Planting and Care for Alba Strawberry Variety
Despite its popularity, the Alba strawberry variety is constantly a subject of debate among amateur gardeners. The reason for these disagreements is that, despite the abundance of positive qualities of the berry, it has some minor negative aspects, which for many are key when choosing a variety, which leaves a negative imprint on the plant. What makes summer residents argue and how to properly grow such an unusual variety, we will discuss further.
New Fruits, an Italian breeding company, is famous for producing excellent varieties of strawberries for industrial cultivation. But all her offspring were suitable for cultivation in warm regions. In 2003, the company faced the challenge of creating a variety with completely different characteristics. To accomplish this, Albion and Cal.97.85.-6 varieties were taken. The result is a variety that has absorbed the best qualities of ancestors: high yield, perfect appearance, excellent adaptability, excellent rates of shelf life and suitability for transportation.
Did you know? The world leader in strawberry production is California. Only in this state alone annually collect about a billion tons of berries.
Biological Description and Appearance
The high popularity of the variety is due to a number of characteristics: the particularity of the bush, the appearance and taste of the berries.
The bush is a rosette of mustaches and leaves. It is powerful, strong, 30–35 cm high. There are few leaves in it. All of them are large, wide and grow so that they do not interfere with the harvest. The mustache forms well, but also in small quantities. But there are a lot of peduncles. All of them are strong, but the severity of the berries can not stand and bend to the ground. The berry appears on a short stalk.
In the CIS countries, the Alba variety became known since 2005 and rapidly gained popularity among summer residents
The average weight of one berry is 28–30 g. It is conical in shape, slightly elongated, with dense pulp. The taste is sweet with sourness. The aroma is tender. The fruit is painted in deep red with a slight sheen. Throughout the season, the berries ripen the same size, do not grow smaller. Due to their elastic structure and non-watery pulp, the berries are distinguished by good keeping performance.
Important! The aroma of strawberries is weakly expressed, but if grown in open ground, it will feel stronger than that of berries from greenhouses. In addition, ground fruit has a sweeter and more intense taste.
In addition to external data, among the other varieties of Albu, the following features are distinguished: resistance to low temperatures, drought, diseases and pests.
Winter hardiness and disease resistance
Culture can survive minor frosts without shelter, but it must be protected from marsh winters by mulch. The plant normally responds to prolonged rains and a long period of drought.
Alba rarely gets sick. Her ailments can attack with improper care. She has good immunity to powdery mildew, verticillosis, fusarium wilt. May be affected by anthracnose, brown or white spotting. Of the pests, the plant is often visited by aphids and weevils.
Ripening period and productivity
With private cultivation, the average yield is 700–1000 g per bush. Alba grown on an industrial scale can produce about 1300 g from a bush. The variety blooms early, so the first crop can be obtained already in mid-May in warm latitudes. In closed ground, the berries are spewed a couple of weeks earlier.
Transportability and application
A significant advantage of the variety is its high transportability and excellent presentation.Due to the elastic structure, the berries are difficult to crush, and they do not flow. This allows you to increase the shelf life and implementation.
Despite the presence of acidity and weak sugar content, strawberry Alba is a universal variety. Its fruits can be consumed fresh, frozen, cook delicious preserves, jams, compotes. The dense berry is perfect for decorating desserts, baking.
Video: Alba is one of the earliest strawberry varieties.
Advantages and disadvantages
- The positive features of the variety include:
- early ripening;
- high productivity and long fruiting;
- good storage and transportability;
- good immunity;
- frost and drought resistance;
- good adaptability.
As such, the variety has no negative qualities, but many do not like that the fruits are sour and not very fragrant, and flower stalks are bent under the weight of berries, which leads to their baking (if the ground is not covered with agrofibre or mulch) on hot days.
How to choose good strawberry seedlings
You can buy seedlings either on the market or in specialized stores. You can go for a purchase from July to September inclusive. It is best to purchase seedlings in July, when their choice is the largest. In addition, these seedlings, when planted in the ground, will quickly form flower buds and have time to grow stronger before frost. Unfortunately, all seedlings are expensive during this period.
Important! It is not advisable to purchase strawberry seedlings at the end of summer and autumn. The culture planted after purchase will not have time to take root and form buds before the onset of winter, so it will not tolerate winter well and will give the first crop late.
About the normal state of seedlings will indicate:
- Saturated green color of foliage with a leathery surface. May be slightly omitted.
