Italian strawberry Alba: description and characteristics of the variety, tips for care and cultivation
Each gardener, growing strawberries on his plot, wants to guarantee a good harvest. This will help Alba - a strawberry that can meet all expectations. To provide the plant with the most favorable conditions for growth, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the rules for caring for it.
Characteristics of Strawberries Alba
Strawberry Alba was bred by Italian breeders in 2003 and since then has been widely recognized around the world, including among Russian gardeners. Due to its properties, this strawberry is excellent for industrial cultivation, and for cultivation in household plots.
The bush forms a powerful, up to 35 cm tall, with a small number of large dark green leaves. Peduncles are long, while ripening berries lie. The variety also has a good mustache formation.
This culture is famous for large bright red berries weighing about 30 g. As a rule, the fruits are the same size throughout the entire fruiting period. Berries of oblong conical shape, with dense elastic flesh, sweet, with a slight acidity.
Ripe Alba Berries - Bright Red, Dense, Sweet
- early ripening. The first crop can be obtained already at the end of May, and in a closed garden 2 weeks earlier. As a rule, ripening is friendly;
- high productivity. From 1 m2 you can collect about 1.2 kg of berries;
- unpretentiousness. Alba can be grown in any conditions: both dry and humid climate will suit it. Strawberries of this variety have good winter hardiness and can tolerate short-term spring frosts;
- resistance to certain diseases. Alba is not susceptible to such common diseases as powdery mildew, verticillosis, fusarium wilt;
- high quality fruits. Berries of Alba, in addition to their attractive appearance, have a host of other advantages: due to their density, they can well transport, withstand long shelf life, and can be used in fresh, canned and frozen form.
Due to its spectacular appearance and excellent shelf life, Alba is an excellent variety for industrial cultivation and trade.
- average taste. Unfortunately, Alba is not distinguished by its expressive taste and, by the degree of sweetness, loses much to other varieties, especially dessert;
- bushes may suffer from anthracnose. Some gardeners have a tendency of the plant to brown and white spotting;
- the need for careful care. You can get a high yield only if you regularly carry out high-quality and full-fledged nursing care of plantings. Neglecting agricultural measures will not only reduce the quality of the fruit, but also reduce their number.
Strawberries Alba successfully propagated in several ways, and you can choose the most convenient option for you.
Since strawberry Alba is a hybrid plant, it will not work to grow a new bush from the removed seeds, and you will have to buy them again.
Germination and stratification of seeds
Usually they begin to plant strawberries for seedlings in February or in March, so that when they hatch, the sprouts can immediately receive a sufficient amount of light. Seeds of large-fruited crops, which include Alba, sprout slowly, so it is recommended to soak them before sowing. The technology is as follows:
- Take a piece of cotton cloth and moisten it well with soft (melt, rain, boiled, settled) water.
- Put seeds on one half of a piece of cloth and cover them with the remaining half.
- Put the fabric in a plastic bag and put the workpiece in a warm place for 2 days. Keep the fabric constantly moist.
It is advisable to soak large-fruited strawberry seeds for their better germination.
If you want to get early seedlings of Alba, it is advisable to stratify the seeds. To do this, remove the bag with the cloth (the workpiece is the same as when germinating) in the refrigerator on the lower shelf for 2 months (usually done in November). During this time, check that the fabric does not dry, so moisten it from the spray bottle as necessary.
When stratifying seeds, a plastic container can be used instead of a bag.
Sowing seeds in the ground
After all the preparatory measures, strawberry seeds can be sown for seedlings. But first prepare the tanks and the ground. It is advisable to sow strawberries first in one common box 15 cm high, and then sprout the sprouts in separate pots.
Before sowing, do not forget to disinfect the soil by warming it for 1 hour at a temperature of 90 ° C or spilling it with special preparations (Extrasol, Planriz, Fundazol).
