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In the summer, the question arises before thinking summer residents and gardeners - how to properly prepare your favorite strawberries for winter? Yes, you can, relying on "maybe", let everything take its course. It is not a fact that the bushes will necessarily die. But the probability is pretty high. It will be very offensive to dig up dead, frozen plants in the spring, at a time when everything around begins to rapidly revive and prepare for fruiting. And I just don't want to, headlong, prepare the beds and urgently look for seedlings for spring planting.
What are strawberries afraid of in winter? Do you need to mow foliage?
In winter, sudden temperature changes are dangerous for garden strawberries, when mild thaws are abruptly replaced by a serious minus. Even if the entire bush does not freeze, then strong freezing of flower buds is possible. And this will have a negative impact on the future harvest.
Ice winds in winters with little snow are also dangerous. Bare soil is prone to severe freezing and cracking. And, of course, lowering the temperature below -20 C degrees. This can already lead to the complete death of plants, regardless of the variety. One night with such a minus is enough. The first to die are plants with cut-off leaves. In no case should you mow the foliage in the fall.
What should be done in the garden during the fall?
In the fall, it is necessary to carry out a number of agrotechnical measures in the garden. These are sanitary cleaning, loosening, weeding, feeding and processing of strawberries and shelter.
Complete mowing of all leaves in the fall can simply kill the plant. The lush, healthy leaves of strawberries are, above all, protection. Protection of the root system, heart and flower buds located in the axils of the upper leaves from the harmful effects of low temperatures.
But sanitary cleaning is a smart choice to maintain overall plant health and prepare for a successful winter. If the leaves are partially speckled, then it's okay, you can leave it. But twisted, dried, sick, rotten should be removed. As well as old flower stalks, whiskers and remnants of dried fruits.
It is important that garden strawberries receive sufficient nutrition before wintering. It is necessary to feed the strawberries at the right time. This will help to gain strength to combat negative factors in winter and build up a powerful root system. It is worth abandoning drugs with a high nitrogen content, and focusing on phosphorus and potassium. Master, Plantafol (Planter) will do well.
Another technique for protecting the root zone is hilling. After shallow loosening, the soil is raked directly to the bushes. In frosty and little snowy winters, this technique allows you to protect the root system of plants.
To protect the root system and soil from severe freezing in the garden bed, you need to carefully mulch the soil surface. Both sawdust and whole peat, the same leaves or well-rotted manure are suitable. The layer thickness should be at least 10 centimeters. Well, agrofibre itself and agrofibre are excellent mulching materials.
Treatment with drugs. When and how is it better to process?
A prerequisite for processing is the complete absence of berries on the bushes. For common varieties, this is the month of September. And the purpose of the treatment is the treatment or prevention of diseases and pests. This gives the strawberries the strength to prepare for a successful wintering and set flower buds for future harvest. It will be competent to carry out the processing with chemicals after sanitizing and trimming the leaves (pruning point).
Insectoacaricides Aktellik, Aktofit will help (apply at an air temperature of at least 20 C degrees). They will help get rid of not only ticks, but also a wide range of other pests. Effective drugs will be copper-based fungicides (copper oxychloride, Medyan Extra) and systemic (Ridomil Gold, Horus).
How to shelter strawberries for the winter from frost
Shelter is one of the most important elements of protection. In regions with snowy, stably cold winters, you can not worry about the shelter of strawberries. But where there is a danger of temperature "swings" and little snowy winter, it is worth thoroughly approaching the issue of shelter.
Agrofibre is an excellent covering material
Agrofibre (synonyms agrotextile, spunbond, lutrasil, non-woven material) - for regions with mild winters, a density of 30 is suitable, with more severe ones - 40, 50. Spunbond is the name of the technology for making fibers from a polymer material. In general, agrofiber and spunbond are the same thing.
The fiber is spread directly over the bushes, and the edges are buried in the ground. An excellent option would be to install low arcs, and it is already worth rolling out agrofibre on them. A microclimate is created under spunbond, and an early (up to 2 weeks) ripening of berries is obtained. Moreover, the larger the air layer, the better the wintering. Today agrofibre is the most objective choice among covering materials and the best way to protect against frost. By the way, in summer, it can help protect plants from the scorching sun.
Film is absolutely the wrong option.
Covering strawberries for the winter with a film is completely wrong. Such a covering material will contribute to the complete loss of strawberry harvest. The film can only be used to cover crops that are resistant to damping, for example, blackberries. Without air access, diseases develop quickly, plus strawberries just spray. Especially during the winter thaws.
One of the options for shelter for the winter is to use fallen leaves. Not the best option, but in the absence of other options, it will do. It is not advisable to cover with oak leaves, to a lesser extent walnut. First of all, the leaves must be healthy. But there is a danger of damping out the strawberries under them. The main thing is to carefully cover the root zone, and cover the plants themselves with a layer of no more than 10-15 centimeters.
It is possible, but you will have to use a large fraction to prevent caking, and in the spring it is imperative to shovel them from the beds. During the winter, pathogenic bacteria accumulate in them and pests hibernate. And also, when rotting, they draw nitrogen from the topsoil. And coniferous sawdust also acidifies the soil.
Shelter with cut-off plastic bottles of 2 liters or more is acceptable. The bottle, as it were, is put on top of the bush with the neck up. The lower (cut) part is screwed into the ground and compacted. It is important to remove the plug from the neck, otherwise the strawberries will blow out. And this technique is used more often when breeding clematis.
For shelter, only dry pine needles are suitable, without forest soil, which contains a huge amount of weed seeds. For plants, it is more acceptable and useful to shelter for the winter with needles than with leaves.
Pre-winter moisture charge, loosening and weeding
Important points in preparation for wintering are the abundant pre-winter soil moisture, as well as weeding and loosening of the soil.
Features of preparing for the winter of different types of strawberries. Correctly preparing the bushes for wintering
The difference between remontant varieties and ordinary ones is their constant fruiting during the season. Therefore, before preparing the remontant strawberry bushes for wintering, this feature must be taken into account.
Follow standard agricultural techniques, and apply all of the above techniques.
The main difference from the usual one is that the bushes often leave in winter with berries and color. And how, then, is it better to prepare remontant strawberries for winter? Before sheltering, it is advisable to carefully cut everything out. And also remontant varieties, due to constant fruiting, require more dressing.
When to start preparing for winter by region?
Depending on the region, the preparatory actions for wintering strawberries must be carried out at the correct time.
In the south, given the warm autumn, work on preparing strawberries for wintering begins in the first or even in the second half of September. And they end, depending on the weather, at the end of September, the first decade of October.
In the Middle Strip, it is advisable to start preparing from the end of August, beginning of September and finish by the middle of the first autumn month.
Ural and Siberia. Better to prepare in August
In Siberia and the Urals, winter comes early, so preparatory work begins in the first ten days of August, and ends in the second half.