Detailed description and characteristics of strawberries
Today it is rarely possible to meet a garden or a personal plot on which there would not be a bed with strawberries. And this is understandable - few people remain indifferent to juicy and sweet aromatic berries, whose pulp is the source of a large number of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, so necessary for the body of adults and children. Thanks to the fruitful work of breeders, this culture has long been able to grow in almost any weather and climate conditions. All this makes strawberries widely popular among experienced gardeners, and among beginners in this matter.
Strawberry - berry or fruit?
Many people wonder what really is a strawberry - a berry or fruit.
To find the right answer, you should understand the definition of each of the options:
- Under the phrase "fruit" refers to a fruit with juicy pulp that can be eaten.
- Berry - is only one of the modifications of fruits with a large number of seeds.
In general, differences in concepts have more everyday meaning. It is believed that berries are always smaller in size than fruits. However, the statement is not always true. For example, you can recall tomatoes that are vegetables, but technically have all the signs of berries.
Did you know? The largest strawberry is grown by Japanese gardener Kyoji Nakao. The diameter of the fetus reached 30 cm, and weight - 250 g.
Strawberries have seeds on the surface, which means it has nothing to do with berries (fruits, respectively, too), it is called a false berry. But the dry fruits that grow on its receptacle (seeds) are nuts. That is why, according to the teachings of botany, strawberries are nothing more than polysyllabic nuts.
Description and characteristics of the culture
The name "strawberry" takes its roots from the Old Russian language and has the meaning of "ball" or "round." The plant itself belongs to the flower department of the herbaceous class of dicotyledons, of the order Rosaceae, the family pink. This culture belongs to the genus of strawberries.
The value of strawberries lies not only in the high taste characteristics of juicy and sweet pulp, but also in the ability of the fruits of this culture to enrich the body with useful substances and prevent many ailments. The composition of berries contains:
- vitamin C - strengthens the immune system, accelerates wound healing, normalizes metabolism and the removal of toxins from the body;
- B vitamins (B1, B2, B9) - normalize the work of the nervous and cardiovascular systems, affect the digestive tract, improve the condition of the skin and hair;
- E - normalizes the activity of the cardiovascular system, accelerates the elimination of toxins and positively affects the condition of the skin;
- TO - provides normal blood coagulation and is responsible for the health of bone tissue;
- N - an important participant in carbohydrate and protein metabolism, improves the activity of the nervous system;
- PP - stabilizes cholesterol, normalizes the functioning of the nervous and digestive systems.
In addition to vitamins, there are a number of macro- and microelements: Fe (iron), M (magnesium), Ca (calcium), Zn (zinc), Mn (manganese), P (phosphorus), I (iodine), Cu (copper), K (potassium), Na (sodium), as well as folic acid, which is especially necessary for the female body. Due to its rich composition, the systematic use of strawberries in food improves immunity, increases appetite and stabilizes the digestive system.These berries, having diuretic and diaphoretic properties, allow you to cope with edema and stagnation of water in the body, and also cleanse it of toxins.Also, strawberry fruits increase metabolism, which is especially important for various degrees of obesity, and are used in the treatment of thyroid diseases.
Important! Strawberries are allergenic products, and therefore it is necessary to eat them carefully and better combine them with fermented milk products.
Calorie content and composition
Strawberries can be safely included in the diet menu for weight loss - 100 g of the product contains only 41 kcal, which equals 175 kJ of energy. At the same time, the BJU indicators indicate that this product is a source of energy: the amount of protein in 100 g is 0.7 g, fat - 0.3 g, carbohydrates - 5.7 g.
Strawberry is a short, squat bush with a height of 5 to 20 cm, on which white or pink inflorescences form, ripening into red berries. At the same time, each fruit contains a large number of small yellow seeds.Color can vary from pale pink to red. The root system is quite developed, brown in color. The leaves have a complex structure and blunt teeth along the edges. The top of the fruit is crowned with a green stalk and leafy corolla on the stem.
Geography of growth
Strawberries are often found in the wild - especially in areas of Eastern, Central and Western Europe. Berries also grow successfully in the regions of Central Asia and Western Siberia. Thanks to the work of breeders, today a sufficient number of hybrid strawberry varieties that can grow at home in almost any climate have been bred, and growing this crop in greenhouse conditions allows you to get a crop year-round.
The strawberry yield indicator largely depends on the selected variety.
