What's wrong with my strawberry plants

Growing strawberries in the garden

Status: 03.05.2021 8:12 a.m.

The strawberry is one of the most popular garden crops. So that the plants grow well and bear a lot of fruit, the right location and the right care are important when planting.

There are more than 20 types of strawberry, as well as numerous varieties that have arisen through breeding. Proper care and the right location are prerequisites for a successful harvest. The sunnier the place in the garden, the sweeter the fruits will be. In addition, strawberries should grow in a more sheltered place.

What soil do strawberries need?

A deep and well-drained soil offers optimal conditions. It should be rich in humus and nutrients. A slightly acidic environment with a pH value between 5.5 and 6.5 is particularly beneficial. The roots of the strawberry are very susceptible to fungal diseases. The red root rot appears, for example, when the soil is too wet due to rain for a long time.

There is a risk of fungal attack even with wet leaves, which can make the plant sick very quickly. So that the strawberries do not come into unnecessary contact with water when they are watered, so-called drip hoses are recommended: from them, the water rolls, droplet by droplet, only on the lower part of the plants.

When should strawberries be planted?

For most varieties, the best time to plant begins in July and lasts until around September. The first fruits can be harvested as early as the following year. Long-bearing varieties such as "Evita", "Fresca", "Rapella" and "Tribute" usually bear fruit until October. Ground-covering varieties such as "Florika" and "Spadeka" produce medium-sized fruits and are considered to be particularly sweet.

If you missed the time to plant in late summer, you can plant the delicious berries in spring. Then, however, the harvest is usually rather small. In general, all strawberries need sufficient water when they are replanted.

Change location regularly and prune strawberries

Those who prune their strawberries regularly can count on good yields.

Strawberries produce the greatest yield in the second and third year after planting. Then the bed should be changed and new young plants or cuttings inserted. For example, a former bean patch is well suited. The bean roots enrich the soil with nitrogen, which is good for the young strawberries.

Older strawberry plants should be pruned after harvest. If leaves are left standing, they deprive the plant of fiber and flower formation in the following year is inhibited. Unnecessary offshoots should also be cut off. Generously remove the outer wreath of leaves as well as ailing or rotten leaves, do not cut too deeply, the heart should not be damaged under any circumstances.

It is very easy to propagate strawberries

Strawberries can be easily propagated using cuttings: For this, the so-called junior plants that have formed on the parent plant's runners are carefully cut off with a sharp knife. So that they can gather strength and develop strong roots, plant two to three young strawberries in a pot with compost and place them in a sunny and sheltered place for one to two weeks. Then they can be planted in the garden.

Alternatively, the young plant can be put in a pot - without cutting off the "umbilical cord". So the plant is optimally supplied. After two to three weeks, the root ball has developed well. You can tell by the beautiful, fresh white roots. Then it is time to cut the "umbilical cord" and put the plant to bed.

Mulching against weeds and snails

Mulch in the bed keeps the soil moist and protects against weeds.

By embedding the strawberry plants in straw ("light mulching"), the moisture stays in the soil longer. In addition, the berries do not lie directly on the ground and do not silt up. Mulching also prevents weed growth and keeps unloved snails away. Before spreading the straw, loosen the soil and remove weeds. Use a special berry fertilizer for fertilization. It contains a lot of potassium and particularly promotes fruit formation.

Prepare the strawberry patch for the harvest in the coming year

At the latest when the foliage of the strawberry plants begins to change color, it should be cut off. If the leaves remain standing, they deprive the plant of fiber. This inhibits the next bloom formation. If you have a large strawberry patch, you can do the cutting with the lawn mower. The only important thing is not to mow too deep. The heart leaves of the plants must be preserved. Another advantage of mowing is that the old leaves end up in the grass catcher. Because diseases can lie dormant in the leaves.

To complete the preparation, cut off the runners or side shoots that are not needed. Then dig up the middle path again and the strawberry patch is ready. In September the strawberries can also tolerate fertilizer again. It is best to use a plant-based organic fertilizer and diluted nettle manure.

Plant strawberries in the pot

If you don't have a garden, you can still grow your own strawberries: They thrive in pots or tubs. Here, too, the prerequisite is loose, humus-rich and only lightly fertilized soil.

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Quickly through the garden | 05/03/2021 | 9:00 p.m.