Own strawberries all summer!
Garden strawberries are perhaps one of the most beloved berries. She is revered for her great taste, fabulous aroma and many useful substances. But, unfortunately, most amateur gardeners are in no hurry to breed this culture in large quantities, limiting themselves to only one or two beds. And completely in vain! If you find an approach to this miracle berry, you can get a crop for the whole summer, or even until the frost. What is the secret of such abundance? Let's figure it out!
What is garden strawberry?
If we consider garden strawberries from the perspective of fruiting, we can see that it happens:
- small-fruited - blooms and bears fruit throughout the warm season, very tasty and fragrant, does not give a mustache and practically does not need leaving, can be grown by carpet method;
- large-fruited - varieties of one-time fruiting, divided into superearly, early, middle and late;
- remontant - gives three main crops, can bear fruit year-round.
Based on this, a simple conclusion suggests itself: if you choose the right strawberry varieties, then you can pick berries all through the warm season. But how to do it right?
In order for strawberries to please you all summer, you need to plant the following combination of varieties on your site:
- 1 - 2 varieties of culture of early ripening,
- 2 to 4 varieties of medium maturity,
- 1 variety of late ripening,
- 1 - 2 varieties of remontant strawberries.
Of course, these figures are not dogma, but a good clue guaranteeing an uninterrupted yield even from a small home plantation. However, the question arises here: how to make this enterprise inexpensive? And then, again, a very simple answer suggests itself - to plant strawberries on their own.
Breeding garden strawberry seeds
The most inexpensive, although not the fastest, method is to grow seedlings of garden strawberries from seeds. This method is good in that you can grow something that you will not find in the market. However, when buying bright bags, you need to know that in each of them if it is a varietal disposable strawberry there will be only a few seeds - from 4 to 15 pieces, but if these are small-fruited varieties - then there will be a lot of seeds.
Sowing seeds should be carried out in January, providing plants with artificial illumination. If there is no possibility to fill out - you can sow seeds in March. At the same time, for faster germination, and the seeds of this culture germinate sometimes longer than a month, it is good to use a growth stimulator.
Sowing must be done in a mini-greenhouse, which is easy to craft from a plastic food container. Based on the fact that strawberry seeds are very small, they are not sprinkled with earth, but spread on a thin sand pad (2 mm) lined on soil substrate mixed with 1 x 1 sand. When 2 to 3 true leaves appear, the seedlings are transplanted into individual plastic cups .
A more successful way is to sow seeds individually in peat tablets aged in a growth stimulator. But they must also be placed in a container to maintain high humidity. As soon as the roots of seedlings begin to appear through the walls of the tablet, the plant is immediately transplanted into pots, after removing the peat-retaining mesh.
Using the container, one should not forget about ventilation. Every day, the greenhouse must be opened for a short while, accustoming the plants to room conditions. If you open the lid immediately and permanently, young plants may die.
Harvest from sown seeds can be obtained in the first year!
Breeding garden strawberries layering
The second, more common way of cultivating garden strawberries is the propagation of a mustache. But here there are subtleties. In order for the planting material to turn out to be of high quality, with great potential for planting the crop, and preserving all varietal features, you should not take children from the first bush that comes across, you should take a closer look at your strawberry garden, and mark those plants that will really please you with berries so that they can be distinguished in the spring. Next year, flower stalks should be removed regularly from favorite bushes, but mustaches should be left.
The rooting of the antennae can be done directly into the soil next to the uterine plant, however, it is more convenient to do this in plastic cups, dug at ground level and filled with a fertile substrate. It’s better to take for breeding only “children” of the first and second order, since the farther from the “mother”, the less potential the young rosettes carry in themselves. You can pinch the whisker already when the first roots appear, this will save the mother plant for more planting material.
Reproduction by dividing bushes
By dividing the bush, mainly bezusny small-fruited strawberries propagate mainly. Everything is simple here: you need to dig a plant and carefully divide it into several buds with roots ... Some gardeners use this technique to divide varietal strawberries, but in this case, the crop is delayed for a year, since such plants need a whole season for good rooting and laying flower stalks.
- If you have the opportunity to buy, and not plant strawberries of the required variety yourself, then it is worth answering the question: what is it, a good seedling? And here is the answer: 100% survival is characterized by annual seedlings grown in pots, with roots no less than 5 cm long and 2 to 3 healthy developed leaves.
- When choosing varieties of garden strawberries for your site, do not rush to buy exotics, but purchase something that really suits your climatic conditions. Zoned varieties will give you a greater yield with less labor.
- Since strawberries need to be changed every three years, and repair varieties after two seasons, it is good to have beds of different ages in your garden: the first year of planting, the second and third. In this case, a good harvest will always be!