Garden

How to protect strawberries from weeds

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Strawberry cultivation is fraught with many difficulties, but one of the main problems that a conscientious gardener has to face is weed control. The point is not only that weeding is in itself a rather exhausting occupation, but also that the delicate superficial roots of strawberries do not respond well to the slightest damage to them. But removing the weeds from planting with strawberries, voluntarily or unwittingly have to touch its roots. Therefore, the protection of strawberries from weeds is the overriding task in the cultivation of this beloved berry of all. It is advisable not to allow them to appear on the beds with strawberries, in general, so that you do not have to fight with someone later.

Where do weeds come from strawberries

Before you think about how to get rid of weeds, you need to understand how they, in general, appeared there. Most often, the problem begins long before the strawberry planting when selecting and developing a plot intended for its cultivation. The fact is that strawberries are a crop for which the process of cleaning the soil from weeds is vital when preparing the planting beds. If at this point you do not focus your attention and leave rhizomes of perennial weeds in the soil, then this is quite capable of destroying a significant part of the crop.

But even if the initial planting of strawberries were well cleared of weeds, usually after harvest, gardeners tend to forget about strawberries and until the fall weeds have time to germinate again and even have time to seed. The result, which appears before the eyes in early spring - depressingly serious - strawberry bushes are framed by the greenery of weeds and we have to start all over again.

The first stage of protecting strawberries from weeds

If it is possible to completely clear the ground from the rhizomes of perennial weeds (with any mechanical treatment, the seeds will remain in the soil in any case) before laying the strawberry plantation, then we can already assume that half the work has been done. In the event that you have to deal with the “virgin soil” of a rapidly overgrown bindling, couch grass, chaff and other perennial weeds, the digging method with careful selection of all rhizomes works only on very small areas.

Attention! On large areas such work is very unproductive and, by and large, useless.

It is here that the tactic of the use of continuous action herbicides will work perfectly.

Use of herbicides in the pre-planting period

It is best to start preparing the plot for planting strawberries in the autumn, although it is possible to do this in early spring. Processing of the future beds must be completed no later than two weeks before the planting of strawberry or strawberry seedlings. You can use the following drugs:

  • Hurricane Forte;
  • Roundup;
  • Tornado.

All these preparations contain as the main active ingredient glyphosate, which is approved for use on summer cottages. Depending on the manufacturer, different percentages of active ingredient may occur in different packages. Pay attention to this, because as a result, both the cost and dosage can vary greatly. Preparations are quite effective for preplant soil treatment in compliance with the instructions for use and can get rid of almost all popular varieties of weeds.

You can achieve better results with appropriate preparation of beds. Since the drugs do not act on the weed seeds in the soil, it is necessary to stimulate their germination as much as possible.

To do this, all unnecessary vegetation must first be mowed and removed from the beds. Then, loosen the beds with a flat-cutter or cultivator and compact the surface layer to ensure better contact of the weed seeds with the soil.

The next stage requires a good watering.

Important! If there is no natural precipitation, it is necessary to sprinkle the beds, because without irrigation, it is not the seeds, but the processes of rhizomes that will begin to germinate vigorously.

When young weeds reach a height of 10-15 cm, they are treated with the selected herbicide strictly according to the instructions. After treatment, it is necessary that from one to two days there should be no rain and other watering. It is also important not to loosen the soil on the cultivated soil for one to two weeks.

Application of organic technology

If you want to learn how to protect strawberries from weeds on your plot before planting without using chemicals, then there is another equally effective technology. For more than 10 years, EM products have been used by supporters of organic farming. The essence of their use for weed control is as follows.

On a selected plot of land, it is necessary to mow down with ordinary slanting or flat-cutters all vegetation you don't need. Then on the same day, the entire area is thoroughly spilled with any of the EM preparations. It is important that the concentration exceeds 10 times the usual, which is used for processing of cultivated plants.

Attention! For this treatment, it is necessary that the temperature on the soil surface be at least + 10 ° C.

