do not need planting material), or cut off all the mustache after the end of fruiting.
Photo by Olga Rubtsova
Can strawberry leaves be trimmed during fruiting for better ventilation?
Natalia, you can and should cut off the leaves of strawberries. During fruiting, the lowest leaves are cut off, if necessary. For several years in a row, from early spring to September, I cut off the leaves and whiskers, leaving only those that are needed for transplantation. And I also prune, how to say, outdated leaves throughout the season. I will add from personal experience, the more you prune, the better it bears fruit.
Natalia, maybe this recommendation will help you in the future. Features of the process.
Transplanting berries to a new place has a number of features that you need to know in order to do all the manipulations required in this situation correctly. The transplant itself can be done every two years. But some gardeners argue that this process is necessary when strawberries have been growing in one place for four years.
This is due to the fact that in the first year after planting, strawberry bushes will not produce a crop. At the same time, a good harvest should be expected for the next two years, and in the fourth year there is a drop in yield up to the complete absence of berries. Therefore, a site with old plants should be dug up, and young bushes should be transplanted to a new place. As a result of this process, you can get better quality planting material for new bushes.
To achieve a quality result, you must adhere to the following recommendations:
it is necessary to determine the optimal planting time (autumn or spring). Use a calendar for this
you need to use sockets from the most productive or large bushes. Up to 30 outlets can be assembled from one such bush. Remember that fruitful bushes rarely form a good mustache in large numbers.
before transplanting, the beds for new bushes should be watered with ammonia solution. This will help get rid of bugs like the May beetle and strawberry-loving wireworms.
transplant is carried out only on a cloudy day
wattle, on which rosettes have grown, must be cut
it is necessary to shake off the soil from the root system of young plants
you need to pinch the root a quarter
before direct transplanting, the roots of young plants should be dipped in a mixture of water, manure and clay
the best distance for transplanting is 25-30 cm (between plants) and 60-70 cm (between rows)
when watering outlets, it is recommended to cover them with paper
in August, the beds are loosened. As a result, you will improve the aeration of the soil, as well as reduce the loss of moisture.
for the winter, it is necessary to cover the transplanted outlets with straw.
Some gardeners recommend a two-line transplant. This method involves the location of two adjacent rows at a distance of 30 cm between each other. In this case, it is important to ensure that the point is not located above the soil level (preferably at the same level with it).
This process ends with watering the transplanted plants and sprinkling the soil with peat. It can be exchanged for sawdust or non-woven mulching material. The latter must be left in the beds for the winter. Not all gardeners, especially amateurs, are aware of such features of transplanting strawberries to a new place. Therefore, they do not always manage to achieve an excellent harvest from new bushes.
An important point in the process of transferring plants to a new place of growth is soil preparation. Correctly prepared soil, regardless of whether transplantation will be carried out in autumn or in spring, is the key to successful plant survival in a new place. Prepare the soil a few days before transferring the bushes. Soil preparation involves the following manipulations:
the entire area to which the transfer of new bushes is planned must be completely dug up
the land should be fertilized. To do this, a bucket of compost or humus should be added to one square meter. Fertilization of the soil with chicken droppings, wood ash or peat is allowed
after fertilizing the soil, it should be re-dug up and leveled
after that we mark the future beds.
At this stage, the preparation of the soil can be considered complete.
Many gardeners cannot give an exact answer; in spring or autumn, the process of transferring strawberries to a new place of growth should be carried out. Here people are divided into two groups in terms of how the calendar should be interpreted: respectively, those who transplant in the fall and those who do it in the spring. Let's take a look at each option in terms of pros and cons.
Transplanting strawberries in spring has the following benefits:
the soil is richer in moisture
the beds are less prone to ticks.
The disadvantages of this period include:
it is difficult to find time for work, since in the spring there are many other things to do in the garden
the harvest will appear only next year
the spring sun can "burn" the seedlings.
Still, most prefer to transfer plants to a new place in the fall. This process can begin even not in the fall itself, but already at the end of summer (August - the second half). The transplant can last until the first half of September. The calendar will help you navigate the time frame, since you can not pay much attention to the climatic conditions here.
Planting in the fall has the following advantages:
easier to choose the desired weather
more free time in autumn
the ability to annoy the bushes in the spring.
Among the disadvantages here is the possibility of early frost or freezing of young bushes.
