Strawberries are a category of fruits that come in various sorts and belong to the rose family. They have a vibrant red color, heart-shaped, with a speckle of tiny seeds. The fruit is well-known for its distinctive aroma, juicy consistency, and sweetness.
Strawberries are one of the most popular fruits in the world. They are easy to grow and maintain and as long as you give them enough water, sunlight, and room for their roots to grow, you are good to go.
This post will talk about how to grow, plant, and harvest strawberries. But first of all, let’s see the health benefits of growing them.
Benefits of Strawberries
- Eating strawberries can keep you from getting cancer
- Strawberry can assist in the prevention of allergies and asthma
- It helps boost your immune system
- Strawberry can help you see better
- It helps improve brain function
- It helps in managing diabetes
- It helps to combat hair loss and thinning
- It is an effective cure for dandruff
- Strawberries have good anti-aging properties
- Strawberries are a great way to hydrate and exfoliate your skin.
- It helps to prevent congenital abnormalities such as spina bifida.
- Strawberries are rich in nitrates, which help the body’s blood flow and circulation levels.
Now that you have seen the benefits of consuming strawberries, let’s see some of their uses.
Uses of Strawberries
Apart from consuming it fresh from the garden, you can also use strawberries to make delicacies such as
How to Grow and Harvest Strawberries
Strawberries are a reasonably simple plant and produce, and you may even grow them in tiny spaces or large garden areas. Here’s how to grow them.
When you want to grow strawberries consider choosing one of these garden strawberry varieties.
You must prepare your garden for strawberry planting once you have determined where you will plant strawberries. To eradicate competing grasses, plow and till the land the year before you wish to produce your strawberries.
To increase soil quality, produce a green manure plant such as sudangrass the year before cultivating them.
Growing strawberries depends on the pH of the soil at your location. The soil must be slightly acidic to produce strawberries successfully. Strawberry plants can thrive in soil with a pH of 5.8 to 6.2 for maximum growth and yield.
To establish an excellent possible environment for producing strawberries, before sowing your strawberries, assess your soil and adjust to what you need.
Strawberry plants require eight hours of full sun every day to thrive, but you can grow them anywhere that receives six to ten hours of sunlight per day. The crop will not do well if you plant it in less light.
You need to keep strawberry plants moist at all times, so you must water regularly. To grow strawberries well, deliver at least an inch of water to the plants, either by rainfall or additional irrigation.
Apply up to two inches of water while the fruit matures from early bloom through the end of picking. During the dry months of August and September, continue to water your plants.
Remember that while strawberries require a lot of water to thrive, they don’t like to remain in standing water. And that is why you need adequate drainage on your land.
Start by applying nutrient-rich, organic soil and a one-pound-per-100-square-foot application of a balanced fertilizer at the time of sowing. Fertilize again after you renovate June-bearers or after the second collection of day-neutrals and everbearing kinds.
Don’t over-fertilize your plants, as this may result in extensive leaf growth and poor blooming. To avoid frost damage to new shoots, do not fertilize your strawberry plant during the cold season.
Strawberries generate many runners, which should be left alone, but Clip these runners off of day-neutral and everbearing types.
Pick the buds off the stems during the first year. Because the plant will focus its energy on building healthy roots rather than fruit in the first year, the production will increase dramatically in the second year.
Mulching the strawberry plants in the cold season will protect the crowns in colder climates. Layer the bed with a few inches of straw, pine needles, or broken leaves as the temperature dips to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
The straw gives enough insulation to protect the strawberry tops from a harsh freeze while allowing air and water to pass through. Use a mulch that you can easily remove in the springtime.
Keep Pest and Diseases at Bay
Some several pests and diseases attack the strawberry plant; luckily, they are all manageable. Here are two examples
Japanese beetles feast on foliage and wreak havoc on flowers as adults. These bugs will inflict considerable plant damage if left unchecked.
Cover with Japanese beetle netting to protect your plants from these pests, and if you see adult beetles on the plants, you may handpick them and place them in soapy water.
Reduce the number of Japanese beetles roosting in the soil by releasing parasitic nematodes.
Gray Mold Disease
Gray mold is a widespread fungus that turns strawberry flowers brown and kills them. It also causes the fruit to become deformed and rotten. On the decomposing tissue, you’ll notice clumps of gray mycelium, and the fruit will finally become desiccated and mummified.
After periods of excessive humidity and wetness, gray mold appears. It is impossible to control the weather, but you can influence the environment. Keep plants widely spaced and water at the soil line.
All dead or diseased material must be removed and destroyed, and discard any deteriorating fruits. Fungicides are an excellent way to combat it, but there’s no assurance they’ll work.
The strawberries are sweetest when they’re fully mature. And in late spring, the fruit takes three weeks to develop but arrives sooner than other times of the year.
Most types need to leave the berries on the vine for a day or two after they have full red color, though you will have to taste them to be sure.
It is easy to bruise the strawberry fruit when picking from the plant, and because of this, you must be cautious. Rather than pulling on the fruit itself, twist or cut the stem right above it. Store harvested fruits in a cool, shady area.
Strawberries are a simple plant to grow; they can do well in small spaces and have many health benefits. You can also use the fruit for beauty purposes. For example, you can use strawberries to cleanse and exfoliate your skin. Apart from consuming directly from the garden, you can also make beautiful delicacies.
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