When sowing strawberry seeds, you need to remember that they do not need to be deepened
Step-by-step process of planting seeds:
- Cover the bottom of the box with drainage material (expanded clay, fine gravel) 2-3 cm.
- Pour soil over the drainage so that the box is half full. Mixtures can be: garden and forest land with a small amount of sand (about 1/10 of the total amount of soil); turf, peat, humus and sawdust in equal parts.
- Lightly compact the substrate and moisten it with soft, warm spray water.
- Put the seeds in a box using tweezers. You do not need to fill in the seeds.
- Cover the box with a transparent film, after making several holes in it, and put it in a warm, unshaded place, but not in direct sunlight.
- Make sure that the soil does not dry out and water it as needed.
Seedlings may appear after 3 weeks (if you stratified the seeds, then after a few days). Try to ventilate and harden the seedlings daily, leaving it in the open air first for 2-3 hours, gradually increasing the time. You can remove the film after the appearance of three real leaves in the seedlings.
The presence of condensation (drops) on the film is not very favorable for strawberry shoots. Therefore, it is recommended to change or wipe the film during the formation of a large number of drops, and water the seedlings under the spine using a spoon.
A pick is called extracting seedlings from a common box and placing it in separate containers. You can dive Alba after 5 true leaves appear on the shoots and after a week of hardening.
- Prepare individual containers (plastic cups or peat pots).
- Make drainage holes at the bottom of the pots and sprinkle some small pebbles or expanded clay.
- Fill the pots with soil and moisten it.
- Make a hole in the ground and plant a sprout in it. Make sure that the apical kidney is on the surface and the roots are covered.
As a result of picking, sprouts are moved from a common box to individual pots
Reproduction by dividing the bush
This method is used for acute shortage of planting material.
- Choose a healthy bush on which 2-3 tops with rosettes (horns) are formed.
- Dig a bush and carefully separate the sockets with your hands, being careful not to damage the roots.
- Place each outlet in the prepared hole, carefully covering the roots, and water it.
Video: Strawberry bush division
If you want to use this method, then remember that you need to choose those shoots that were formed first.
- Spread a mustache on the edges of the beds. Cut off excess shoots.
- Within 2 weeks, rosettes should form roots and take root.
- After rooting rosettes, cut off the free ends of the mustache, but do not separate the shoot from the uterine bush.
- A week before the outlets are transplanted to a permanent place (it is better to do this in early August) cut the mustache between the old and the new bush.
Preparation of beds and planting of planting material
In order to provide strawberries with the most favorable development conditions, it is necessary to choose the location of the beds and carefully prepare them.
Remember that you need to change the place of planting of strawberries every 3-4 years.
Try not to plant strawberries in areas that were previously occupied by tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, pepper, eggplant, zucchini, raspberries. The best precursors are radishes, beans, garlic, peas, mustard.
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- illumination. For normal growth and development, strawberries need sunlight, so do not place the beds in shaded places (for example, next to tall garden trees);
- wind protection. To protect the bushes from damage that can be caused by gusts of wind, and at the same time not to obscure them, some gardeners try to arrange the beds between the bushes of gooseberries or currants;
- suitable soil. Strawberry grows best on sandy or sandy-loamy soil with the addition of humus (it should be in the soil 3%). Avoid calcareous or saline places;
- low humidity. For planting, it is advisable to choose a site located on a hill or flat surface with a deep (not less than 1.5 m) bedding of groundwater.
An open horizontal bed is the most familiar and simple to manufacture. It is done as follows:
- To begin, select a place for the beds and determine its size. If you plant strawberries in one or two rows, then the width should not exceed 40 cm in the first case and 80 cm in the second. The distance between the rows should be 30-40 cm.
- Dig the plot.
- Add any nutrient mixture to the soil: a bucket of soil + a compost bucket + a manure bucket + 1 liter of ash solution; a bucket of humus + 20 g of potassium salt + 40 g of superphosphate; a compost bucket + 40 g of superphosphate + 0.5 l of ash solution. For 10 m2, 2 buckets of fertilizer are taken. If you make a bed in the spring, then add urea (1 tbsp. Per 10 liters).