Transplanting strawberry bushes consists of several stages:
in spring we choose good bushes
remove flowers from them
until autumn, plants only need to be watered
preparing a new site
in a new place we dig holes (diameter 15 cm). The distance between the bushes is about 40 cm
cut the "umbilical cord" of the sockets with garden shears
then carefully dig up young bushes
we transfer them to the dug holes
cover it with soil and water it. Watering should be moderate (twice a day)
loosening is carried out once every two weeks.
This algorithm is universal for all strawberry varieties. It is necessary to start the transplanting process in the spring (selection of material), and you will receive the first harvest only the next year.
By following our recommendations and using the calendar, you will be able to correctly transplant strawberries to a new place of growth. And confirmation of the correct execution of the algorithm will be a high-quality and abundant harvest of berries.
Strawberry leaves: cut or not?
Almost everyone knows that after picking strawberries on plants, mustaches are removed. Do you need to cut or mow old leaves? There are different opinions. How to tell if strawberries need pruning?
After fruiting, strawberries have a second growth wave, fresh foliage begins to appear. Old leaves fade at this time, their role in the life of the plant decreases - they gradually begin to die off.
Some agronomists recommend removing them from the plantation so that diseases and pests do not migrate to young foliage, while others believe that pruning the leaves weakens the strawberries.
This advice is worth heeding if you are growing large quantities of strawberries. Then you do not have the opportunity to carefully remove the leaves, cutting off each plant with a pruner: you just have to mow the strawberries. When mowing, the growing foliage is partially damaged, due to which there is a synthesis of plastic substances for the formation of the next year's harvest. This can really affect the development of strawberries, especially if varieties of different ripening periods are mowed at the same time. The early varieties of strawberries have time to start growing, while the later ones are still bearing fruit, and they suffer the most.
But if there are only two or three strawberry beds in the garden, the old leaves can be cut off carefully, without affecting the new ones. This will not weaken the plants: photosynthesis in old foliage is slowed down, and its life is still coming to an end. It is better to clear them from the plantation in order to curb the spread of fungal diseases. Although it will not be possible to completely get rid of diseases and pests in this way, the degree of contamination of the plantation will be noticeably lower - you will not have to abuse chemical means of protection.
When pruning plants from different years of planting, start with younger ones and move to older ones in turn so as not to spread strawberry mites on tools and clothes.
leaves of garden strawberries damaged by a tick
After trimming the leaves, the strawberries must be fed so that they can grow enough before the end of the season. A well-developed rosette of leaves covers the root zone, protecting them from freezing in winter.
Do I need to trim the leaves of strawberries after fruiting
Harm from pruning strawberry bushes
After the return of the harvest, the plants are again preparing for the laying of flower buds and the upcoming wintering. If you cut all the leaves "to zero", instead of directing all the forces to future flower buds, the plants are mainly engaged in the restoration of the leaf apparatus, which serves as a "blanket" in the winter. Such a "strut" will undermine the health of the bushes, the gardener will receive less harvest next year.
Exposed and unprotected roots after a radical "haircut" suffer from solar overheating and will dry out. Plants will again defend themselves and restore damaged roots.
The benefits of pruning strawberry leaves
If you start pruning only old "waste" leaves, without touching the young, and provide the bushes with better airflow and ventilation, it is a blessing for the plants.
You can remove diseased leaves with spots, in order to avoid the outbreak of fungal infections.
You can remove the leaves if the berry bushes are heavily affected by the spider mite. It lives and feeds on the leaves, weakening the plants.
When can you trim the leaves of strawberry bushes?
If, nevertheless, there are more reasons for trimming the leaves, then it is preferable to carry out such an event immediately after picking the berries. The bushes should be given time to "recover" and "grow" before the beginning of August (in central Russia). In more northern regions of the country, this issue should be approached carefully before making a decision.
In any case, after harvesting, trimming the leaves, all the bushes must be treated for diseases and pests, fed with potassium-phosphorus fertilizers and must be watered, especially if the weather is dry.
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Care of strawberry bushes after pruning
Removing foliage from strawberry plants is just the beginning of strawberry care after fruiting. To prepare garden strawberries for wintering, they are fed with fertilizers, treated against pests, and watered if necessary.
