Strawberries, or as it is still correct to call it garden strawberry have been a staple berry crop in family farm plots for many years. Every year it competes with honeysuckle for the title of the first berry of the season, but would you agree that honeysuckle berries can have such beauty, such flavor, such charm on the lips of a pretty girl as planter strawberries berries?
Of course not, which is why neither currants, with their seeds, ready to get stuck in every crack of the mouth, nor honeysuckle, which either freezes, then crumbles, then is amazed by the gold, they will never compare in taste with strawberries, the queen of berries.
Besides the taste, strawberries are very healthy: they are full of vitamins and trace elements, and with sour cream and sugar, they are a pleasure to eat with any, even the most capricious, child. They say that raspberries or lemons can cure colds, that philodendrons and rosehips are rich in vitamin C. And you feel better in the morning when you try to drink tea with strawberry puree, and the main thing is that it is so pleasant.
In addition, strawberries are rich in folic acid and they seem to be the leaders in this regard – grapes, and raspberries. By consuming strawberries, your intestines will work without problems, you will strengthen your immune system, and cleanse the walls of your blood vessels of toxins.
Strawberries are the only berry that grows on almost every continent of our planet, and you can get a serving of these berries with cream in any restaurant.
This may seem strange, but the origin of the strawberry is South America, from there it was spread to all continents and almost every breeder, who is associated with this berry, makes his personal sort or at least selected from famous, that is, everyone distributes something unusual and great among the seedlings, but not everyone gives them to the world.
Of course, some price must be paid for beauty, charm, and this excessive nutritional value. This happens on the same plot of land of the same farmer, where strawberries suddenly start to drop sugar and sometimes even turn bitter. A watery taste and a sour aftertaste are very common. So, what could be the cause? How can we solve this situation so that it does not happen again?
First of all, let’s deal with the issue of variety: isn’t the farmer right, didn’t he make a mistake when replanting the strawberry garden, in fact, its location should be changed at least every 5-6 years, experienced farmers even say every 4 years.
As you can see, there is a great selection of garden strawberry varieties, of which the tasting score is rated 9 and above (out of 10), which is considered quite high, i.e. it is possible to choose, and if only one of these varieties is planted on the site, it should still provide the excellent taste of the fruit, but, unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Even in such great strawberry varieties, whose taste is highly appreciated, the fruit may be sour or have a frankly sour taste, maybe wet, or more precisely watered, not promptly or incorrectly.
Of course, we are not immune to the abundance of rain in the summer, which can pour for days on end. As you know, strawberry gardens ripen in the spring, and it is normal to have rain during this period, and only abnormal if it is abundant and frequent.
Therefore, excessive moisture is very capable of deteriorating the taste of garden strawberries and making them unbearable. Due to the excess of water, the berries become like water and the sugar (sugar to be exact) actually dissolves in the mass of the fruit and you don’t even notice them when you eat them. Sometimes waterlogged strawberries even taste bitter, but this is even more off the beaten track.
The taste, or rather the sweetness, of strawberries, may also be influenced by the location of the seedbed. On large farms, this is always strictly monitored, but in our gardens and vegetable gardens, several beds of the same variety may be several meters away from each other, resulting in one bed of the same variety being in a well-lit area and the other in a more shaded area.
Strawberries are known to accumulate more sugar in the light, which is why even the same variety may taste different if it is grown in different conditions, even in a garden – berries grown in the shade will not be very sweet.
In this case, it is possible to observe the complexity of all other things and disadvantages that occur simultaneously: the plot, illuminated and warmed by the sun, and even a slight excess of moisture are able to evaporate and make the soil composition normal, but strawberries are grown in semi-shade or shade, alas, can not do this, and here affects the taste of another and excess of moisture.
Ideally, for strawberry varieties to have the flavor described in the National Register, strawberries need to be exposed to sunlight for at least 8 hours, and the soil below must be moderately but not excessively moist (drip irrigation is ideal).
Let’s go one step further – the soil: the taste of strawberries sometimes depends heavily on the quality of the soil, even if the same varieties are grown in different plots. In fact, there is no joke – on one soil strawberries will be as sweet as honey, and on another – there is hardly any noticeable sweetness present.
