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Growing Strawberries

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How to start your own strawberry patch:

Introduction

Since the sixteenth century, a perennial herb that looks tiny in shape was enjoyed in the Europe by the early settlers. Around 1840 developments of a crossbred berry was performed near Boston. Sweet strawberries of the north east and a large and sweet berry was created that precedes all the varieties of the modern world. Since then cultivation of strawberries was started in United States, and they are mostly available in United States and Canada. In Alaska certain varieties of it can be found. Cool and moist climate is the most suitable for them and in South certain varieties have been developed for growth. The conditions can be easily checked by visiting to the local nursery.

Cultivation of strawberry plant

Looking for a suitable area for plantation of strawberries is the first step. A well drained and less alkaline and a light rich loam with ph of 5-6 is the best suited area for this. If this is not available the best way is to fill the bed with loam, compost and manure by digging out the dirt and use the manure at the rate of 250 lbs for every 500 square feet of garden. For spring planting prepare the bed in the fall. When you get the feeling that the soil is workable setting of plants can be performed. There are two ways to figure the amount of plants. First is from the general rule that for one family member, there should be 25 plants and 25 plants for posterity. Second way for every 100 feet of row 50 quarts of berries should be planted.

An effective activity must be required for rooting of plants. Removal of damaged and diseased leaves is very essential before planting. Digging of hole is done that is spacey enough so that roots can easily set up there. After that, provide a proper amount of soil in the center to permanently set the foundation of the plant and for the root structure support, however, it must be taken care of that it must not be that deeper so that developing leaves are also getting covered. Use the soil to half fill the hole and then pour the water for dissipation. Then rest of the soil should be added and firm it up around the plant. For its protection cover the plant with a berry box. In the first week keep the soil moist, but it must not be wet.

There is a good planting technique for the homesteader who is not using the above system. The technique is known as Matted rows. In this technique setting of plants is done as 18 inches apart in rows that are three to four feet apart. During the first season buds are removed and runners are permitted to grow. In this way, a matt is formed. Three feet wide rows are best for easy harvesting. Plowing is done usually after three years. The process of bed starts again after that.

Another technique to grow strawberries is permanently mulch bed. In this method planting method is same as above and bearing is allowed. The best bearing plants are marked by the grower during harvesting and make the space 10 inches between markers according to the possibilities. When harvesting is completed, the removal of unmarked plants is performed and with the help of compost and well rotted manure side dressing is applied. After that runners have sent out for the next season. The patch bears the stronger and better crop after the selection of best plants every year. In winter, there is a danger of freezing and dying of strawberries, so they are mulched over during the winter season. This is done after freezing of garden and use of straw or other mulch in four inches deep layer. Removal of mulch should be done after the surety of no danger from hard freezing.

Care of strawberry plants

A proper care is must for the growth of plants and strawberry plant is no exception so it is must to provide proper water to it during the hot weather and food production period but do not perform over watering as it causes rotting of roots. Another drawback of over watering is the iron deficiency (Chlorosis). The identification of Chlorosis is small and yellow leaf growth and sometimes brown leaf edges. Weeding is also a primary concern as it stops the cultivation of plants and will be very harmful for harvesting in the future.

After harvesting single time fertilization is enough for a good crop in the following year. A balanced mixture of 10-10-10 at a ratio of 1 cup per 10-foot row is very good. A fertilizer is a balanced one if it contains nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. It is better to purchase sand from local nursery for mixing in your soil because your soil in its original form may be very clay like that is difficult to break. Mixing will make it a sandy loam. For the measurement of water use in the garden a container can be placed in the middle of the plants during sprinkling. Timing of water can be set and when there are 2 to 3inches of water available in the container it is easy to judge the duration of sprinkling the next time.

Strawberry plant diseases

Safety from diseases and insects is very important so the best way is to choose varieties that are able to refrain themselves form these problems. Do some good research and use only good and disease resistant varieties, timely replace the old plants with the new plants.

Rotation of berry patch is must if a permanent bed is not used.

Red Stele is fungi that comes in wet weather and active in wet soil and make plant die before the ripening of fruit, so make sure the bed you are using must have a good drainage.

Another fungus is Verticillum Wilt that makes leaves dry and brown. The best safety method is to avoid plantation of strawberries where there is previous plantation of tomatoes or potatoes. To avoid insects and pests destruction of plants is must and new plantation is done at 300 feet away.

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