Preparing for winter
To get a rich harvest of delicious berries, proper plant care during the active growing season is not enough. Properly organized wintering is extremely important for culture. This is especially true for areas with cold winters.
The necessary agricultural technology includes a number of activities — from careful pruning at the end of the season to careful shelter for the arrival of cold weather. The culture needs to be treated for pests, weeding, pruning, loosening, watering and subsequent shelter.
Watering strawberries in autumn
After the final harvest, plant care does not stop. Both the removal of the whiskers and the watering must be continued. If it is dry outside, then this should be done approximately once a week until almost October.
If the weather is rainy, and the earth is well saturated with moisture, then watering is not necessary.
Do I need to trim the leaves of strawberries in the fall
Many gardeners question the need for pruning strawberries in the fall. Adherents of pruning are sure that pests, pathogens of fungal and viral infections breed on old peduncles and leaves.
Therefore, the timely removal of most of the foliage contributes to the healing of plants. Opponents of pruning believe that a pruned bush will devote all its strength to restoring its green mass, as a result of which it will go into the winter weakened.
To avoid this, pruning can be done immediately after fruiting. Then the plant will have time to form new greenery before the onset of cold weather.
If you plan to form bushes in the fall, then you need to remove only damaged, diseased and dry leaves. Lush foliage protects the bush from winds and frosts, so you should not leave it naked in the winter.
Repairing varieties are not pruned in autumn, only diseased and damaged leaves are removed.
Top dressing strawberries
It is recommended to feed the culture at least three times a year.
- Fertilizers are applied just before the beginning of flowering, at the end of fruiting and in early autumn.
- A variety of means are used for this: both organic and mineral.
- Some gardeners prefer a solution of mullein mixed with ash or an infusion of bird droppings.
- Others choose ready-made complex fertilizers.
- Top dressing is carried out after pruning.
Pest and disease control
In the first autumn months, signs of various plant ailments become more noticeable on the bushes. This is the optimal time to treat the plantation with specialized drugs against diseases and pests.
Plants must first be thoroughly weeded. After all, weeds take away moisture and nutrients, and also interfere with the ventilation of plantings. However, you should pay attention to the following.
It is dangerous to remove weeds in autumn: you can damage the roots of strawberries, which will not have time to recover before the cold weather. Therefore, the event is best held at the end of summer.
To hide or not to hide?
Today there are many varieties that are characterized by excellent winter hardiness. If the snow falls at least 30 cm and in regions with a temperate climate, berry bushes can not be covered. But if precipitation does not always occur, then plants must be protected to prevent freezing.
The specific method of insulation is selected in accordance with the weather conditions of the area. Lowering the air to -8 ° C already carries the risk of damage to flower buds in heat-loving varieties. A suitable plantation shelter method is determined based on:
- the presence or absence of snow cover;
- temperature regime;
- location of beds (depth of groundwater, protection from prevailing winds, illumination).
Note! In no case should strawberries be covered in advance — this can cause increased evaporation of heat and moisture. Such bushes run the risk of blooming or being banned: vegetative plants quickly die from the cold.
It is advisable to warm the berry plantation after the first small frosts have passed. A plant hardened by negative temperatures will become more hardy and will survive the cold better.
How to protect strawberries from frost
An excellent shelter for culture is snow. If it is enough, then it reliably protects the bushes and prevents damping, freezing and cracking of the soil. But what to do if its quantity is sorely lacking?
An affordable and simple way is to mulch strawberries with various plant residues. It can be spruce branches, sawdust, straw, mowed grass, dry leaves, humus, needles or spruce branches.
When using spunbond for shelter, please note that it should not be laid directly on plants. In places of contact, freezing is possible. Such material (and similar ones) needs to install a frame or arcs.
So. Competent autumn care for strawberries does not imply complex events or serious financial costs. However, its results are obvious and very significant — strawberries do not freeze out. At the beginning of the new season, she does not spend resources on restoration, but begins an active growing season.
Author of the article: Oksana Artemenko, garden expert of Becker online store