Why do strawberries have small berries?
When growing strawberries, farmers often encounter the problem of chopping berries. What is the reason for the formation of clumsy strawberries, as well as how to deal with the problem, read below.
Causes of Strawberry Fineness and Dryness
There are a lot of factors that can provoke chopping strawberry fruits. The main reasons that the berries do not develop, and their flesh is dried out, are:
- plantation contamination with another variety;
- neglect of the rules for changing old plants;
- violation of the rules of wintering;
- thickening of stands;
- lack of pollination.
All these factors are a consequence of the wrong approach to agricultural technology of crop cultivation.
Not picked strawberries in time, which crumble, give new sprouts. It is these sprouts that are “weeds” - small strawberries will grow on them, with mediocre taste. After seeds enter the soil, it is difficult to notice weed specimens in the sprouted seedlings. Leaf plates on them are no different from varietal plants.
Did you know? Strawberries belong to those few representatives of the flora whose seeds are formed from the outside of the fruit. About 200 seeds are located on the entire outer surface of the berry.
Like any other plants on the site, strawberries require periodic renewal. Old bushes (over 5 years old) are not able to produce high-quality crops.
When the spring suddenly becomes warm, strawberries give new shoots. But good weather, especially in temperate latitudes, is misleading. Often, after a week of warming up to + 15 ° C, return frosts come, which has a detrimental effect on the state of vegetation that has already managed to release new shoots.
In addition to return frosts, strawberries can also suffer in winter from severe frosts, if they were not adequately covered. Signs of freezing will be noticeable in the flowering phase - the core of the flower has an unnatural black color. This means that a good harvest can not be expected.
The main pest that provokes the chopping, desiccation of strawberry berries is the strawberry weevil. The female of this parasite lays its eggs in flower buds. Hatched larvae feed on plant sap, which leads to a lack of nutrition.Accordingly, the plant is simply unable to form a berry of sufficient size. Reproduction of pests and diseases, most often, is a consequence of non-compliance with crop rotation rules, as well as the wrong choice of terrain for plantations.
With thickening of the plantations, the berries are formed small. This is due to a lack of nutrition. Thickly planted plants spend more effort on suppressing each other, so they no longer have the strength to form high-quality berries.
There was no pollination
There are varieties of strawberries related to dioecious plants.. This means that the bush will not bear fruit if it does not have a pair (pollinator). In addition, due to weather conditions (rainy season, high humidity), bees, which are actually pollinators, may not visit the plantation at all. In such cases, even after abundant flowering, there will be no harvest.
Did you know? There are varieties of strawberries that give white berries, and not the usual red ones. Their taste is also specific, like the look - it resembles a pineapple.
How to deal with the problem?
In order to avoid problems with chopping strawberry fruits, you need to follow the basic rules of agricultural technology when caring for this crop. First you need to choose the right site, because the plants will be on it for 3 years, no less. Strawberry bushes should not be kept longer in one place. Just at the moment when the location of the plants on the site will be changed, it is necessary to carry out a replacement so that the strawberries do not degenerate due to old age.
The site for planting strawberries should be leveled or located under a southwestern slope, sheltered from the wind, since the rhizomes of this crop freeze already at -10 ...- 12 ° С. The soil is necessarily loose and water-intensive. Before planting, for six months and in the spring, the territory must be aerated, a sufficient amount of fertilizer is applied. Before fertilizing, in the autumn, the soil should be carefully treated for diseases and pests. At this stage, the drug Fitosporin is well suited (dilute 5:10). Without these measures, good fruiting can not be expected.
Important! Strawberries can not be planted next to and after potatoes, as well as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant.
The most acceptable option is a two-line landing, where:
- between plants a step of 20 cm is observed;
- between the lines there is a distance of 30 cm;
- between ridges a step of 1 m is maintained.
In the flowering phase, vegetation that does not bloom at all, and also gives small flowers, is necessarily removed - such specimens are cleaned directly with the roots. When the strawberries sing, it must be carefully peeled from the bushes. It is also necessary to remove the spoiled fruits, eaten by pests, so that they do not get into the soil and give seedlings. The crumbled fruits must also be collected.Proper watering of plants is very important. Without enough moisture in the soil, the berries will be small and not juicy enough. The optimal soil moisture level for strawberries is 50-60%. It is best to install a drip irrigation system in order to be able to metered supply water under each bush.
