STRAWBERRY WAKES UP FIRST - INITIAL CARE
Garden strawberries (popularly - strawberries) not only ripen before all berries, but also wake up in the spring from hibernation the very first. The bushes look unsightly after the snow melts: a lot of damaged and dead leaves, compacted aisles, some rosettes stick out of the soil, and it is all cracked ... To ensure a good start for strawberries, you need to do a lot in a short time.
GENERAL STRAWBERRY CLEANING
We begin work with stripping strawberry beds. This is a good prevention in the fight against diseases and pests that have not yet woken up, so a significant part of them is removed along with the garbage.
In sunny weather, when dried leaves become brittle, we remove them from the garden with a fan rake. On last year's young plantings, it is better to do this with your hands: in the spring they are easily pulled out of the ground. In this case, do not rush to remove last year's green leaves. They not only protect the soil from drying out, but also protect plants from premature heating and frost. They are kept until the appearance of the young. But it is impossible to be late with their removal: strawberries can lag behind in growth.
If last year's mulch on the beds is not overripe, it is better to remove it. Without a thick layer of mulch, the soil and root system of strawberry bushes will warm up faster. Roots at low positive soil temperatures will grow more intensively than leaves, which will provide optimal conditions for strawberry nutrition.
Further, the entire plantation must be well loosened to a depth of 2-3 cm, while removing rhizomatous weeds until they are easily pulled out of the ground, and mustaches, if this was not done at the end of summer. Young sockets will thicken plantings and take most of the fertilizer from fruit-bearing bushes. Spring loosening not only provides oxygen access to the roots, but also replaces watering, significantly affecting the initial growth of plants.
Carry out these works, carefully looking at the bushes. If the heart turned out to be covered with earth, free it by lifting the bush if necessary. If the roots are exposed, spud them or add humus.
FIRST FEEDING OF STRAWBERRY
Feed the strawberries exhausted by the cold so that they gain strength and actively start growing, preferably until the earth has dried up. Consider a few options that are good to apply at the beginning of the season:
- add humus, compost or biohumus. Organics are scattered over the entire planting area or added in small portions under each bush, slightly embedded in the soil. Then a small amount of ash is scattered (about a glass per 1 sq.m);
- sprinkle dry granules of ammonium nitrate, lightly closing them with a rake, or one of the complex fertilizers such as nitroammophoska, containing an equal amount of basic nutrients (16:16:16). Or with a predominance of nitrogen, if organic matter has not been introduced under strawberries for a long time. You can also use urea (carbamide), but it is better to give it as a top dressing in liquid form, which is not always feasible due to high soil moisture. Therefore, experienced gardeners recommend using it during this period in the form of foliar top dressing.
They were late to feed on the wet ground, it dried out and flower stalks began to move forward at the strawberries - give liquid top dressing. Fill a bucket of mullein, bird droppings or herbal infusion with 10 liters of water and soak for 7-10 days. Dilute the fermented infusion with water: mullein and herbal infusion - e 6 times, bird droppings - 20 times. For every 10 liters of fertilizer, add 2 cups of wood ash, if not, 1 teaspoon of potassium sulfate.
Before flowering, at the stage of bud formation, you can also use mullein (or herbal infusion) and chicken manure, but already diluted 8 and 25 times, respectively. For every 10 liters of solution, add 2 cups of wood ash or 2 teaspoons of potassium sulfate.
In the absence of organics, a ready-made complex mineral fertilizer with a predominance of potassium is used. You can prepare such a mixture yourself. For example, dilute in 10 liters of water 1 tbsp. a spoonful of nitrophoska or azophoska and add 1 teaspoon of potassium sulfate.
If there are no microelements in the composition of the complex fertilizer, then foliar top dressing is given to strawberries, for which 1 cup of sifted wood ash and 1 g of boric acid and potassium permanganate (potassium permanganate) are diluted in 2 liter of hot water, all components are mixed and the volume is adjusted with water to 10 liters . You can use any ready-made set of trace elements, for example, Zdra-ven for strawberries.
Strawberries respond well during budding and spraying with a solution of 1 ml of Zircon and 10 ml of Cytovit in 10 liters of water. This contributes to its abundant flowering and protects against gray rot and brown spotting.
Strawberries also respond well to such top dressing before flowering: 1,5 kg of nitrophoska and 250 g of urea, potassium sulfate, magnesium sulfate are mixed in a plastic or glass container. For enrichment with microelements, 2 g of boric acid, potassium permanganate and ammonium molybdate (if any) are added to the mixture. Dissolve 10 tbsp in 1 liters of water. a spoonful of the mixture and bring it into the grooves between the rows at the rate of 1 bucket per 3-4 running meters.
See also: Ways to grow strawberries for beginners
MULCHING STRAWBERRY IN SPRING
They start mulching strawberry beds in the middle lane only when the first ovary appears on the bushes. It is best to use natural materials for this: humus, straw, sawdust, needles ...
Each type of mulch has its own characteristics. So, sawdust is able to retain moisture in the soil for a long time and has a good effect on its structure. You should not be afraid that they will take nitrogen from the soil. Indeed, during decomposition (rotting), microorganisms multiply on them, which use nitrogen for this. But only if the sawdust is mixed with the soil, and then only temporarily. After overheating, the borrowed nitrogen returns to its place again. Therefore, if sawdust is simply poured on top of the soil, then they will not be able to take anything out of it. And after the end of fruiting, they should be removed into compost or dug up with soil in the aisles, after watering with organic infusion.
Chopped straw mulch is laid around the bushes in an even layer up to 7 cm. It also contains hay bacillus, a natural antibiotic that inhibits the development of diseases.
KEEP IN MIND
Do not cover dense and heavy soil with too thick a layer of straw mulch. Without access to oxygen, its lower part may begin to rot, especially in wet weather, which will not have the best effect on strawberry bushes. In this case, it is better to add mulch gradually, with a layer of 2 cm, adding fresh every two weeks. At the same time, straw, hay, etc. should be crushed.
Black non-woven fabric is best used on beds fenced with boards or slate, then it will last much longer. The soil before laying such material must be well cultivated, freed from rhizomatous weeds and fertilized. It should also be borne in mind that ants like to settle under it, which are quite difficult to remove without chemistry.
Reference by topic: Care for strawberries in early spring
FIRST CARE AND FIRST THING TO DO AFTER WINTER WITH STRAWBERRY - VIDEO
© Author: Natalya Zastenkina, agronomist Photo by the author
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