Active microorganisms that make up the EM-preparations, hitting the fresh sections of weeds, begin to actively feed them and soon weeds die with the roots. It is interesting that at the same time microorganisms trapped in the soil cause active germination of weed seeds. If this procedure is carried out in the fall a few weeks before the frost, the weed shoots will soon be ruined by the first autumn frosts.

If you have in sufficient quantity any black material (film, roofing felt, non-woven material), then having covered all future beds for strawberries before planting, you can finally get rid of weeds. After all, having spent several months without sunlight, both young shoots and seedlings of rhizomes of weeds will die.

Strawberry protection from weeds during the growing season

Unfortunately, even if you plant strawberries on the beds completely cleared of weeds, weeds can appear on them from wind-borne seeds, or from those that still remain in the soil (many seeds remain in the soil and germinate only after 3- 5 years). In this case, modern covering materials can help the gardener.

The use of mulch in the cultivation of strawberries is not a new technique in gardening.

Comment! After all, even the name of the strawberry is translated from English as "straw berry" or "berry on straw."

Straw mulch is almost ideal for strawberry beds, but in order to withstand well the fight against weeds, a straw layer of at least 6-8 cm is needed. In addition, a layer of straw is desirable to update every year.

Also, in the past years, black film used to shelter strawberries from weeds was very popular. This option really well protects the planting of strawberries from weeds, but creates favorable conditions for the development of slugs, as well as many fungal diseases. Therefore, it is desirable to use the film only in an annual crop, when remontant varieties of strawberries are grown only for one season.

All of these shortcomings are devoid of modern non-woven covering materials, among which can be called such as:

  • Spunbond;
  • Agril;
  • Lutrasil;
  • Agrospan;
  • Agrotex.

Many varieties of different colors and thicknesses are produced, but to protect strawberries from weeds, it is advisable to use black material and a density of at least 50-60 grams per square meter. meter.

The use of black non-woven material gives the following advantages:

  • It gives the opportunity to penetrate moisture and air, and the soil under it always remains wet and loose, which is very important for strawberries.
  • You can use it repeatedly. Typically, manufacturers give a guarantee of 3 years, due to the processing of special means of protection from ultraviolet radiation. In the southern regions, solar lighting is too intense, and it is desirable to protect the coating itself and the ground beneath them, laying out straw or mowed grass from above.
  • Under non-woven material slugs do not start and fungal diseases do not multiply.
  • The soil under such a coating warms up much faster, which makes it possible for strawberries to ripen a week or two earlier than usual.
  • The material itself, which is made of polypropylene fiber, does not interact with water, soil or nutrient solutions and does not emit any harmful substances due to the strong heat from the sun.
  • Non-woven material will save not only from annual, but also perennial weeds with sprawling rhizomes.
  • Strawberry berries, growing on top of such a shelter, do not come into contact with the soil, therefore they rot less and are always clean, even in the period of heavy rains.

For residents of the southern regions, in particular, the novelty that has appeared in recent years will be interesting - a nonwoven material consisting of two layers. The bottom one is black, and the top one is white. It is distinguished by all the above-mentioned advantages, but also prevents the root system of the strawberry from overheating due to the reflection of the sun’s rays from the light surface.

Basic principles for the use of covering material

When using nonwovens to protect strawberries from weeds, it is important to consider the following:

It is possible to spread the material on the beds both in the autumn and in the spring, better before planting strawberries. For this, the ground is carefully leveled first. Then the material is spread from above and is tightly fixed along the edges. It is better to use homemade U-shaped studs from wire, but you can also use bricks, stones, boards and other materials. Cruciform or o-shaped notches are marked and made, at a distance of at least 40 cm from each other. Strawberry seedlings are planted in them.

Watering strawberries can be directly on the material, and better to feed right through the holes made in it.

Tip! After planting strawberry bushes, it is better to compress the material around the bushes themselves using boards, stones or something else.

In this case, the whiskers will not be able to penetrate the surface of the material.

In a protected ground, all the principles of using a covering nonwoven material remain the same.

For the winter covering material is not required to remove. He may well serve up to three years or more, and it is advisable to clean it along with the transfer of the plantation to a new place.

Using all the above methods, you can simplify the most basic work on the care of strawberries and enjoy clean, sweet and beautiful berries.

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