To avoid the propagation of pests, the soil must be thoroughly loosened after watering, and then mulched so that moisture does not get on the leaves. In addition, before flowering, when the buds are already noticeable, but no later than 5 days before opening, it is necessary to carry out treatment with insecticides. You can use 1% solution of copper sulfate.
In the flowering phase, you need to take care of a sufficient number of pollinating insects. If the plantation is quite large (from 1 ha), it is advisable to purchase a swarm of bees or bumblebees. In small areas, to attract bees, spraying with a honey solution is used - per 1 liter of water 1 tbsp. l honey. Spraying should be carried out carefully on the leaf so as not to get on the flowers and not wash off the pollen. In addition, when choosing a variety for planting, it is necessary to immediately study its features and characteristics regarding pollination. The most correct option is to plant on two ridges of different varieties with a similar flowering period. In this case, the yield will be significantly higher.
Important! When choosing a strawberry variety, always be guided by information about its regionalization - strawberries may not produce fruit due to the inappropriate climate.
Very important role in the formation of a full crop is played by top dressing. The first is introduced in the phase of the appearance of the buds, a couple of days after etching. At this stage, a compost ash solution is used. To prepare it, add 10 kg of compost and 500 g of ash to 10 liters of water. Insist 10 days. To the finished substance, add 10 liters of water and make under the plants. The amount received will be enough for 20 bushes. Immediately after flowering, you can use an ash solution. 300 g of ash are added to 10 liters of water, boiled for 15 minutes. After cooling, decanted, add another 5 liters of water and sprayed on the sheet. This manipulation serves as an excellent prophylaxis against pests. Instead of a solution, you can use just ashes in dry form - it is simply scattered on the leaves and soil around the plants.
Proper preparation of strawberries for the winter
One of the most important activities in growing strawberries is preparing for the winter. If you neglect it, the roots will freeze, which will lead to a decrease in the immunity of plants, as a result of which some of them will die, and some will yield a poor harvest and will often be attacked by pests and pathogens.
Immediately after fruiting, you need to inspect all plants. Instances damaged by diseases or pests should be removed immediately from the site and burned. Having thoroughly sanitized the instrument, the prolific specimens are cut off. The main thing is not to catch the new shoots and leaves that have already begun to grow. After trimming, you should perform processing with copper sulfate (1%).
After 7-10 days after the end of fruiting, the last top dressing should be performed. At this stage, you can use a mullein solution in combination with superphosphate. For 10 l of water you need to add 1 kg of liquid mullein (100 g of dry chicken droppings can be) and 10 g of superphosphate. This will be enough to fertilize 12 bushes. After fertilizing, under the bushes and between rows, cultivation is carried out.
Plants that give an early harvest should not be left without moisture until the onset of cold weather. Until the very end of the season, you need to maintain humidity in the garden at around 50%. Watering should be stopped approximately in the middle of September - October, depending on the climate of the growing region. The milder the weather, the later they stop watering.
Immediately after stopping irrigation, the soil under the bushes and in the aisles is mulched with peat - the layer height is about 5 cm. Then a layer of compost 2-3 cm high is laid out. Before the onset of cold weather, after about 2 weeks, plantings are covered with spruce branches.
Tips for beginner gardeners
Some useful tips for beginning gardeners from experienced farmers:
- Plants planted last year may not produce crops in the next season. This is due to the timing of landing. To try the crop of young plantings, it is necessary to lay a strawberry bed in mid-July, in extreme cases in early August.
- To attract bees to the site, instead of spraying with a honey solution, anise or coriander oil can be used. For 1 liter of water, only 2 drops of one of the oils will be required.
- Remove cover material from strawberry plantings only after the threat of return frost has passed. If possible, you can remove it in the warm time of the day, and put it back at night.
Did you know? Not only desserts, jams are prepared from strawberries and they are consumed raw. Berries are served with cheese, used to make sauces for meat, and even fried in olive oil with black pepper.
Strawberry berry fading is the result of improper care. With the timely implementation of the rules of agricultural technology and maintaining the beds clean, such problems do not arise.