What kind of soil does strawberry like: how to prepare the soil and care for the soil after planting
Strawberries, like any living organism, will grow and bear fruit well in comfortable conditions. If the plant does not need to spend its energy on the struggle for survival, it will delight with a good harvest and a healthy look. One of the ingredients for a favorable environment is a suitable and well-prepared soil.
Requirements for the composition and structure of soil for strawberries
It is impossible to call strawberries too capricious a plant, but when choosing a site for planting, you need to pay attention to the composition of the soil and prepare it with high quality. The basic requirements for a soil base for growing strawberries are as follows:
- a suitable level of acidity;
- good moisture permeability;
- absence of pathogens and pest larvae.
Important! Strawberry planting can be organized on any type of soil, with the exception of highly acidic, saline and calcareous.
On properly prepared soil, strawberries will fully develop and bear fruit abundantly
Soil optimization for strawberries
The most suitable soil for strawberries is sandy loam or loamy. These soil types have many positive qualities:
- ease of processing;
- sufficient nutritional value;
- good breathability;
- excellent absorbent qualities;
- they warm up quickly and cool slowly.
Sandy loam and loamy soil structures do not need to be improved. When preparing a site for planting on such soils, it is necessary to replenish the supply of nutrients through the introduction of organic matter (half a bucket per square meter) and complex mineral fertilizers.
The most fertile and potentially promising for growing strawberries is chernozem soil, but, unfortunately, it is rarely found in household plots.
The structure of poor sandy, heavy clay soil can be improved and optimized to acceptable requirements. When preparing ridges for planting on clay soils, the following should be added to it:
- coarse river sand;
Peat and sand additives will act as a baking powder, increase the water-absorbing qualities of the soil. The addition of lime or ash neutralizes the additional acidity introduced by peat and increases the air permeability of the soil.
Helpful information! For each bucket of peat added, add 2 tablespoons of dolomite flour or a glass of ash.
Improves soil looseness and the addition of rotted sawdust:
- fresh sawdust is moistened with a urea solution (1 tablespoon per 1 liter of water);
- dolomite flour or ash is added to the moistened composition, mixed and left for several days in a waterproof bag in a warm place.
The sawdust prepared in this way is plowed into the soil during the autumn digging of the site. Horse manure is ideal as an organic fertilizer for clay soil.
Horse manure warms up better, gives off heat quickly, differs in a smaller number of weed seeds and is practically not affected by various pathogenic microflora characteristic of manure
Sandy soils are the least fertile, so peat, compost, humus, clay or drill meal should be added to them before organizing a strawberry bed. In order to create a fertile bed on a site with sandy soil, from which you can quickly get a bountiful harvest, you can use the following method:
- Enclose the area where the ridge will be located.
- Lay the bottom of the future bed with a layer of clay.
- Pour 30–40 cm of fertile (sandy loam, loamy, black earth) soil on top of the clay.
The cost of creating an artificial bed will pay off with a high strawberry harvest
The measures taken will improve the structure of the soil, increase its nutritional value, and ensure sufficient air and moisture permeability.
Absolutely accurately, the acidity of the soil on the site can be determined using laboratory analysis. At home, you can also set this indicator, and in different ways. Of course, such data will not be absolutely accurate, but it will help determine the necessary measures to optimize acidity.
Table vinegar can help determine the acidity of the soil. You need to take a handful of earth and drop acetic acid on it. If small bubbles appear on the surface of the soil under study, then there is a sufficient amount of lime in it, which extinguishes the vinegar, that is, the soil has neutral acidity. In the absence of a reaction, it can be concluded that the soil at the site is acidified.
The presence of a reaction of vinegar with the soil indicates its neutrality (in the photo on the left), acidic soil does not give such a reaction (photo on the right)
Another way is to observe indicators of acidity, which can be represented by wild plants of the site that have spread naturally and have a large number.
Table: plants-indicators of soil acidity
Adjusting soil acidity for strawberries
Garden strawberries prefer slightly acidic and neutral soils. To make the acidic soil useful for planting strawberries, it must be calcified. For liming, river tuff, dolomite flour, marl, ground limestone, fluff are used.
Important! Freshly calcified soils can inhibit the root system of strawberries, so liming is best done in advance, for previous crops.
Lime is applied in autumn and spring during the digging of the site
If you are late with the liming procedure, then it is better to postpone it until the time when the strawberries take root and get stronger.
Table: dosage of lime application for different types of soils
Note! Wood ash is an effective means of reducing the acidity of the earth. In addition to the deoxidizing effect, ash is a source of calcium, potassium, phosphorus and many trace elements.
