Planting

Before the strawberries are planted, the soil should be very well prepared, because the plants will grow in one place for several years. First of all, weeds should be removed, especially the perennial weeds as couch grass and bindweed - otherwise they will not only compete for nutrients, water and light, but they will be also functioning as intermediaries for the transmission of diseases and pests. Before starting the cultivation, you must also examine the soil‘s pH, because too acidic or too alkaline pH will not allow the strawberries to grow. You can do this by using acidimeter and, if necessary, increase or decrease the acidity of the soil. If you need to decrease the acidity, it must be remembered, however, that strawberries are sensitive to fresh liming, so it should be used in the previous season. It is also recommended to enrich the soil with organic matter. Strawberries grow well in soil enriched with manure. You can also use compost, vermicompost or sow a mixture of green manure. As forecrop the strawberries, it is recommended to grow bean plants, such as field beans, lupins, field peas or vetch, legume-cereal mixtures, rapeseed and mustard plant.

 

Strawberries from potted seedlings can be planted throughout the growing season, but it is best to do this in late summer, in August and September. Plant them in rows at 40-60 cm distances with spaces between seedlings of about 20 cm. Choose healthy seedlings with well-developed root system. Put them in the holes and cover with soil up to the height of rosettes. The ground around the seedlings should be tapped and abundantly watered.

 

Strawberries can also be grown under shelter. Then the fruits can be obtained earlier compared to conventional crops.

 

Crop rotation in the cultivation of strawberries

When cultivating strawberries, it is important to follow proper crop rotation. The roots of strawberries are attacked by various fungi found in soil, mostly of the Verticillium genus, which are the cause of a serious disease of the root system - verticiliose. Therefore, crops should not be grown where plants that are host for this fungus were grown earlier (tomatoes, raspberries, potatoes, cabbage and cauliflower). In a place where strawberry grows for 3-4 years, you should not establish its new crop sooner than after four years. That is because strawberry consumes large amounts of minerals and quickly sterilizes the soil, and additionally accumulates fungi and nematodes in the soil..


Harvesting and storage

Harvesting of strawberries usually begins in late May or June and lasts as the fruit ripen. It is best to harvest the fruit early in the morning, when the dew dries out – the fruit is then dry and naturally cooled, so they have adequate firmness. You have to be careful not to damage them during harvest, because then they spoil faster. Strawberries should be collected together with the stalks, preferably by cutting them off gently with your fingernail. The harvest usually takes about three weeks and, in varieties with repeated ripening cycles - about two months. Strawberries are fruits with low persistence and it is difficult to store them. You can keep them in the refrigerator or in a cool place only a few days. If you want to keep them longer, you can freeze them.

© Szkółka truskawek - Ewa i Krzysztof Konarzewscy 2015. Wykonanie: Studio WWW | Tanie strony www

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