Another reason, by the way, is common among large estate owners: they plant their favorite strawberry bush (or a dozen favorite strawberry bushes) on a plot for literally decades. Apparently, at some point, the bushes became so old that they lost the familiar flavor of the dacha owners and became insignificantly boring.
Apparently, the old root system no longer does what it’s supposed to do, and not all the nutrients needed for the berries to fully develop make their way into it. The first sign that strawberries are not quite their typical flavor is the change in size – at first, they are minuscule.
However unfortunate, though, even a few strawberry plants growing on a garden plot should be renewed at least every five or six years by removing the beard from them or buying new seedlings (it does not matter how they are renewed) and, most importantly, transplanting them to a new plot with nutrients, moderate moisture and plenty of light.
So, let’s summarize. In summary, we, in total, found the reason why strawberries can lose their sweetness.
REASONS FOR LOSS OF STRAWBERRY SWEETNESS
The 1st reason
It was a mistake in the strawberry variety, the gardener mixed the varieties when transferring his collection and now the variety he thought should be sweet, alas, “lost” its sweetness. Conclusion: When transferring collections, be as careful as possible and always sign the variety.
The 2nd reason
It is a long cultivation period. In a place where the strawberries have been growing for more than six years, the bushes are old, their roots are worn out and it does not offer the quality and the former taste of the fruit of this culture.
The 3rd reason
It is too much water: if it rains, it is not your fault, but you can loosen the soil more so that it does not form a soil sludge and the water evaporates quickly. This is basically what you can do if you are watering too much on your plot.
The 4th reason
It’s the soil. The problem is that strawberries-only like soil that is rich enough and drained, sometimes even slightly acidic (pH 5,5-6,0). If you notice that this year’s strawberries do not taste like a typical variety and lack sugar, feed them next spring with compost mixed in equal amounts with river sand and water the soil afterward. This may seem like a small thing for feeding cannot be considered, but the fruit does become sweeter and bigger, of course, if the plantation is fresh.
The 5th reason
is the height of the bed. If your plot is uneven, a slope, or a series of irregularities, you can simply make a raised bed, thus leveling it and getting a stable crop of sweet fruits from it.
The 6th reason
It is the wrong position of the bed. Ideally, strawberry plants should be positioned so that the plants get at least 8 hours of light per day. Warmth and enough light are precisely the two main factors that have a significant impact on the flavor of the berries.
The 7th reason
It is the compacted vegetation. Gardeners usually try to save as much space as possible on their plots and therefore plant as many plants as possible on the flowerbeds. But the strawberry likes to be free and considering her further growth, it is necessary to provide her with more space. Usually, shrubs are planted on the plot in the nesting of squares with an average distance of 12inch (30 cm) between shrubs and 17-20inch (45-50 cm) between rows. If the planting plot is crowded, the fruit will definitely be smaller and maybe fresh because the plants do not have enough nutrients.
The 8th reason
It is unhealthy strawberry bushes. When planting plants on plots, make sure they are completely healthy. Mold, rot, and other problems are unacceptable on sprouts, and they can lead to fatigue and a decrease in fruit quality.
The 9th reason
It is not the best time to plant. Everyone knows that the best time to plant strawberries is in August, but for some reason, they can plant them whenever they want. Remember that it is best to plant strawberries in August, during which they have time to develop a full root system. If you are a cool climate resident, then be sure to keep and cover the soil come the upcoming cold weather. This way, the bushes will survive the winter and the fruit will be sweet – it’s almost guaranteed.
The 10th reason
It’s the rush. In the first year after planting strawberry seedlings in the fall, do not rush to get a lot of fruit. Allow the plants to develop and gain enough energy during the first season to give you delicious and sweet fruit later.
The 11th reason
Weeding. Usually, in autumn, gardeners just cut off the leaves in the ground with a hand scythe, and this damages the growing points. Which are likely to start changing and cause a decrease in the quality of strawberries, so try to scrape off the leaf plates with a rake with fine teeth.