How to grow strawberries in winter?
Strawberries, as one of the most delicious and popular berries, are available mainly only in the summer. However, some enterprising gardeners have found several ways to cultivate this berry all year round. What are the methods of growing strawberries in an apartment and what are their features - more on this later in the article.
The basic rules for growing strawberries in the winter at home
Growing strawberries at home is quite a serious, responsible and troublesome business, requiring time, some knowledge and competent conducting basic agricultural practices. To breed berries, you need to choose the appropriate variety, unpretentious in care, and organize certain conditions for its growth.
You can plant strawberries at home in several ways:
Choosing the right method will depend on the main purpose of growing the berry. For large-scale cultivation of strawberries for sale, of course, polycarbonate greenhouses or greenhouses are best suited. However, such structures occupy quite large areas, requiring a lot of free space.
Did you know? Strawberries are one of the few crops whose seeds are not located inside the fruit, but outside. Moreover, on one berry of medium size, there are about two hundred seeds.
The optimal method for apartment breeding of berries in large volumes is the box method. If the goal of growing berries is to consume for their own needs, then it is best to use the pot method. In this case, it will not be possible to achieve abundant harvests, but caring for the plant is minimized.
Air and temperature
The described culture belongs to the category of heat-loving, therefore, it needs a comfortable microclimate with temperature indicators within + 18 ... + 20 ° С. It is very important to maintain stable temperatures in the room: raising or lowering the thermometer will negatively affect the development and fruiting of the plant.Strawberries prefer fresh, well-circulating air and react negatively to stagnation. To ensure that the culture has access to fresh air, you can regularly ventilate the room.
Which soil to choose
For the successful cultivation of plants in an apartment, it is equally important to choose good soil. An ideal option is a mixture of equal parts of perlite and peat, which can be purchased in specialized stores.
Important! It is allowed to replace the soil mixture with ordinary nutrient soil with the addition of fertilizers, but the quality and effectiveness of the latter will be significantly inferior.
The intensity of lighting in the room will directly affect the duration of flowering and fruiting of the crop. That is why, choosing for the cultivation of even not too whimsical strawberry variety, he should provide high-quality lighting for 13-16 hours.When organizing an 8-hour daylight plant will enter the flowering phase 2 weeks after planting seedlings, and the ovaries will form after 1.5 months. If the strawberry is provided with 16-hour lighting, then it will be able to please flowering in 10 days, and the formation of ovaries in 30–35 days. With insufficient lighting in the room, it is necessary to install additional light sources, for example, fluorescent lamps.
The most practical option is to purchase finished seedlings, which are adapted for home cultivation.Of course, it will cost a lot, but you won’t have to spend a lot of time growing seedlings. Independent breeding of seedlings is considered quite a troublesome and tedious event, requiring compliance with many agricultural rules. The plus is significant cash savings.
When grown in an apartment, strawberries receive much less nutrients than when grown on open soils. That is why the plant should be regularly fed at least once a week.
Important! Do not often feed the culture with nitrogen-containing drugs, as they activate the growth of green mass and inhibit the development of berries.
A high need for culture in fertilizing occurs in the flowering phase and at the end of fruiting. At the same time, experts advise using organics, in particular, bird droppings, mullein or complexes of mineral fertilizers. To increase the number of ovaries, it is recommended to use iron-based products.
Features of planting strawberries
To grow strawberries at home is quite possible - subject to the basic rules of agricultural technology. For the cultivation of berries, experts advise giving preference to unpretentious, ampelous or repairing cultivars, which are characterized by year-round fruiting and rapid ripening of fruits. As noted above, gardeners practice several methods of planting a plant, about the features of each - further.
Did you know? In some countries of the world, green strawberries are pickled and rolled into jars. In winter, the fruits are consumed as a kind of analogue of pickled cucumbers.
The simplest is planting strawberries in flower pots. In this case, you can use containers of any shape and from any material, the only requirement is the container size: at least 100 × 150 cm.
To implement the flower method, stock the following materials and tools:
- prepared substrate;
- drainage, which can be small pebbles, pebbles, expanded clay;
- a solution of vitamins for plant nutrition;
- Protected water for irrigation.
As for the soil mixture, experts do not recommend using soil from the garden, as it may contain larvae of various parasites.
Annealing the soil in the oven.
If it is not possible to purchase special soil, then garden soil must be disinfected:
- steam and then shed well with a weak solution of potassium permanganate;
- calcine in the oven for about 30 minutes at a temperature of + 180 ° C.
For planting in pots, it is necessary to choose sprouts with the presence of 2-3 fully developed leaves.
