Features of the cultivation and care of strawberries Cambridge Favorite
For the cultivation of strawberries for commercial purposes, seedlings of late and medium ripening are recommended. It is characterized by high resistance to adverse factors, gives a plentiful and high-quality crop without additional resources. One of the suitable and popular varieties of English breeding is Cambridge Favorite. About the features of its planting and cultivation, read further in the article.
Cambridge Favorite Strawberry Variety Description
In the reviews of gardeners, this variety of strawberries appears as a "workhorse" with stable fruiting, high yield and excellent immunity. Some consumers recommend the variety even for the most adverse regions, in which it is difficult to grow strawberries, while others focus on its shortcomings.
Did you know? From the point of view of botany, strawberries are not berries, but multi-nibs. The fact is that the true fruits of this plant are tiny yellowish nuts located on the surface of a huge red receptacle.
Characterization of fruits and bushes
Cambridge Favorite is recognizable by its low, sprawling bush with medium scatter, broad light green shining foliage, bisexual white flowers and large fleshy fruits of orange-red color. On average, berries weigh 35–40 g. They are characterized by a glossy elastic surface with large yellow seeds and juicy flesh, taste sweet and sour, have a rich pleasant aroma, and due to the dense structure they are suitable for transportation over long distances.The first fruits develop in the form of a regular wide cone, and the subsequent ones are more rounded and can be smaller in size. Harvest is used for fresh consumption, as well as for all types of culinary processing and freezing. The tasting grade is high. In the rainy season, sourness prevails in a harmonious palette of its taste. A powerful outlet tolerates a decrease in nighttime temperatures and spring frosts, is unpretentious to growing conditions, and is also highly resistant to fungal diseases.
Did you know? In the New Orleans' Arnaud’s, the main component of the most expensive exclusive dish, worth several million dollars, is strawberries. It consists of fresh berries, cream, mint and a 5-carat pink diamond ring.
Due to these characteristics, the variety is used for industrial and household production, can grow both on open ground and under shelter. In Russia, it is recommended for cultivation in regions with a harsh climate (in the North Caucasus, in the Stavropol and Krasnodar Territories, Dagestan, Ingushetia, North Ossetia, Adygea, Chechnya, Kabardino-Balkaria, Rostov Regions). Cambridge Favorite also perfectly survives and bears fruit in the climatic conditions of Great Britain, Germany, Poland, Belarus.
Pros and cons
Strawberries of this variety have many positive qualities and are positioned on the modern agricultural market as a high-yielding hardy variety of medium maturity. However, consumers in the process of growing it noticed a negative.
Compare what is more at Cambridge Favorite, you can in the table below:
|Excellent marketability and taste of the crop (berries do not grow smaller and do not lose taste by the end of the season);||The predominance of acid in the berries, subject to a lack of lighting and low temperatures;|
|Relative one-dimensionality of fruits;||Berries under the weight of their weight lie on the ground;|
|Intensive fruiting and consistently high productivity;||the fruits have a classic taste, without a “twist”.|
|Well-developed immunity and winter hardiness;||-|
|Friendly ripening of berries;||-|
|Moderate drought tolerance (with short-term soil drying, the berries become weaker); [||-|
|Unpretentiousness in leaving.||-|
Plants growing on open beds do not require additional intervention for pollination. This process occurs with the help of insects and wind. Often, beekeepers specially set up hives near the landing. One bee family can pollinate one hundred square meters of land.
Important! To make strawberries large, it is recommended to remove the first peduncles.
Under cover structures pollination is not possible without human intervention. To obtain the ovary, the gardener must equip the greenhouse with a fan during the flowering period. His breath will evenly transfer pollen from one bud to another. To obtain the desired effect, it is enough for the device to work at minimum speed for about an hour.An alternative to this method can be considered mechanical pollination when using a brush with a soft pile or cotton swab. Such tools carry pollen manually. It is advisable to act in the morning, repeating the procedure for 3 days.
Flowering and fruiting of fruit crops largely depends on the characteristics of the variety. But with adverse external factors, even the highest yielding development of breeders may disappoint. Cambridge Favorite is genetically engineered for intense fruiting. As with other varieties of strawberries, the peak of its yield occurs in the second year of life. Under favorable conditions, up to 1 kg of quality berries can be removed from each bush.
Important! Promising strawberry seedlings should possess 2–3 full leaves, a well-developed core and a healthy root system.
However, for this, the gardener must make considerable efforts, taking care of:
- neutral acidity and nutrient content of the soil on the site;
- appropriate level of agricultural technology (frequency and methods of irrigation, top dressing, preventive treatment of pests and common diseases, soil hygiene, preparing the plantation for wintering);
- competent planting density and timely transplantation (every 3-4 years it is necessary to update planting material due to the rapid decrease in the gross harvest of its one-time fruiting);
- timeliness of harvesting and qualifications of the picker (the latter is relevant for industrial cultivation).