Also important factors are:
- composition of the soil, climatic and weather conditions;
- strawberry planting time (autumn planting brings less crop than spring planting);
- the correct adherence to agrotechnical measures (watering, fertilizing).
Strawberry average weight
The weight of the average berry is 25-30 g, however, these indicators, together with the appearance, shape and taste, may vary depending on the selected variety and the correctness of following agricultural practices.
Important! The mass range of one ripe strawberry fruit can differ by almost 30 times!
Due to the wide popularity of strawberries in many countries, breeders of the world are making efforts to develop new hybrid varieties that have such qualities as resistance to climatic and weather conditions, increased yield, the ability to obtain an early harvest, and immunity to diseases.Not only the characteristics of the varieties are modified, but also the berries themselves: color, shape, size. All this allows you to choose the best variety for any region and makes it possible to enjoy sweet berries anywhere in the world.
The most popular varieties of strawberries
Starting to choose strawberries, many gardeners are lost in a variety of varieties. Below are the most popular varieties of this culture, which are appreciated by gardeners from different regions.
It is a repairing type of large-fruited early-growing strawberry varieties. Early ripening allows you to collect the first fruits 45-60 days after planting seedlings. A number of distinctive characteristics of the variety favorably distinguishes it from others (for example, the possibility of bearing fruit on an unrooted mustache). Temptation is suitable for growing at home (in apartments or on balconies).The berries of this variety are round-shaped bright red in color, have medium and large sizes, their mass is 25-30 g.The pulp is juicy and dense, muscat notes are clearly audible in the taste. One bush can produce more than 20 peduncles, and yield indicators reach 1–1.5 kg per bush.
Refers to repairing varieties capable of repeated fruiting (up to 4 times) per season. Strong and tall bushes make it possible not to touch the berries with the ground. The leaves of the variety are oily sheen. Fruits are large, characteristic conical shape, with pink flesh. Weight varies from 40 to 60 g.Albion is famous for its high resistance to diseases and yield indicators - depending on the climate and care procedures, one bush can bring from 500 g to 2 kg of berries. Among the shortcomings, low winter resistance is noted, which makes it suitable for cultivation only in the southern regions or in a greenhouse.
Queen Elizabeth 2
It is a repairing type of strawberry, capable of repeated fruiting in one season. A distinctive feature of the variety is large fruits, the weight of which can reach 60 g (one hundred gram berries are also found). The fruit is bright red, with dense and juicy pulp.
Depending on the correctness of agricultural activities, the level of taste of berries can vary - from high to medium. The variety has good transportability and a long shelf life.
Mara de Bois
A strawberry of a repairing type, capable of bearing fruit more than three times per season. The bushes are low and compact, with dark green leaves and moderate moisture formation. Fruits are cone-shaped, with a bright red tint and an orange-red core. The berry weighs a little - no more than 20 g. Taste characteristics are high - the variety has a dessert flavor and a tangible aroma of strawberries.Yields are average - up to 800 g per bush. Strawberries of this variety are characterized by medium transportability and high resistance to fungal disease. The winter hardiness of the Mara de Bois will require shelter in a mid-range climate.
Mid-early high-yielding variety of strawberries for universal use, from one bush you can collect about 1.5 kg of berries. The bushes are low, but strong, differ in the average number of leaves of light green color and round shape. The berries are heart-shaped and quite large in size, their weight can reach 40-50 g. The pulp is dense, fragrant and sweet, with a caramel flavor.According to gardeners, it is possible to significantly increase the level of productivity through the systematic removal of mustaches. The ability to transport is also high - the berries do not lose their presentation even at low temperatures. The most suitable climate for Kimberley is continental.
The variety is a large-fruited super-early variety with high yields. In conditions of proper care, from one bush you can collect up to 1 kg of berries. Bushes of culture are tall and powerful, with strong peduncles. Fruits are cone-shaped or in the form of a scallop, dark red in color. The average weight is 40-50 g. The pulp of the berries is dense and juicy, without voids, universal purpose, the taste is sweet and rich. The winter hardiness of Marshmallows is high - provided the snowy winter, this strawberry can easily withstand temperatures up to –35 ° C.