- Make ranks.
- If desired, strengthen the sides of the beds of the board or pieces of slate.
You can increase the effectiveness of such a ridge using agrofibre.
- Prepare the bed by removing all weeds and fertilizing it.
- Cover the area with an overlap (the pieces should cover each other by 20 cm).
- Fix the cover with brackets (you can use curved pieces of wire) or dig a trench along the edges of the beds, put the ends of the cover there and bury it.
- In those places where you want to plant strawberries, make small cross-shaped or round incisions in which seedlings are planted.
Video: planting strawberries on agrofiber
You can also make a warm bulk bed for strawberries.
- At the place where you plan to plant the strawberry row, dig a trench about 40 cm deep.
- Fill it with the following layers: the lowest - large chopped branches; 2nd — vegetable “garbage”: dry mowed grass, dry leaves, compost, sawdust. Tamp and coat this layer with warm water. 3rd — fertile land. This layer will rise 25-30 cm above the surface, but you can even it out.
- Fertilize fertilizer (the same as for an open ridge).
The bulk bed is high enough
Strawberries are planted in open ground in spring (most preferable), in summer and autumn. The timing of spring planting may vary depending on the region:
- south - the first 2 weeks of March;
- middle lane - last 3 weeks of April;
- North - the first 2 weeks of May.
- On the prepared bed, make holes 7 cm deep. They should be located at a distance of 20 cm from each other.
- Fill the wells with humus and fill with warm water with the addition of potassium permanganate to disinfect the soil.
- Remove seedlings from containers. An hour before landing, it must be well watered. If the bushes take long roots, then cut them to 7-10 cm.
- Carefully plant the sprout in the hole, making sure that the apical kidney is on the surface.
- For the first time pritenite sprouts from direct beams.
When planting strawberries, make sure that the apical kidney remains above the ground
Summer planting of strawberries is carried out from mid-July to mid-August. Since the temperature in summer is higher than in spring, choose cloudy, non-hot days for planting (evening time is also suitable).
The best time for autumn planting is from late August to the second week of September. The planting rules are the same, but avoid applying nitrogen fertilizers to the soil to prevent the growth of deciduous mass.
It is better for all sprouts in the first year of life to cut off the flowers - this will help the young plant grow stronger and form a strong root system.
Video: planting strawberry seedlings in open ground
Care measures include watering, top dressing, disease prevention, preparation for winter.
Water as necessary - Alba does not fit too dry soil, and excess moisture can lead to the development of fungal diseases. It is necessary to use warm water with a temperature of at least 20 ° C. On 1 m2 you need at least 10 liters of water.
Pour water under the roots, trying not to fall on the leaves, flowers and fruits. For watering, it is better to use a watering can, since a strong stream from the hose can erode the soil at the roots.
Water the strawberries in the evening.
You can start feeding strawberries when the soil temperature reaches 8-10 ° C. Do not forget that all fertilizers are applied exclusively to moist soil.
- after cleaning the beds, treat the bushes with a solution of iodine (dosage: 7-10 drops per 10 liters of water) using a watering can with a shower head. Perform the procedure in cloudy weather so as not to burn leaves. Repeat the treatment 1–2 times before the fruiting period begins. This will prevent the development of gray rot;
- after a week, feed the bushes with urea (1 tbsp. l. to 10 liters of water). Pour 0.5 l of such a solution under each bush;
- during flowering, strawberries can be fed with yeast. The mixture is prepared as follows: pour 0.5 tbsp into a three-liter jar. sugar, add a packet of dry yeast (10 g) and pour settled water at room temperature to the shoulders of the jar. Put the mixture in a warm place for 1-2 days until fermentation stops. Then dilute the mixture in water (1 tbsp. Per 10 l) and pour 0.5 l of the resulting solution under each bush. 2 weeks after top dressing, sprinkle soil around the bushes or aisle with ash;
- during fruiting, it is useful to feed the plants with ash. It can be either a solution (pour 2 tbsp of ash) with boiling water, let it brew for 3 hours, and then dilute in 10 liters of water), as well as dry flakes. In the first case, 0.5 l of the mixture is needed per bush, in the second - 1 handful. Of mineral fertilizers, potassium monophosphate (1 tbsp. Per 10 liters of water) is suitable, of organic fertilizers - cow manure (1 part to 10 parts of water) or chicken droppings (1 part to 12 parts of water);
- In the fall, feed Alba with ash solution or use complex fertilizer (for example, Autumn), having prepared it according to the instructions.
