Where does a good strawberry crop come from? It is laid in July – September of the previous year. Post-harvest strawberry care in July and August is the basis for next year’s harvest
At this time, the second wave of leaf growth begins, as well as the regrowth of new horns and the laying of new flower buds. In the horns, nutrients are deposited, which the plants of garden strawberries will spend next year for the formation of berries. Old leaves that have completed their function begin to die off, a large number of whiskers appear. The second half of summer is the best time to take care of the future harvest. So, the berry picking is over. How to care for strawberries further?
Pruning old strawberry leaves
Carefully cut off any old leaves, being careful not to damage the hearts and young leaves. It is more convenient to do this if garden strawberries of different varieties in your beds are selected according to the terms of fruiting, and varieties of the same timing are grouped in rows. Early varieties can be treated first until young leaves appear. At the same time, later varieties continue to bear fruit. Do not be late with this procedure, because as the young foliage grows, you will need more time and diligence. In addition, diseases and pests that have appeared on old leaves during the season will have time to move to new ones.
Remove season-dried leaves and all plant debris from your plantings: pathogens also remain on them. If you notice that the growing young strawberry leaves are shriveled, deformed, this means that the plants are infected with a strawberry mite. Treat the strawberries with any tick medicine (acaricide). A good result is given by treatment with Actellik, Kleschevit (aka Fitoverm), Titovit Jet or a solution of colloidal sulfur.
How to loosen and fertilize strawberries at the end of the season
Thoroughly loosen the soil in the aisles to a depth of 10 cm. It is impossible to loosen deeply directly near the bushes, so as not to damage the root system. In strawberries, it is located superficially. While loosening, slightly huddle the bushes so that the adventitious roots growing on the strawberry horns at this time are under a layer of soil.
Considering that during this period strawberries are gaining strength for the next fruiting and are very demanding on the supply of nutrients, it is necessary to make top dressing. To do this, apply a complete mineral fertilizer with trace elements to the soil. Calculation: 20-30 grams per 1 square meter. Special strawberry fertilizers are best suited for this, containing all the necessary elements in a balanced form. Ammophoska is not bad for this purpose: in addition to the basic nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium), it contains calcium, magnesium and sulfur. Chlorine fertilizers should be avoided, because strawberries cannot tolerate chlorine. A very good result is given by the introduction of humus, which not only fertilizes the soil, but also significantly improves its structure.
How to water strawberries in the second half of summer
Keep the soil moist until the end of the season, watering sparingly but abundantly. Frequent surface watering usually does not benefit strawberries. After watering abundantly, loosen the soil to remove weeds. Cut out the newly growing mustache – fruiting for next year will be much weaker if the bush spends energy on the formation of daughter rosettes, and not flower buds. Timely removal of the mustache stimulates the formation of new flower buds. Powerfully overgrown young leaves in winter cover the strawberry bush and contribute to a more successful overwintering.