Wood ash is used for liming the soil, as it contains 18–36% calcium carbonate
So that efforts to grow strawberries are not nullified by diseases and pests, it is recommended to carry out a soil disinfection procedure when preparing a site for planting strawberries. It is especially important for closed ridges, hotbeds and greenhouses, where comfortable conditions can be created not only for cultivated plants, but also for pathogens.
There are various ways to disinfect soil:
Important! When planning the soil disinfection procedure, you should pay attention to those problems and diseases that are inherent in your weather conditions, type of site.
The most fundamental method of disinfection is chemical. It reliably and quickly destroys pathogens. The disadvantage of this method is the concomitant destruction of beneficial microorganisms, so it should be applied once and in the presence of complex problems. The following preparations are most acceptable for disinfecting the soil for planting strawberries:
- fungicide TMTD. For processing 1 sq. meter use 60 g of powder. The drug reliably destroys pathogens in the soil;
- copper sulfate. For soil cultivation, 50 g of the substance is dissolved in a bucket of water and the earth is spilled. The drug is effective for soil treatment in greenhouses and hotbeds. An overdose of the drug leads to the fact that the soil loses air permeability, the number of beneficial microorganisms in it decreases. Soil treatment with copper-containing preparations is recommended to be carried out no more than once every 5 years.
For soil treatment against fungal diseases, mold and some pests, a 0.5% - 1% solution of copper sulfate is used (50-100 g per 10 l of water)
The use of microbiological preparations gives many positive results:
- the number of pathogens in the soil is reduced;
- when growing on the site of the same crops, soil fatigue is observed. Biological fungicides can neutralize this phenomenon;
- the soil is populated with beneficial microflora.
The most effective biological fungicides for soil preparation for strawberries are:
- Alirin B;
- Baikal EM-1.
Biological fungicides are characterized by low toxicity and high efficiency.
Note! For soil disinfection, biological and chemical preparations cannot be used at the same time. The minimum interval between applications should be at least 2 weeks.
Correctly organized agrotechnical measures help prevent the emergence and spread of diseases and pests, preserve soil fertility. Correctly organized crop rotation can help this. The best precursors for strawberries are:
Tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, zucchini and cucumbers will be harmful precursors for garden strawberries. This is due to the fact that these crops have a number of pests in common with strawberries, are susceptible to the same diseases, the pathogens of which infect the soil.
Before planting strawberries on the site, it is recommended to plant siderat plants. They are planted for a short time, the seedlings are allowed to grow, and then the green mass is plowed into the soil.
Siderata are green fertilizers specially grown to restore the soil after vegetation, enrich it with nitrogen and microelements and inhibit the growth of weeds.
For disinfection, you can carry out thermal treatment of the soil, spilling it with boiling water or steam. This method is very effective, but due to the complexity of execution at home, it can be used to disinfect a small amount of soil (for example, for planting seedlings) or disinfect a small ridge.
Note! Planting plants such as marigolds and marigolds on adjacent to strawberry ridges helps to improve the condition of the soil and fight sweatgens.
Mulching strawberry plantings
Mulching strawberry plantings not only protects the crop from pests, weeds and diseases, but also improves the structure of the soil, increases its fertility. Mulch for culture can be various materials:
- hay, straw or grass are useful in that after their rotting in the soil, hay sticks actively reproduce. This beneficial microorganism prevents the spread of fungal infections;
- black spunbond provides quick heating of the soil, prevents drying out and leaching, protects it from weeds. In order to prevent the soil from overheating on hot summer days, it is recommended to spread grass or straw on top of the agrofibre;
- needles, cones, twigs of coniferous trees, when rotting, feed the soil, make it looser, prevent the spread of such a disease as gray rot. It should be borne in mind that this mulch acidifies the soil, therefore, it should be used with caution on acid-prone soils;
- sawdust and shavings retain moisture well and prevent the development of weeds. But during decomposition, these materials acidify the soil, take nitrogen from it. Therefore, ridges with such a mulching cover require additional fertilizing with nitrogen-containing fertilizers, as well as regular application of ash or dolomite flour against soil acidification;
- humus and compost mulch prevents overheating, hypothermia, drying out, weathering and depletion of the soil. But the layer of mulch from these materials requires constant renewal, as it is quickly processed by soil microorganisms.
Photo gallery: strawberry mulching
Video: preparing the soil for planting strawberries
In addition to the above procedures, one should not forget about the destruction of last year's plant residues, on which there may be dangerous pathogens, about deep autumn digging of soil with the removal of weed roots and discovered larvae, about recommendations for replacing the upper soil layer in greenhouses and greenhouses, because it is in it that harmful pathogens and organisms that can cause infectious diseases. You can not spare time for high-quality soil preparation for planting strawberries. A high-quality crop grown will be a real reward for all the efforts and efforts spent on creating favorable conditions for strawberries.