Carrying out this procedure will save you from weeding the beds, will reduce the amount of watering, will maintain a certain temperature of the soil, and will enrich it with nutrients and prevent their washing out. Sawdust, straw, compost (the layer should be at least 7 cm) or agrofibre are well suited for mulch. Remember to update the mulching material from time to time.
If you do not want to mulch the bed, then weed regularly and loosen the soil to nourish it with oxygen. It is also useful to huddle bushes from time to time, especially if the roots are exposed as a result of watering.
Mulching the beds eliminates the need for weeding and loosening
Remove all dried leaves, peduncles, and trim the mustache. As a result, you should have an apical bud with new leaves.
If you live in a region where winter is not snowy and frosty, then you need to provide strawberry bushes with protection from the cold. For this purpose, spruce branches are best suited. Keep in mind that young plantings need to be covered completely; mature bushes are enough to just cover.
Use spruce branches to cover strawberry bushes for the winter
As mentioned above, Alba is susceptible to certain diseases. Brown and white spotting are fought with the following methods:
- in the spring, treat the bush with a 4% solution of Bordeaux fluid;
- treat the bushes with a solution of potassium permanganate (5 g of manganese per 10 liters of water);
- many gardeners recommend the following mixture: for 10 liters of water, take 40 g of iodine, 20 g of baking soda and 40 g of laundry soap;
- if you are not afraid of chemicals, then use the drugs Ridomil, Metaxil, Falcon, having prepared them according to the instructions.
White spotting of strawberries is manifested by bright spots with a dark border.
For the treatment of anthracnose, Metaxil or Antracol are used. As an additional tool, you can use a solution of potassium permanganate. Heavily affected leaves are cut.
For the treatment of anthracnose, Metaxil or Antracol are used.
If Alba suffers from aphids, then treat the bushes with an ash solution (1 tbsp of ash is taken for 5 l of water. The mixture is infused for 12 hours) or tincture of hot pepper (cut 2 pods and pour 1 l of boiling water and let it stand for 5–6 hours).
You need to start fighting aphids as early as possible in order to avoid infection of other plants
Alba is a very early strawberry variety of Italian selection. The berries are large (25-30 g), uniform, long conical shape, bright red color. Good taste and long shelf life. The variety is quite resistant to the most common diseases. Productivity about 1 kg from one plant. Transportability is very high. Gives a very early crop when grown under shelter. Great industrial grade.YanaM
The variety has great potential. Ripening early. This year, several days earlier, Honey, but Alba is one-year-old, and Honey is two-year-old. The berry is very large, bright red, shiny, beautiful in shape. Transportability is very high. Bushes are powerful. I have not figured out the shortcomings yet, I have been growing it for two years, I haven’t noticed any special ones, but I definitely have one - the flower stalks do not withstand the weight of the berries and lie down. But Alba, I think, is suitable for industrial cultivation. It is difficult to find a variety of such early ripening, with such a large and beautiful berry.Oleg Saveyko
Strawberry Alba is quite suitable for cultivation on the site, since care is not particularly difficult. Even novice gardeners will cope with the cultivation of this culture. Thanks to the beautiful shape and bright color of the berries, the variety is successfully grown for commercial purposes.