Strawberries are one of the most popular berry crops; in each garden there are several beds with fruitful varieties, giving ruddy fragrant berries from spring to autumn. In order to collect a rich harvest of delicious berries, it is worth carefully looking after the plantings of strawberries, carefully performing all agrotechnical measures. It is especially important to carry out timely feeding of berry bushes, otherwise the harvest of ruby berries may not impress with its abundance.
How to Fertilize Strawberries
Spring: Time to Fertilize Strawberries
On strawberry beds, gardeners grow two types of strawberries:
- Disposable varieties – fruiting occurs in late spring or early summer, bushes massively yield fragrant berries in a short period of time.
- Repairing varieties – ripening of berries continues from spring to autumn in pronounced waves.
In order to select NPK ratio, application time and high-quality chemical composition you should take into account the plant breed. Incorrectly selected formulations for feeding berry bushes can affect a decrease in yield and an increase in the ripening period of fragrant strawberries.
For all types of strawberries, the following fertilization scheme is optimal:
- First year – Plants are not fertilized; the starting fertilizer added to the soil during planting provides nutrition to the bushes.
- Second year – Mineral and organic compounds.
- The third year – Top dressing is carried out only with mineral compositions.
- Fourth year – Mineral and organic compounds.
Usually after 4 years of planting strawberries are updated, so the scheme is repeated when growing new berry bushes.
Fertilize strawberries in early spring
Immediately after the snow melts, it is necessary to carry out the first feeding of strawberry bushes, it is very important to carry out these works before the appearance of new leaves. In different regions, depending on the climate, this period falls on different months. In the south, the first feeding of strawberries can be carried out at the end of March; in the middle lane, the timing of nutrient introduction for plants is shifted to April.
It is very convenient to combine the first feeding of strawberries with trimming old leaves and whiskers, removing the mulch layer and debris from the berry beds. The compositions are introduced into the soil immediately after putting things in order in the berry. The purpose of early spring feeding is to provide nutrients to strawberry bushes, which are preparing for an intensive build-up of green mass. At this time, plants need additional fertilizing with an increased proportion of nitrogen, which stimulates the regrowth of new leaves.
Fertilizers for early spring feeding of strawberries can have a different composition; feeding with nitrate or urea is especially popular.
Feeding strawberries with saltpeter-based formulations in spring is necessary for the rapid formation of new leaves, as well as for increasing the size of the berries and saturating the color. With a lack of nitrogen, the plants form not only a frail bush, but also yield small, tasteless berries.
For the first feeding of berries, you need to prepare an aqueous solution of ammonium nitrate, dissolving 1 tbsp in 10 liters of water. a spoonful of dry matter. The bushes are watered at the root, the consumption rate of the nutrient solution is from 0.5 to 1 liter for each plant.
Important! You cannot prepare more saturated solutions and water the plants with a large amount of fertilizer, an overdose will not lead to anything good, the berries will become sour, having lost a significant proportion of sugar in their composition.
Carbamide (urea) is ideal for proper fertilization of strawberries on soils of any composition. In case of an overdose of the nutrient solution, the taste of the berries will deteriorate, they will become tasteless and sour.
Foliar dressing of strawberries is carried out three times per season:
- At the stage of emergence of young leaves.
- During the flowering period.
- At the moment of ovary formation.
Early spring feeding of strawberries allows you to stimulate the growth of berry bushes, strengthen them and increase yields.