My name is Ludmila. Higher education, graduated from the Minsk Institute of Culture. I live in Belarus.
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Strawberries (or garden strawberries) are herbaceous perennials from the strawberry family, cultivated in many gardens to grow delicious, sweet and very healthy berries. The amount of sucrose in strawberries reaches 10%. In addition to sweetness, berries contain various acids (citric, malic, phosphoric), pectin, vitamin C, carotene and minerals (iron, manganese, molybdenum, cobalt, copper and fluorine). The strawberry harvest is one of the first in the summer succession of fruits (fruits, nuts, berries, herbs and bushes). In the southern regions, the first strawberry harvests appear at the end of May. In the central part of Russia, you can eat a ground berry in July.
Planting strawberries of remontant varieties allows you to get fruiting twice a season. New varieties of plants have been developed using breeding methods, which bloom and yield throughout the season. You can get early tasty berries in mid-spring by growing strawberries in heated greenhouses. How to grow strawberries in a greenhouse facility? How should the soil be prepared for planting strawberries in a greenhouse correctly?
Choosing a landing site
The soil preparation procedure begins with the selection of a suitable place for strawberries. This berry loves soft and loose soils, with moderate moisture content and little sand or clay. The acidity of the soil should be at a neutral level. And the occurrence of groundwater is no closer than 1-1.5 meters from the earth's surface. Moisture-saturated and dense soils are not suitable for strawberry beds. Indeed, on such a land, this culture does not take root and is susceptible to a number of diseases.
The location of the site is also important. In a shaded area surrounded by bushes or trees, strawberries also do not grow. Here's what experienced site owners have to say about this, by the way:
“No matter how good the soil is, if the plot is obscured by trees, then strawberries cannot be planted here. Even if she agrees to grow, the harvest will not be distinguished by an abundance of berries. And the resulting fruits will not be sweet and watery. "
It is difficult to find the ideal place for each culture in the garden, but it is possible, by laying a strawberry plantation, to enrich the soil in accordance with the agrotechnical requirements of growing berries. On heavy clay soils, river sand is applied along with organic fertilizers. In this case, the site is deeply dug up to 27-30 centimeters or it is plowed. Sandy lands are fertilized by adding manure or compost. Ideal for strawberries will be soil with a 3% humus content.
The dying parts of the plant, decomposing in the soil, turn into humus containing useful substances. These include humic acids, fulvic acids, and their derivatives.
They make the soil loose, turning it into a porous mixture that is permeable to water and air. The layer filled with useful elements does not allow the salts of heavy metals to negatively affect the roots of plants. The fertility of the soil affects the increase in the yield of strawberries. You can prepare a nutrient layer by storing food waste, weeds, autumn foliage in a designated place, and settling earthworms there.
Of the minerals for the favorable development of strawberries, you need:
- Phosphorus. Without it, the berry will not develop a strong root system. The indicator of the norm is the content of ten to fifteen milligrams of phosphorus in one hundred grams of soil. If there is little of it in the soil, then the ground is fed with superphosphate before planting the berries in an amount of 50 to 70 grams per square meter.
- Potassium. Strawberry roots absorb the element well from the soil. But if the site is liming, then manganese and calcium will not allow the element to be absorbed, displacing it. The optimal form of feeding will be potassium sulfate or potassium magnesium. 40 grams of potash fertilizers are applied per square meter of the garden. Do this before planting and during the growing season.
- Magnesium. Strawberries suffer from its deficiency if the acidity of the soil is too low. This element is included in the complex fertilizer because it is responsible for the formation of chlorophyll in the leaves of the plant.
- Calcium. Lack of calcium also negatively affects the state of the plant foliage - it becomes lethargic, deformed. If the soil acidity level is normal, then there will be enough calcium for strawberries.
- Bor. Boron is important for high-quality fruiting, which is washed out of the ground more often than other substances.
The amount of minerals should not be excessive. This will prevent the berry from developing properly. But since nutrients are quickly washed out of the soil, it is necessary to apply them before strawberry flowering and in the fall after harvest.
How to grow strawberries in a greenhouse (video)
Strawberries are a seasonal crop that appears on our tables in early summer and disappears very quickly. It is not surprising that summer residents and owners of country houses are trying to grow it on their own. Not everyone succeeds. But today there are many modern technologies and you can always use this valuable knowledge and grow a berry according to all the rules.