The technology is quite simple:
- a small layer of drainage is poured into the bottom of the tank;
- the drainage layer is covered with nutrient soil;
- in the soil they make a depression - 1.2–2 cm, where seedlings are exposed. Roots of seedlings are pre-soaked for 20-30 minutes in a vitamin-mineral solution;
- sprouts fall asleep in the soil, slightly crushed by hands, moisten the surface with a spray gun.
Video: growing strawberries in pots
Watering and caring for a plant
Plant care includes a number of standard events. Strawberries should be watered, focusing on drying the topsoil, as necessary. It is forbidden to use cold water from the tap. Irrigation water should be soft, settled, room temperature.
From time to time, it is necessary to carry out the procedure of loosening the soil around the bush, which will enrich the soil with oxygen and saturate it with useful substances, as well as activate the development of roots. It is very important to choose the right place for arranging pots with strawberries: a well-lit place that is reliably protected from drafts is perfect.
Important! The formation of a hard crust on the soil should not be allowed, since it interferes with the normal flow of air to the root system of the plant.
It is best to install containers with sprouts on the windowsills on the south side of the apartment. Strawberry grown in an apartment is very sensitive to cold, so experts do not advise cultivating it in an unheated room. When creating a comfortable temperature and a warm microclimate, the culture perfectly wintered and even pleased with stable fruiting.
Unfortunately, the crop yield when growing by pot method is low. On average, with proper care, from one plant you can collect up to 200 g of berries. But fruiting will be year-round.
The second method of growing strawberries is based on planting it in plastic bags or bags. To implement this method, you need a lot of space. Specialists recommend building multi-tiered racks on the loggia, balcony or in the pantry, on which containers with seedlings will be located.In the room where the berry will grow, there should be good lighting, good air circulation and a temperature regime comfortable for the plant.
To plant a berry, it is necessary to prepare a sufficiently dense polyethylene, ideally reinforced. Packages or bags should be about 16–20 cm in diameter.
Also in the process, you will need materials:
- soil mixture consisting of perlite and steamed peat;
- organic soil;
- soil scoop.
Did you know? In the world there are about 300 varieties of strawberries, while there are not only classic red berries, but also specimens of white color. The white berry with red seeds tastes like pineapple.
Planting seedlings is based on the following actions:
- the prepared substrate mixed with organic soil is poured into polyethylene containers, tied tightly from above;
- bags, at the discretion of gardeners, are tied upright or mounted horizontally on racks;
- small holes 6–8 cm long are made in polyethylene, staggered, with an interval of 20–22 cm;
- sprouts are planted in the holes made, covered with the remaining soil.
It is extremely inconvenient to water such constructions from polyethylene, since the level of moisture of the plant is not visible. For this reason, to moisten the bushes, experts advise making a simple but very effective drip irrigation system, which will achieve an even distribution of moisture:
- plastic bags are placed above the bags;
- 4-5 thin tubes are removed from each bottle, the ends of which are pierced through polyethylene and introduced into the soil every 50 cm;
- water is poured into plastic containers, which slowly enters the soil through the tubes.
Important! Strawberries, which are cultivated in the apartment, need to be replanted and updated every 4 years.
In the process of growing strawberries in the home, gardeners can face a number of difficulties. The most common problem is the defeat of the plant with a spider mite. The pest can be recognized by the formation of a characteristic white or transparent web from the bottom of the leaf plate. The tick actively feeds on the juice of the culture, as a result of which it fades, dries and dies.Strawberry hit by a spider mite.
In order to cope with parasites, it is recommended to spray the plant with a garlic solution, which is prepared as follows:
- 2-3 cloves of garlic are carefully chopped;
- garlic gruel is poured with a small amount of boiling water, insist 20-30 minutes;
- filter the garlic infusion and apply as needed.
Important! If there are a lot of insect pests, then special insecticidal preparations of a wide spectrum of action will help to destroy them, while spraying the culture should be done strictly adhering to the dosage specified in the instructions.
Types of diseases and methods of treatment
In most cases, strawberries are rarely sick at home. Sometimes, with excessive moisture, gray rot may develop. With this ailment, strawberry leaves and berries are covered with a gray-beige fluffy coating, while the leaves fall off, and the fruits become loose, lose their taste. You should immediately begin the fight against the disease, otherwise you will not be able to save the plant.Gray rot of strawberries. To do this, all affected areas need to be removed, and the rest of the green mass treated with a 1% solution of Bordeaux fluid. At the same time, it is necessary to reduce the number of irrigations and ensure good air circulation to the bushes. To prevent the occurrence of various diseases, experts advise systematically spraying the culture with infusion of field horsetail.
Cultivating strawberries in an apartment setting is a very profitable and useful activity that can turn into a profitable business. However, to get decent harvests of sweet and fragrant berries, gardeners will have to work hard and create a favorable microclimate at home for the successful growth and development of the culture.