It belongs to the classic early varieties, the fruiting of which occurs in late spring (in open ground) and has a duration of about 1 month. Bushes are compact, medium height. Leaves are small in size, dark green in color, with pubescence on the back side. Berries of a classical conical shape, bright red color. Weight is about 20 g.The pulp is dense and juicy, aromatic and sweet. At the same time, taste characteristics grow when technical ripeness of fruits is achieved. Yields of Kama are high - from one bush you can collect 1 kg of berries (12 t / ha).Also, the variety is distinguished by a stable immunity to many fungal diseases (with the exception of gray rot and spotting).
An early strawberry variety with large fruits, whose weight reaches 100 g or more. Bushes are compact, but at the same time powerful and medium spread. The fruits are distinguished by a comb-shaped flattened shape, the color is red. The pulp is dense and juicy, with a pleasant and sweet taste.The variety has high indicators of transportability, as well as a stable immunity to diseases. However, Mashenka should be protected from low temperatures, which lead to rapid damage and death of bushes, as well as from prolonged exposure to sunlight, which leaves burns in the form of dark spots on the leaves.
A mid-early variety of a repairing type, the fruiting of which can occur only once per season. The bushes are compact, but with high productivity - up to 1 kg per bush. The berries are bright red in color, with a classic conical shape, weighing 10–12 g. The pulp is dense and juicy, pink in color.
Did you know? Strawberries have 35,000 genes, which is 10,000 more than humans.
Victoria is characterized by high rates of transportability and a stable immunity to diseases. An unpretentious variety that easily tolerates temperature changes, an unfavorable climate and perfectly develops in conditions of high humidity.
Refers to mid-early varieties of a remontant species, with a long fruiting period and high productivity (up to 1 kg from a bush). Bushes are powerful and tall (13-15 cm), with a developed root system. The fruits of the variety are bright red and large in size - the average weight of one berry is about 60 g, but can reach 100 g.The pulp is juicy, fragrant and sweet, light red in color, without voids. The level of transportability is average, however, this is offset by the high commercial appearance of strawberries. Marshall has high frost resistance, drought tolerance, and also immunity to diseases.
Features of planting and crop care
When starting to choose the best place for planting strawberries, it is worth considering that neutral loamy soil will be the most suitable soil, and the site itself should be protected from winds and drafts, as well as shading from buildings or trees (shrubs).
Planting strawberry seedlings of a repairing type is possible both in the spring and in the autumn, and each method has advantages and disadvantages:
- in spring strawberry bushes are planted in a permanent place in the middle or end of May (at a time when there is no threat of frost return);
- in the fall The best time will be the end of August or the beginning of September (for the necessary rooting of plants before the onset of the first frost).
Spring planting will allow you to get the first crop only next year, and this time also does not suit regions with a cold climate. This explains why experienced gardeners often resort to autumn planting.
Planting strawberry seedlings can be done in several ways:
After planting, strawberry care is to adhere to the rules of agricultural activities:
- Watering. Strawberries require frequent and plentiful watering, which will affect the quality and quantity of the future crop. Before the beginning of the flowering period, the sprinkling method is used, after - the introduction of moisture exclusively under the root of the plants. The permissible one-time volume of water is 10 liters per 1 m². The water used is not cold, the permissible temperature is + 20 ° C.
- Loosening and weeding. After each watering it is recommended to carry out loosening, which prevents the appearance of a crust on the soil and enriches the root system with oxygen. Also, once every few days, weed removal is carried out.
Important! Mulching using straw or coniferous branches will help reduce labor costs for loosening and weeding weeds, and also maintain a constant level of soil moisture.
- Soil fertilizer. At least three times in a season. The procedure consists of spring top dressing, which is carried out after snow melts and is aimed at replenishing nitrogen deficiency in the soil (organic matter, such as mullein or nettle infusion, as well as complex mineral fertilizers are used).The second time fertilizers are applied during the flowering period, and the main emphasis is on fertilizer with potassium (you can use potassium nitrate, spraying with zinc sulfate or treating bushes with boric acid). The third time, top dressing is carried out after the second wave of fruiting with the use of potash fertilizers (potassium sulfate or potassium nitrate, wood ash, yeast).
What types of strawberry propagation exist?
There are several ways to propagate strawberries, each of which has features:
- Seeds. A fairly complicated procedure, which, however, allows you to get absolutely healthy bushes and preserve varietal characteristics of the plant. It consists of several stages: soaking the seeds before sowing in melt water (in February), sowing seeds, obtaining the first seedlings, thinning the sprouts (at the age of two weeks), planting in a permanent place (early to mid-May).
