How to grow strawberries on the balcony all year round
Growing strawberries on the balcony is not difficult. Thus, you will receive both delicious berries and the decoration of the room. To learn how to grow this delicacy in containers all year round, suitable varieties and care for them, read further in the article.
Can strawberries be grown on the balcony?
Strawberries - one of the representatives of the genus Strawberries (Fragaria). More precisely, this term refers to green strawberries (Fragaria viridis) and musk strawberries (Fragaria moschata). The latter has many more synonymous names - nutmeg strawberries, garden strawberries, real strawberries, spanish strawberries.
It can be grown on the balcony in containers, both for decorative purposes and in order to get a small crop of these wonderful berries to the table. Container growing is also suitable for those who do not have enough free space on the site.
- Among the advantages of a non-standard location:
- balcony decoration;
- compact beds;
- the possibility of harvesting almost all year round (depending on grade);
- obtaining environmentally friendly, fresh berries.
If the balcony faces the north side, just install the backlight and insulate it. The containerized form of cultivation provides better protection against slugs and other pests. A good air circulation around the leaves can help prevent the occurrence of diseases.
Important! Plants need fresh air. But on a windy day, it is better to cover the balcony, as strawberries can not stand drafts.
What varieties are most suitable for growing
Varieties with a long fruiting period, from June to September, are often selected for the balcony. They grow, develop at any length of daylight hours and are characterized by several waves of fruiting. Particularly distinguished is the repair variety Tristar. It bears fruit well for 4 years, tolerates coolness, forms berries weighing up to 30 g.
Variety Temptation - a hybrid of the first generation. Each bush forms up to 20 peduncles with beautiful pale pink flowers. Its berries are distinguished by excellent organoleptic qualities. The weight of the berry is up to 30 g. During the season you will receive up to 1.5 kg of excellent fruits. If you place the bushes of this variety in a cache-pot, then the hanging fruits will decorate any room. Variety Temptation withstands frosts down to –17 ° С.
Alpine strawberry plants (Fragaria vesca) is also suitable for growing in containers. Its flowers and fruits are much smaller, but the plants themselves - compact and dense, will be an excellent decoration of the balcony.
The most popular varieties: Alexandria, Rugen and Mignonet. Their berries are bright red. Rugen remontant strawberry is considered one of the most productive forest varieties, fruiting up to frost. Exotic “White Soul” and “Yellow Wonder” will delight you with a harvest of creamy white berries.
Preparatory work for growing
Preparation for planting strawberries begins with the acquisition of high-quality planting material. Since the plant propagates with antennae, you can order sockets in a nursery or purchase on the market. Seedlings are purchased from July to September.
When buying, pay attention to the following signs:
|Leaves||powerful, juicy, green|
|Number of leaves||not less than 3|
|The diameter of the root neck||0.7 mm|
Selection of containers for growing
Strawberries can adapt to any type of container: from round, 15–20 cm in diameter, intended for individual plants, to large rectangular pots designed for several bushes.
It also grows well in hanging planters and vertical planters, which are containers with a nutrient medium and several small pockets on the sides for growing plants.Given that the planter is not convenient to water, most gardeners prefer to buy ordinary containers and pots.
Soil for growing strawberries
Plants need nutritious soil. It can be a mixture of turf land and humus. The optimal proportion is 1: 1. It can also be a potted mix for flowers. Before planting, wash the pots with detergent. If they were already in use, then they are disinfected.
At the bottom lay drainage, and then the soil mixture to half the pot. Plant a plant. Fill the container with soil so that the neck of the outlet is above the soil.
Strawberries need at least 6–8 hours of bright sun. Water as necessary so that the soil is slightly moist. Apply water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks - from late spring to late summer.
It can be "Nitroammofoska" in the amount of - 1 tbsp. 5 liter spoon water. The best type of fertilizer is considered balanced. In them, the ratio of parts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium should be the same. For example, 10-10-10 (%).
Did you know? When eating strawberries, some people have an allergic reaction. Its most common form is oral allergy syndrome. Allergen is a product of the biosynthesis of red pigment substance. Therefore, such people are recommended to consume white varieties of this berry.
Seed preparation before planting
Each strawberry contains more than 200 seeds. But unfortunately, not all varieties of this berry are propagated by seeds. Hybrids are grown vegetatively, and species varieties - seeds. Unlike hybrids, repair varieties are grown from seeds.
They are sown in March, and in regions with a cold climate in April. For sowing prepare a box with soil. Seeds are distributed on the surface of the soil and lightly sprinkled with sand on top. I spray water from a spray bottle and cover with a film.
Shoots will appear in a few days.
A box with seeds must be put in a place where "a lot" of the sun. You can put it on the balcony. When about 6 normal leaves form on them, transplant the plants to a permanent place.
Dates and technology of planting strawberry seeds
Planting in containers is carried out from spring to autumn. The air temperature should be around + 22 ° C, but if the balcony is glazed, then you can land at any time. In winter, plants are not planted. But already growing bushes do not die. They are immersed in a state of rest. In this phase, their metabolic needs are reduced to a minimum. But as soon as the temperature rises, green leaves form on them again.
Important! Seedlings of repairing varieties for the balcony can be cultivated from November to get a crop in the spring.
Rules for the care of strawberries on the balcony
In containers, strawberries can grow as productively as in soil.
But since in nature it does not grow in pots, a number of important rules should be considered:
- These plants are compact and fit easily into most pots. But they “love” space and grow poorly in cramped conditions. Therefore, the diameter of the pot for one plant should be at least 20 cm.
- The root system is superficial, so the height of the pot should not exceed 15 cm.
- Strawberries propagated by layering mustache. For potted plants, this is impractical. Therefore, they must be cut so that they do not reduce the productivity of the bushes.
- Strawberries of all sorts grow in a temperate climate. In pots, the soil heats up faster and cools longer than outdoors. To avoid diseases, you need to surround them with insulating material.
- Watering plants is carried out as the soil dries. Type of irrigation - root or sprinkling method.
- In winter, container plants should be brought into the basement or in an unheated garage.
Harvesting and storage
Berries of most varieties begin to ripen in June. Depending on the variety, the bushes can bear fruit until the fall. You can pick fruits as they ripen and eat fresh.Collect berries using your thumb and forefinger to separate the stem directly above it, rather than pulling it toward you.
If you have a large plantation of strawberries in pots, then you can store the crop in the refrigerator for 2-5 days or freeze it. It is not recommended to pour the berries in several layers, so as not to crush the lower berries. They need to be washed only if they will be consumed immediately.
Growing strawberries in pots is not difficult. Therefore, if you decide to decorate the balcony with plants with bright berries, be sure to do it. Among the undoubted advantages are beauty and the receipt of fresh fruits directly to the table. Use your knowledge and enjoy the result.