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How to achieve large strawberry harvests

High harvest of strawberries

Concerns about health and the fashion for environmentally friendly products make many owners of summer cottages think about how to achieve large harvests of strawberries in their own beds. Abundant fruiting can be obtained only if all stages of growing berries are followed.

Choosing a variety for planting

First of all, you need to determine which variety of strawberries is preferable. Depending on the ripening period, the crop is represented by the following varieties:

  • early;
  • mid-season;
  • late;
  • repairable.
Early ripening strawberries will allow you to enjoy their delicious fruits from the beginning of June, when they are still quite expensive in the markets. But in our climatic conditions it will have to be covered in the spring so that slight frosts do not harm the flowers and ovary.

Mid-season varieties are suitable for those who are going to grow strawberries for home harvesting or for sale. These are, as a rule, transportable varieties with a smooth, shiny surface.

Late varieties will delight owners when the main strawberry harvest is already ending. Remontant plants are characterized by long-term repeated fruiting, but for commercial purposes they need to be planted on fairly large areas, because this type of strawberry is not characterized by uniform ripening of berries.
Many summer residents choose varieties based on personal preferences: sweet or sour, large or with a lot of small berries.

Strawberry varieties with large berries

Most gardeners prepare strawberries by freezing in order to get beautiful, aromatic fruits for the table in winter. For this purpose, plants with beautiful large berries that are resistant to long-term storage are selected. These are many types of Dutch strawberries with large bushes, among which are the varieties Gigantella, Elvira, Kimberly, Elsanta, Vima, as well as the undeservedly forgotten Bogota. Among the domestic large-fruited bushes, Fireworks, Kokinskaya, Festivalnaya, Urozhaynaya, and Mashenka stand out.

Strawberries of the Ursa Major variety are in great demand. The extended ripening period makes it possible to pick berries for almost two months. The fragrant bright fruits are record large, up to 80-100 grams. The great advantage of the variety is the ability to grow bushes for up to 10 years in one place, since they are resistant to gray rot and other fungal diseases.

Selection of planting material

To get a large harvest of strawberries, you need to pay special attention to the selection of planting material. Nowadays you can purchase planting material in a variety of forms:

  • seeds;
  • mustache;
  • frigo;
In stores, seeds of numerous varieties of strawberries are offered for sale. However, growing berries this way is very risky. Firstly, seeds of different varieties are often mixed, and when growing, you can get a completely unpredictable result. Secondly, when stored in freezing warehouses, the planting material becomes oily and becomes poorly germinating. And thirdly, growing strawberry bushes from seeds is very problematic. The seedlings are weak, the plants often die before they reach the size required for planting in the garden.

Traditional propagation by means of a mustache also has a number of negative consequences. Young bushes have not yet become strong and have difficulty taking root in garden plots. In addition, they retain fungal spores and pathogenic viruses from the mother bush. Larvae and eggs laid by pests can also be transmitted to the younger generation of plants.

The most reliable way to grow strawberries is to purchase frigo seedlings. These are seedlings grown in vitro from a cell culture, which are subsequently frozen. At the same time, strawberries inherit only the qualitative characteristics of the variety, and not the disease. Our nursery purchases Dutch frigo strawberries in the winter. Then the seedlings are placed in small containers of 500 g, where they grow to a real bush of 3-4 leaves. Strawberries grown in this way have pronounced taste and technical characteristics: they retain large fruit, are stored for a long time and are easily transported.

Planting strawberries

If you purchased strawberries in large pots, then planting them is much easier than bushes with bare roots, although the technology itself does not change. To place the beds, choose a sunny place with good ventilation. The site is first filled with compost and mineral fertilizers. The holes for seedlings are located at a distance of 50 cm between the bushes and are well shed with water. But you can’t plant strawberries in mud; you need to wait until the soil dries out and is just damp. If mineral fertilizers are not applied to the entire area of the beds, they must be added under each bush, thoroughly mixed with the soil. When planting strawberries, you need to remember two main rules:

  • You cannot cover the rosette with soil (where new leaves appear).
  • The roots of the plant must not be twisted or bent; they must be straightened and positioned vertically.
Having placed the bush in the hole, it should be sprinkled with earth and compacted. Then water and mulch the soil in a circle so that it does not dry out. High soil moisture must be maintained during the first week so that the seedlings can take root well.

Caring for strawberries for a larger harvest

Established bushes require constant care. The main agrotechnical measures include:

  • watering;
  • feeding;
  • loosening;
  • mulching;
  • cutting the mustache.
Watering is carried out as the soil dries out. It is especially necessary during the period of growth, flowering and filling of berries. To prevent the soil from drying out too much, it needs to be mulched throughout the entire bed or around the bushes. For mulch, cut rye or wheat straw is used; oat straw is less suitable, since it is softer and more susceptible to rotting. Sometimes the soil is covered with dark lutrasil. At the same time, the berries remain clean, and weeds do not grow.

You need to feed strawberries every two weeks, mainly during flowering and ovary formation. In spring, plants need to be fed with nitrogen fertilizers for foliage growth and bud formation, but it is best to apply complex fertilizers. Strawberries respond well to fertilizing with herbal sourdough that does not contain nitrates. To prepare it, it is best to use nettles, the greens of which are placed in a bucket and filled with water. After 10 days, the starter is ready; it is diluted in the amount of a liter per bucket of water and poured under the bushes.

If strawberries have large leaves and few berries, it means that too much nitrogen fertilizer has been added to the soil. It is necessary to feed the bushes with potassium and phosphorus. Potassium phos, containing both minerals, is ideal.

Loosening is done after each watering or after rain. You need to dig carefully, without touching the roots, slightly raking the earth under the bushes, as if hilling. If you regularly loosen your strawberries, there will be no weeds in the garden.

Particular attention should be paid to trimming the mustache, which, when growing, “pulls” nutrients from the uterine bush, interfering with the formation of new buds.
Knowing how to care for strawberries for a large harvest, you can achieve good fruiting. But it should be remembered that only high-quality seedlings can produce full-fledged sweet berries and delight their owners throughout the season.