I have several meters long strawberry bed. This makes several square meters. These beds have been there for ten years. Previously, in May and June, when there was a drought, I picked two buckets of delicious berries from my “plantation” and half a bucket full of Botrytis cinerea berries.
If it was rainy in early summer and I only got two buckets of Botrytis cinerea strawberries and only half a bucket of ripe strawberries. It was a shame to share the harvest with some rotten strawberries. I decided to destroy this Botrytis cinerea disease.
Basically through folk remedies and agronomic techniques step by step. Why I never get Botrytis cinerea in my strawberries.
Light and air
I cut down the tree which shades the strawberries on the south side from the sun. Removed the strawberry bushes to block the west side which it’s windy in the plantation. But the strawberry still got rots sometimes.
I gave myself a task to make no weeds and no debris between the rows. Each bush should be freely ventilated. Mowing between the rows is not difficult and also can be covered with linoleum. It helps the bed to mulch from weeds and weeds.
How do know what strawberries requirement? If you look closely at your strawberries, you can learn a lot. Where are the most Botrytis cinerea strawberries? In the shade and weedy places.
How many disputes I have heard between opponents and supporters of mulching on different beds and crops …… In this case, the dispute is irrelevant. Strawberries need mulching necessarily! Unless, of course, you have moss growing on your strawberry bed, as my neighbor does. She doesn’t mulch, and the moss does a good job of mulching.
I have tried mulching strawberries with black non-woven fabric, grass clippings, sawdust, and even needlewood (coniferous forest litter). The best choice is straw. There is a reason it is called strawberry by the British. Straw is often purchased in bulk and used as bedding for livestock. I was lucky enough to meet a local farmer who took straw for bedding almost for nothing.
The mulching starts when the first buds appear on the strawberries. This uninvited guest will ruin your harvest faster than rot.
In winter, it is better to leave the straw in the bed.
Morning drip irrigation
While laying the mulch, I lay the mulch on the bed and my whole tube for drip irrigation. Until the moment when the berries are set, it is better to water the strawberry leaves. When the berries begin to ripen – only under the roots.
By the way, the temperature of the water does not matter. I tried to water also with ice water from the well. At a small pressure, drops of cold water do not harm strawberries.
In general, it is not advisable to overwater with strawberries. Every other day, one bucket per square meter is enough. Do not forget that the mulch keeps the moisture in the ground.
Watering is best done in the morning so that the straw (or whatever you have as bedding) has time to dry before evening.
If dew is expected to be plentiful and cold – you can cover the leaves with non-woven material directly in the evening, without curves. In the morning, take it off. A crumpled bush will be easily straightened.
Zero mowings: twice a year
Strawberries like to be mowed almost like a lawn. But it’s not worth pruning the berries with a trimmer.
The first wedding is in the spring. As soon as the snow melts, every bush has to be cut back. Mow absolutely everything, leaving a heart. At the same time, rake all the remaining fall mulch out of the bed. Sprinkle with fresh hummus or just soil if necessary. The seedbed is then heavily pulverized with ash.
The second cuttings are taken a week or two after harvest (around mid-July). Prune again to zero. Sprinkle with manganese solution. After a few days, powder with ash.
Note: It is necessary to trim the leaves with scissors or pruning shears, and after cutting each bush rinse the tools with a concentrated solution of potassium permanganate.
Manganese solution and ashes: two in one
I do not use any chemicals. I know friends who water their strawberries with copper sulfate or Bordeaux mixture.
For me, two simple things are enough: manganese and ash. Each is both fungal disease treatment and fertilizer. Twice a year, it is necessary when weeding.
In the winter, it is best to cover the seedbed with ash. Ash also helps prevent slugs, which like to enjoy ripe strawberries. Sprinkle, without sparing, around the bed and under the bushes.
Each time a new manganese solution must be prepared. A solution that has been left for 1-2 days has lost its properties.
Fertilize on schedule
Many fungal diseases we ourselves carry into the bed with the manure. And bushes that are overfed with nitrogen fertilizer get sick much faster than those that are not fertilized at all.
I ditched the manure, subsequently – and the chicken manure (because the berries we ate were not washed).
Quite a bit of good compost now. I have enough 2 kg of “special fertilizer for strawberries” for the whole season in my plantation. Standard: 20-25 grams per square meter.
A total of four fertilizers.
- In the early spring.
- In the early spring during the flowering period.
- After fruit and pruning.
- in early autumn.
The fertilizer must always be incorporated into the soil.
Note: For successful overwintering, fertilize in autumn with an additional 10 g of potassium and phosphate per meter.
Everything from the garden
The most stupid and regretful things which I used to do is when picking a berry, see Botrytis cinerea on it and throw it away immediately. This is how we reproduce and spread the disease spores ourselves.
I haven’t eaten this berry in two years. I haven’t had Botrytis cinerea it’s because, for three years, everything I took out from the strawberry bed was either to eat or to the incinerator barrel.
In the spring, I burned the old leaves and bedding from the bed. In the summertime, all the sick leaves and berries go to the barbecue or the same barrel.
It’s easy. We burn everything that is inedible on the bed and dump the ashes on the bed. This useful substance has a separate turnover rate in nature.
This year I set a personal record. I harvest 3 buckets of deliciousness from my three strawberry beds and without a single rotted berry.
Do you want to know how I managed to grow strawberries in one place for 10 years and still increase their yield? I’ll share it with you in next article.