About strawberries without secrets (part 4)

The experience of growing everyone's favorite strawberries in a risky farming environment

Why Strawberries Don't Grow

Agree that we hear such a question quite often. This, of course, is not about the fact that the bushes develop poorly, but about the fact that the berries strawberry gives very little, much less than its potential capabilities. There are plenty of reasons for this state of affairs.

First of all, I would like to emphasize that strawberries are a rather laborious berry, and only with qualified care from early spring to early spring (do not be surprised, there is also work on the plantation in winter) will provide you with an abundance of delicious berries. If you are not able to spend so much energy on it, then it remains quite natural to be content with a handful of berries and divide them into family members, in the literal sense of the word, by the piece. In my childhood, this is exactly how it was. All the berries were counted and laid out on saucers. And then I did not even suspect that the same bed of strawberries can give many times more of these same berries. This was until I learned all the subtleties of growing it by trial and error. Although even now, as soon as I do not do something due to lack of time and energy, strawberries immediately reduce the yield.

I will dwell on the most common situations that lead to a sharp decrease in the yield.

1. Getting a good variety for a strawberry plantation, as for any other crop, is almost half of your success. With a bad variety, a good harvest cannot be obtained. First stop at the well-known Festivalnaya variety - it is both productive, and unpretentious, and frost-hardy, and it is very tolerantly affected by rot. And only then it will be possible to think about the novelties of strawberry selection. In no case should you buy strawberry seedlings in the markets. There, at best, you just get the wrong variety, at worst - plants infected with diseases and pests.

2. It often happens that at first the planted strawberries bear fruit abundantly, and then, over time, their yield begins to fall. And the newly planted plants already remain either without berries at all or give very little of them with the same careful care. The reason is the gradual replacement of good varietal strawberries with less productive ones or, in general, the so-called strawberry weeds (Bakhmutka, Zhmurka, Dubnyak, Podveska). This happens very simply. If you are planting a new plantation focusing on a beautiful and well-developed mustache, and not on the strawberry bushes from which they grew, then the risk of plantation degeneration is very high.

The fact is that even among the good bushes, there will always be at least a few bushes of low-yielding or barren ones. Without wasting energy on tying berries, they give all their unspent energy to the mustache. And their mustache grows for a feast for the eyes. Choosing such a mustache as planting material for three years, you can very quickly leave the family even without a modest strawberry harvest. Therefore, firstly, at the time of the formation of berries, you need to very carefully inspect each bush and immediately remove all non-fruiting specimens or bushes with small and ugly berries. Secondly, it is better to grow seedlings in pots, because in the second half of summer, when strawberry bushes grow intensively, it will be very easy to confuse mustaches from good and bad bushes (especially if you "cheated" and after picking berries mustache for some time did not break off).

3. If you are sure that the strawberry variety is good, but there is no harvest, then it is very likely that you are simply overfeeding the plants with nitrogen fertilizers. Remember, they are only useful twice a season: in early spring and immediately after harvest.

4. A terrible disaster for your strawberry plantation can be gray rot, en masse destroying the harvest in rainy years, and what year do we have at the time of fruiting strawberries without rains? Therefore, if you do not carry out preventive measures, then two-thirds of your crop will rot.

5. Pests also bring considerable harm. I'm not talking about a nematode and a tick. But even a weevil, if not "taken care of", is able to destroy up to half of a completely useful crop.

6. Another threat is spring frosts. At the same time, it often happens that the flowers do not seem to be damaged outwardly, but still turn black, and the berries, accordingly, are not formed due to the sterility of the frozen pollen. In this case, drugs "Bud" or "Ovary" will help out, which will help the berries to set in conditions of sterile pollen.

7. And in no case thicken the planting. By planting more plants per square meter, you will not get an increase, but a decrease in yield. After all, up to 50 percent of it can be eaten by gray rot, especially in a damp summer, and the bushes themselves will become weaker, which means they will give fewer berries.