The timing of flowering and fruiting
Cambridge Favorite is a mid-season short-day strawberry. Its flowering begins in the second half of May and lasts several weeks. Fruits ripen together in early June. It is because of the simultaneous ripeness of the berries that gardeners often criticize this variety of strawberries, preferring remont species.
Did you know? Residents of the Italian town of Nemi annually organize a strawberry celebration, the main treat of which is ripe berries drenched in champagne, and they prepare a treat in a vat with a capacity of several thousand kilograms.
And also indicate problematic flowering. It is worth noting that Cambridge, like other varieties of berry crops, under adverse conditions may not enter the flowering phase.
Often this is due to:
- deficiency of sunlight;
- too late planting of seedlings (experts consider the best period for planting seedlings to be the end of July - the beginning of August, the deadlines for a temperate climate zone - the beginning of September);
- planting seedlings this year in the spring;
- the wrong depth of seedlings (you can not bury and completely expose the core of the outlet);
- an overdose of nitrogen-containing fertilizers (since nitrogen stimulates the intensive growth of biomass, the bush does not form buds and directs all forces to shoot growth);
- lack of nutrients (it is important to feed the plantation in a timely manner);
- development of weed strawberries (appears as a result of mixing varieties growing near the area with improper care and reproduction);
- pathogenic environment and pest activity.
Planting Strawberries Cambridge Favorite
Strawberries do not like dryness, dampness, acidic and infertile soil, cold, heat, drafts, so its cultivation requires a lot of effort and knowledge.
Important! It is better to plant strawberries after root crops, legumes, onions, garlic and leafy vegetables. Solanaceous crops are considered to be bad predecessors.
Novice gardeners can also succeed in this matter if they are guided by the following recommendations:
- First of all, you need to focus on choosing a site for planting. Preferably sheltered from the north wind, a well-lit area with a drained sandy loam or loamy-alluvial substrate that has moisture-retaining properties. For high yields, it is important that a large supply of humus is concentrated in it. It is extremely undesirable to plant strawberries on heavy clay soils, as well as in lowlands and places of accumulation of rain, melt water - in the absence of drainage, there are great risks of root damage by putrefactive infections. The acidity of the soil should correspond to a pH value of 5.0–5.5.
- Of no small importance is the quality of the seedlings. Promising examples are those in which the diameter of the root neck exceeds 6 mm, and the length of the root processes reaches 9 cm. It is advisable to dig out planting material in late autumn and keep it until planting at low temperatures.
- All planting material is subject to preliminary disinfection. It is carried out using a solution of 1.5 tbsp. l table salt, 0.5 teaspoon of copper sulfate, 5 liters of cold water. Planting can only begin after a 10-minute immersion of the sprouts cleared of soil residues in the liquid. Some gardeners in order to stimulate growth for 2 hours dip the root system of seedlings in a honey solution (1 tsp per 1 liter of water).
- Next, take care of the preparation of the seat. They dig it deep and fertilize with organic matter. Professionals do not welcome standard beds with holes and advise to place bushes on the sides. To do this, using a rake and glanders, an embankment with a height of up to 30–40 cm is made. From above, the row is fertilized with ash, humus or compost (the mixture is prepared in a 1: 1 ratio). Then the soil is moistened and covered with black agrofibre. In this case, its function is to resist the growth of weeds and to support the desired microclimate.
- Now you can proceed directly to the landingmaking scissors every 20–25 cm with crosswise cuts on the surface of the covering material (approximately 10 × 10 cm). Saplings are placed in neatly made indentations and their root system is sprinkled with soil. It should be straightened and without bends. In case of excessive instillation, the sprout will decay, and if its core is too high above the surface of the soil, it will dry out.
- An alternative shelter is a plastic film black or any mulch.
The intensive fruiting of the Cambridge Favorite strawberry variety is a merit not only of breeders, but also of the gardener, because the quantity and quality of berries depends on the potential of seedlings, the organization of planting and further care.Agrotechnical subtleties and secrets of experienced gardeners you will learn further.
Under no circumstances should water stagnate in the garden or completely dry the soil. Depending on the temperature and weather conditions, periodically water the plants. It is advisable to do this weekly, in the morning, with water standing and warmed up to room temperature.
It is advisable to establish watering using drip installations, since sprinkling is contraindicated in strawberry sockets. To avoid the formation of deep tunnels, young seedlings are not watered under the root. In the rainy season, be sure to cover the plantation with a transparent plastic film and completely stop watering.This will protect the berries from excessive wateriness and improve their taste. Also do not forget to monitor soil hygiene. Timely cultivate row spacing and weeding. After removing the first crop, be sure to loosen the soil (this manipulation is required even for beds covered with a film, agrofibre or mulch).
Important! To make the berries sweeter, stop watering strawberries a few weeks before harvesting.