- Mustache. An easier way, but requires abandonment of the second crop in favor of new bushes. In late July - early August, new beds are laid by laying out the first mustache of the strongest annual shrubs along the furrows. Initial rooting occurs within a few days, but for further propagation, only the first shoots are left, the rest are removed. At the end of August, a week before the proposed planting of new bushes in a permanent place, the mustache that binds them to the mother plants is trimmed.
- By dividing the bushes. This method is usually used in case of acute shortage of seedlings or the need to move the beds to a new place. Three-, four-year-old plants, with the presence of 35–40 shoots, each of which consists of a rosette of leaves, upper and lateral buds, as well as additional roots, can become the mother bushes — they are dug up.
Diseases and Pests
Bushes and fruits of strawberries are very attractive to insects, which can not only damage plants, but also lead to their death.
Among the pests, the most dangerous are:
- Strawberry Nematode. Small worms, about 1 mm in size, which, eating a plant, lead to the twisting of young leaves and their deformation. In the process of reproduction, the number of pests grows rapidly, which causes the fragility of the bush and a significant decrease in fruiting. As a fight, there are no drugs that could help get rid of the nematode, and therefore preventive measures should be applied: plant only healthy seedling bushes, apply crop rotation rules, and if infected, immediately remove the bushes from the site.
- Strawberry mite. Pests that lead not only to the drying up of fragments of the bush, but also to its complete destruction. At the first signs of damage, it is recommended to treat the bushes with colloidal sulfur, as well as constantly carry out prophylaxis in the form of heating seedlings before planting, and then soaking it in cold water.
- Aphid. Insects that feed on the juice of the leaves and shoots of the plant. As a fight, pesticide treatment and folk remedies, such as garlic infusion or a solution of laundry soap and tobacco, are used.
- Spider mite. Pests that, entangling cobwebs with strawberry bushes, cause it to dry out and die. To kill insects, after harvesting, processing is carried out using insecticidal preparations.
Often gardeners, growing strawberries, are faced with diseases of this crop:
- Fusarium wilt. The first manifestation can be seen on the leaves of the bush, which at the edges begin to dry out. Then the color changes from green to brown, and the sheet itself completely dies. The plant begins to lag significantly behind in development. As preventive measures, it is recommended to follow crop rotation rules and plant only healthy seedlings, the roots of which should be soaked in potassium salts of humic acids before planting.In case of infection, plants are dug up and removed from the site (burned).
- Gray rot. Fungus, manifested in the form of light brown spots on the surface of berries and large brown or gray spots on the leaves. To avoid disease, all plants are treated in Bordeaux liquid before the growing season, and sprayed with Azocene after harvest.
- White spotting. Fungal disease, which manifests itself in the form of dotted purple and brown spots on the leaves of bushes. As treatment, treatment is used with Bordeaux liquid in early spring and fungicidal preparations after harvest.
- Powdery mildew. A disease that affects the leaves and stems of bushes. The affected areas are covered with white coating, which in a few days transforms into brown spots. The defeat of powdery mildew during the flowering period leads to the impossibility of pollination, as a result of which strawberries become irregular in shape and taste of mushrooms.
Harvesting, transportability and storage
The process of harvesting strawberries should begin a few days before the onset of the period of technical maturity, previously ceasing abundant watering for a week. Better stored varieties that have a dense pulp, without voids and cavities inside. The berries are removed with green caps and ponytails, and the collection is carried out in the morning, after the dew has dried, or in the evening, after sunset. Immediately upon assembly, deformed, rumpled berries or fruits affected by mold are discarded.
The best containers for storage are wooden or plastic boxes, the bottom of which is covered with thin paper or cloth - in such containers the berries are convenient to transport. At home, plastic containers with a lid or glass jars are also suitable. The berries are always laid in one layer. To increase the shelf life (up to 3-4 days), immediately after harvesting, the crop must be cooled to a temperature of 0 ... + 3 ° С.
Thanks to the fruitful work of breeders, today gardeners can choose the most suitable variety for themselves and the conditions of their site. High yields, excellent taste, early ripening and resistant immunity to diseases - these are the main characteristics of modern hybrid varieties. Adhering to the rules of agricultural activities, each gardener will be able to provide his table with delicious and fragrant strawberries.