Diseases and pests of strawberries

Especially about gray rot. Most often, strawberry plants (and not only berries, but leaves and stems) are affected by gray rot. I think it is unnecessary to describe her symptoms. Our Ural gardeners have already sipped so much grief because of the prolonged rains, which very often begin at the moment the first berries appear and end during the collection of the latter. In this case, the yield of rotten berries may exceed the yield of edible berries by an order of magnitude. Every year, the same misfortune repeats itself: the berries rot, and you don't want to carry out preventive spraying against gray rot, the need for which has already been written many times. That is why a significant part of the harvest has to be buried in the ground. But it is worth making a couple of sprays of the plantings with a solution of trichodermin, and the degree of infection by the infection will decrease several times.

Theoretically, it is possible to avoid diseases completely, but, as my experience shows, only in young beds, where pathogens have not yet accumulated in large numbers, and the ventilation of young plantings is incomparably better. But, in any case, trichodermin will help you save a considerable part of the harvest, which is already good.

In no case should the plantings be thickened. This is a direct way to reduce the yield, primarily as a result of the more intensive spread of gray rot. Also, remember to mulch to keep the strawberries from laying on soggy soil. The ingress of dirt on them provokes the active spread of infection.

To combat the disease, early spring spraying of plants with 1% Bordeaux liquid is also desirable. Moreover, usually this can be combined with spraying shrubs, therefore, we can say that this operation will practically not require additional effort and time.

In the fall, it will not hurt to treat the soil around the strawberry bushes with foundation in order to destroy the fungal spores that cause this disease.

And the affected berries should be picked in a timely manner and immediately destroyed.

Pest-robbers ... Strawberries, of course, are loved by everyone. And numerous pests are no exception. If it is possible to take measures to preserve the harvest from gray rot, then the strawberry-raspberry weevil, as a rule, will not miss its own, it pounces on poor buds with tripled energy. With this nimble little bug with a long proboscis, without exception, all gardeners are familiar, because he does not miss any plantations, stubbornly damaging all strawberry buds that come across on the way. Only one female can damage up to 50 buds. It is quite difficult to deal with this scourge.

A certain effect is given by:

  • spraying with preparations like "Inta-VIR" just before flowering;
  • early spring soil mulching on strawberry plantations; the layer of mulch should be at least 5-7 cm in order to prevent those individuals who have hibernated deeply enough to come to the surface; pine needles are ideal mulching materials, which are not only excellent mulch, but also have some weevil-repelling effect;
  • laying out fresh pine chips between strawberry bushes, which, like pine needles, have a deterrent effect.

But not one strawberry-raspberry weevil harms plantings. There are other pests as well. The most dangerous of them are the strawberry nematode and the strawberry mite. God forbid you find them on your site. The only such case was enough for me, and many years ago. The appearance of such pests may be evidenced by the formation of small, ugly, hard and drying berries on strawberry plants. At the same time, the leaves become small and twisted, the stems thickened. The plants themselves look like underdeveloped dwarfs. Both pests can only enter your plantation with seedlings. Therefore, under no circumstances should you buy strawberry sockets from random sellers. The risk is too great and the consequences of infection of your plantation with the above-mentioned pests are terrible.

In principle, it is impossible to fight the strawberry nematode. Affected plants are destroyed, and a new site, quite remote from the infected one, is allocated for planting strawberries. As for the strawberry mite, today there are drugs that are recommended to combat it, but I can’t say anything about their effectiveness, because 20 years ago, when I ran into a tick in my garden for the only time in my life, nothing of the kind not yet.

Svetlana Shlyakhtina, Yekaterinburg

1. How many varieties and types of strawberries do you have?

Despite the fact that scientists have been studying strawberries for more than a dozen years, there are still quite a lot of unexplored species in nature to this day, most of which grow in America and Eurasia. In general, there are about 30 species of strawberries around the world collected in the genus Fragaria.

  • wild strawberry,
  • green strawberries, or midnight,
  • wild strawberry,
  • nutmeg strawberries, or strawberries,
  • and finally, garden strawberries, or pineapple - it is it in the overwhelming majority of cases that we grow on our plots.

But how many varieties are on the planet today, it is even more difficult to answer - over 20 thousand! But that's a good thing, because breeders want the best, and they really do it. If in the 60s a berry weighing about 6-7 g was considered large, today it is already over 15 g. But there are also a number of varieties ... .. in which berries weigh more than 100 g!

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