In the spring, with the advent of young herbs, feed the bushes with a solution of chicken droppings. In the future, repeat the procedure every 2 weeks. And during budding and before harvesting, complex fertilizers rich in microelements are relevant (Yara Mila Complex, Terraflex-Start, Quantum Chelate, Clean Sheet, Planter). When choosing purchased fertilizers, pay attention to their composition and avoid chlorine, which can destroy the plantation.
In summer, it is nice to spray the area with a solution of phytohormones (Ecosil, Emistim). After harvesting, it is important to water the plantation with a solution of nitrophoska and wood ash (prepared in equal proportions). In addition, strictly monitor the pH level in the soil (in case of its oxidation, you will need to add lime “fluff”, dolomite flour, cement dust or old plaster at the rate of 150-300 g / m² to the site).Keep in mind that with spring application, dolomite flour significantly inhibits the development of outlets, so its use is appropriate in the fall. From the second decade of August, any dressing of strawberry rosettes is contraindicated (nitrogen-containing substances, which cannot be introduced before spring), require special attention.
Important! Every 3-5 years, you need to transplant the bushes to a new place, otherwise the strawberries will be transferred.
Frost and cold protection
In autumn you need to prepare the bushes for wintering. To do this, loosen the soil around the bushes, cut the tops and mustaches that the plant gave. The application of humus or compost does not hinder - these substances nourish the roots and protect against cold. However, do not overdo it with their quantities, since excessive doses can stimulate premature vegetative activity and ruin outlets.In regions with cold, snowless winters, it is advisable to cover strawberry beds with agrofibre. To do this, set low sides along the perimeter of the landing (up to 15–20 cm), on which the shelter is pulled. As an alternative, the usual mulch from straw, hay or sawdust (except for conifers, which contribute to the oxidation of the earth) is suitable.
It is also good to use spruce spruce branches. During this period, it is strictly forbidden to fill the bushes with soil or mulch - excessive shelter threatens with oxygen deficiency and death of the plant.
Diseases and Pests
Cambridge Favorit exhibits good resistance to diseases and harmful insects, however, in an adverse environment, it is at high risk of infection.
More often, a culture suffers from:
- gray rot (symptomatology manifests itself during the flowering period due to the activity of botritis fungi in the form of a gray fluffy coating on the berries);
- ramulariosis (white spotting with a diameter of up to 2 mm appears on peduncles and foliage, eventually turns brown and edged with a dark red edge);
- brown spotting (mainly old leaves are affected, large dark red spots appear on them, which over time grow into dark fungal spores);
- verticillus wilting (manifested by dark specks on foliage, on which intervein necrosis develops over time);
- late blight (the rosette lags behind in growth, the foliage grows smaller, takes a cup shape and a grayish tint, after some time the bush dies);
- powdery mildew (the plant is covered with gray-white bloom, the leaves are folded into a tube, their reverse side becomes pinkish, and diseased berries look as if someone had sprinkled them with flour);
- rust (affects foliage, appears in the spring in the form of red or yellowish-brown convex spots);
- wrinkled foliage (this viral disease is accompanied by fading and premature yellowing of the leaves).
Important! Collect ripe berries in a timely manner, do not allow them to ripen (you need to tear them together with flower stalks), the same applies to mustaches (in excess they take useful substances from the bush).
Among pests for strawberry plantations, the most dangerous are ticks and weevils. Because of their activity, there are often cases when berries do not ripen on a flowering outlet as a result of spoilage of anthers.1. The main signs of the presence of strawberry tick; 2. Weevil. It is important to start the fight against harmful insects in a timely manner, as well as periodically carry out preventive spraying. For this, the insecticides "Aktara", "Aktellik" are suitable. In the case of slugs or snails appearing on the bed, it is recommended to use metaldehyde.
Harvesting and storage
Ripening of mid-season strawberry varieties begins in the first weeks of summer. But if you build a film tunnel on an open garden to stimulate fruiting or cover the plantation with white agrofibre, the harvesting time may be 5–7 days earlier than the traditional ones. Experienced gardeners pick berries 2 days before their true ripeness.
In this form, the products will remain fresh much longer. If you plan to keep the crop fresh, then abundant watering of the plantation should preferably be stopped a few weeks before harvesting. Keep in mind that large and watery specimens do not lie longer than 2 days, turning into a viscous slippery mass.Picking berries should be in the morning, along with small tails of peduncles. You can’t remove green caps from them. It is advisable to store a fresh crop in the refrigerator or in the cellar at a temperature of 0 ... + 2 ° C. They are neatly laid in a single layer in wooden or plastic boxes.
Keep in mind that even insignificant internal movements of fruits can provoke their injuries with subsequent decay. The optimal shelf life of strawberries does not exceed 3-5 days, so it is advisable to immediately process large volumes of products for canning or freeze.
Strawberry Cambridge Favorite has many advantages, the number of which significantly prevails over the disadvantages of the variety. He loses to the repair varieties, but does not lose relevance in the agricultural market. With proper care from a strawberry plantation, you can collect abundant and high-quality crops.