If the surface of the soil on the strawberry plantation is not covered with mulch, the soil must be loosened regularly. Breaking up the soil crust promotes better oxygen penetration into the root layer of the soil.
Important! Strawberry roots lie close to the surface, so the loosening should not be deep! It is enough to immerse the cultivator to a depth of 3-4 cm.
As a rule, the end of July and August in the middle lane are rainy, and there is no need to water the strawberries additionally. But, if the weather is dry and hot, the soil on the plantation must be moistened once every 7-10 days. For each bush, approximately 1 liter of water is consumed.
The water should not be cold and soft. Liquid from lakes and ponds, collected rain moisture, is suitable. Well and tap water should be pre-defended and warmed up. Many gardeners install drip irrigation systems on strawberry beds, which significantly reduces the time for caring for plants and saves irrigation water.
Water the strawberries at the root, but if the heat is intense, once every few days you can give the strawberries a refreshing shower. Moisturizing not only the soil, but also the air has a beneficial effect on the condition of the plant. In order not to contribute to the spread of fungal diseases, a shower of strawberries is arranged in the morning, so that by night the moisture has time to evaporate from the foliage.
Top dressing, fertilization
Within a week of pruning foliage and whiskers, strawberries need nitrogen. It is required by the culture to accelerate the growth of new leaves.
To enrich the soil with nitrogen, use:
- compost or rotted manure (cow, horse, goat) - 3-5 kg per 1 sq. m beds
- infusion of chicken guano, infusing 1 kg of droppings in 10 liters of water for 2 days and diluting the resulting infusion in half with water (consumption 0.5 liters per plant)
- infusion of weeds, aged for about a week, at a concentration of 1 to 10
- urea (urea) - 30 g of fertilizer per bucket of water, consumption of 0.5 liters per bush.
Fertilizer solutions should be applied strictly under the root of the plant, after having moistened the soil abundantly with clean water. With humus, it is enough to mulch the strawberry bed.
10-15 days after nitrogen fertilization, it is useful for the plants to be fertilized with the content of phosphorus and potassium. These elements help the root system and the aerial portion of the strawberry to prepare for the winter cold. Use wood ash, superphosphate, humate or potassium sulfate.
Ashes from burning pure wood, hay and straw are rich in potassium, phosphorus, calcium and other elements in a form accessible to the plant. Ashes can simply be scattered on the ground around the strawberry bushes, followed by loosening and watering. The consumption rate of ash powder is 2 glasses per 1 sq. m.
You can cook ash solution for watering strawberries, which will have a quick and safe effect on plants. 1 kg of sifted wood ash is poured into a bucket and everything is poured with hot (70 degrees) water. The solution is left in a warm place for 2 days, stirring occasionally. Before use, the finished infusion is filtered and diluted with water in half.
Superphosphate and potassium sulfate can be scattered around plants directly on the ground, at a dose of 40 g and 20 g per 1 sq. m respectively. After, the soil is superficially loosened and watered.
Potassium humate in liquid form used for feeding strawberries at the end of summer. Dissolve 10 ml of the drug in a bucket of water and water the plants, consuming 1 liter of solution per bush.
At the end of summer, ready-made complex fertilizers can be used to feed strawberries. The convenience of their use lies in the fact that all the elements necessary for garden strawberries are contained in the right dosage, and are easily absorbed by plants.
The most popular fertilizers among gardeners are:
- Hera for strawberries and strawberries
- Kemira Strawberry Suite
- OMU (organic-mineral complex fertilizer) from the Buyskie Fertilizers company
The preparations are diluted in water, according to the instructions, and the plants are watered at the root.
Treatment against pests and diseases
No later than the second half of August, strawberries should be treated against insect pests and diseases. To do this, use the following drugs:
It is better not to mix preparations for diseases and pests in one container, but to carry out two sprays with an interval of a couple of days. Processing is carried out in calm and cloudy weather or in the evening, trying to get the solution not only on the foliage, but also on the soil around the plants.
On a note. Adherents of folk remedies for preventing the appearance of diseases on strawberries are advised to process the plantation (the plants themselves and the soil under them) with an aqueous solution of brilliant green. The pharmaceutical preparation is dissolved in water (5 drops per 1 liter) and strawberries are abundantly sprayed. It is believed that such treatment will save strawberries from powdery mildew, gray rot, and spotting.