- A horn with a minimum thickness of 0.7–0.8 cm. The horn is thicker, the better the crop.
- If the root system of a seedling is open, then it has a fibrous form and roots at least 7-8 cm long.
- A bush grown in a pot should completely fill it with roots. From a peat cup, the roots should show through the walls.
- Moist root system and fresh seedling appearance.
With caution, you need to treat plants with such features:
- Leaves are covered with dots.. Most likely, the spots appeared due to a fungal disease. Elite plant varieties with such a defect are best avoided, but ordinary varieties can be taken, as they are able to renew foliage when planting in a new place.
- Pale foliage. It is a sign of an incurable disease (late blight necrosis).
- Shriveled young foliage. Most likely, the plant was struck by a strawberry tick. The pest greatly undermines the immunity of the plant and reduces its yield.
It is advisable to form a bed under a strawberry in an open, but at the same time well protected from cold winds place and sufficiently illuminated by sunlight. The culture prefers soil loamy or sandy loam with a deep occurrence of groundwater and enriched with organic matter.
It is best to plant strawberries after cereal, flowering plants, garlic and onions. After solanaceous, pepper and raspberries, it is not advisable to plant, since the likelihood of late blight is increased. After cucumbers and cabbage, the risk of nematode damage increases. Strawberries can grow after corn and sunflower, but a rich harvest should not be expected, since these predecessors greatly deplete the soil.
Important! Strawberries can grow in one place 3–4 years, then it is advisable to transplant it.
Strawberries can be planted in the spring and continued in the fall until frost (2-3 weeks). In the spring they plant it as soon as possible, as soon as the soil warms up. With autumn planting, the variety will delight the first harvest in the spring, and with spring planting - in a year. If you plant a plant in the summer, then you need to choose a hot day.
Strawberries are planted in rows at intervals of 35–40 cm between them and 15–20 cm between bushes. Many gardeners advise to plant a bed with light non-woven material before planting, and then fruiting will be more abundant.
When planting, you can not deepen the growth point, and if the mustache is planted, then it should be located vertically in the hole, while the kidney is at ground level
Water the crop as needed (when the soil dries). Waterlogging, as well as severe drying of the soil, the plant does not like. Sudden changes in the humidity of the earth can lead to the development of fungal diseases. In order not to constantly monitor the state of the soil, you can mulch the bed with straw, hay, and mowed grass. Additionally, cultivation carried out after irrigation procedures not only eliminates weeds, but also allows you to retain moisture in the soil longer.
Video: How to properly care for strawberries in spring, summer and autumn
They feed strawberries four times a season. The first time fertilizer is applied when planting. It can be a handful of humus, 1 tbsp. l superphosphate, ¼ Art. ashes. Then, as soon as new young leaves appear, they add nitrogen-containing complexes diluted with water according to the instructions.
When the ovary begins to form, the culture needs potassium nitrate or ash. The final feeding is carried out when preparing the plant for wintering. They spend it at the end of August - in September, and use mineral complexes.
When preparing strawberries for wintering, first of all, you need to remove all damaged parts of the plant, weed and all plant litter from the garden. The bed is covered with non-woven material or spruce branches. In extreme cases, you can sprinkle plants with earth.
Did you know? The best quality strawberries are those grown in Britain.
Harvesting and storage
Alba begins to bear fruit in May. In the southern regions, the fruiting period is delayed throughout the summer. The dense berry collected from the bush with the peduncle in fresh form can lie for 4 days at room temperature. In the refrigerator, the shelf life is extended to a week, and if the berries are frozen, you can store 8 months.
It is necessary to lay in storage not washed and dry berries, then it will last longer. If the fruit is wet, then it must be dried with paper towels. Only ripe, dense berries without defects are suitable for freezing.
Although gardeners regularly argue about the taste of Alba strawberries, thanks to its characteristics, the plant confidently continues to gain popularity among summer residents. For him, a minimum of quality care is enough to get a magnificent harvest of fruits.
Network user reviews
We have been growing Alba for 2 years. This year in our region, she was a favorite in the market for marketability and price. Compared to Clery, she surpasses her in yield. After the berry turns red, you need to stand on the bushes for 2-3 days, then it gains the appropriate taste. Of course, there is no such aroma as that of Rozana Kievskaya, but as for a market berry more worthy still need to look. Maybe someone knows even more worthy? Share your experience