Spring feeding and fertilizer for strawberries: what are needed and when is it better to feed
Spring is a time of creativity for gardeners. Summer residents and gardeners make planting plans, choose flowers and varieties of vegetables. The land has not yet been overgrown with weeds, but perennial fruit crops are already awakening. Perhaps the most favorite among them is strawberries. And the first thing to do for her at the beginning of the season is to feed her to give her strength to grow powerful bushes and large berries.
What fertilizers do strawberries need in spring
In the spring, before flowering, strawberries actively grow greenery. The volume of the crop depends on how large the leaves and thick petioles will be. On fragile bushes, the berry will grow small. In other words: the stronger and healthier the bush, the more large fruits it will have. But you can’t overfeed strawberries, otherwise it will fatten, do not tie berries, and even worse, it may get burned and die. Therefore, fertilizers should always be applied with caution and not exceed dosages.
For the formation of healthy leaves and large berries, strawberries need a balanced diet
Nitrogen is the building material for the green parts of any plant, and this is what is needed in spring. Nitrogen is found in mineral fertilizers, humus, mullein, bird droppings. In addition, strawberries need trace elements, but without nitrogen nutrition they will be ineffective. If they are added additionally, like vitamins after the main course, the result will be noticeable. In particular, microelements help to cope with stressful situations (drought, heavy rains, frosts), increase the resistance of strawberries to diseases, accelerate the growth, budding and ripening of fruits. At the same time, the berries grow larger, more beautiful and sweeter.
When to feed strawberries in spring
The timing of the dressing depends on your capabilities, but the sooner the plants receive support, the better they will thank you.
- If your site is located next to the house, or you have the opportunity to visit the garden in late winter or early spring, scatter dry fertilizers right in the snow. They themselves will dissolve in puddles and go into the soil to the roots. This is done with mineral fertilizers and wood ash.
- If you get into the garden only after the earth dries, apply fertilizer at the first loosening. Scatter them evenly throughout the bed, mix with topsoil and water. Or apply liquid top dressing on moist ground.
- If there is no water on the site, the earth has dried out, then apply fertilizer before the rain or do foliar top dressing on the leaves. It requires little water, it can be brought or brought with you.
Any root top dressing should be applied on moist ground, if possible in liquid form. Do not allow dry granules to get to the roots and dissolve there. In this case, a concentrated solution will be obtained that will burn the thinnest roots, namely they work like capillaries - they deliver water and nutrition to the bushes.
Video: strawberry care tips on how and when to water
Mineral, organic and pharmacy nutrition for strawberries
In the spring, before flowering, strawberries need only one nitrogen top dressing and one additional fertilizer with microelements. The easiest option is to buy a complex mixture in the store, which immediately contains all the valuable substances for this crop. Many such nutritional complexes are now being produced: Gumi-Omi, Agricola, Fertika and others marked “for strawberries / strawberries”. Pay particular attention to the composition. The percentage of nitrogen (N) should be higher than the amount of other elements.
There are a lot of options for spring dressing: ready-made complexes are suitable for beginner gardeners, and more experienced ones can make a nutritious mixture for strawberries on their own using organic fertilizers or pharmacy products.
Fertilizing with mineral fertilizers
In stores, you can often find three nitrogen-containing fertilizers at an affordable price and with a low consumption of granules:
- Urea (urea, carbonic diamide) from all mineral fertilizers contains a maximum amount of nitrogen - 46%. The rest is hydrogen, oxygen and carbon. When urea interacts with air, ammonia forms, which evaporates. Therefore, urea must either be embedded in the soil or applied as a solution. Fertilizer has a slightly acidic reaction, close to neutral, so it can be applied on any soil.
- Ammonium nitrate (ammonium nitrate, ammonium nitrate) is a salt of nitric acid, which contains 35% nitrogen. The main disadvantage of this fertilizer is that it significantly increases the acidity of the soil, so it must be applied together with dolomite flour. But the same property is used to fight diseases. Watering the leaves and the ground around the bushes with a solution of ammonium nitrate, you will get rid of fungi.
- Nitroammophoska is a complex fertilizer containing all three important macroelements: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Different manufacturers produce different grades of the mixture under this name, and each of them has its own ratio of macronutrients. In addition, the disadvantage of this fertilizer is that it can be applied in the spring only if you did not fertilize the strawberries with superphosphate and potassium salt in the fall.
Photo gallery: popular and inexpensive mineral fertilizers for strawberries
- Urea - a universal fertilizer for fruit crops
- Nitroammofoska - a mineral complex of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus
- Ammonium nitrate increases soil acidity, but helps fight strawberry diseases
The norms and method of application of mineral fertilizers are indicated on the packages. All three fertilizers can be applied at 1 tbsp. liters per 1 m² of moist and loose soil or dissolve in 10 liters of water and water the same area. However, it is better to introduce less mineral fertilizers than to exceed their norm: excess nitrogen accumulates in the leaves, and then in the berries in the form of nitrates.
Nitrates are not hazardous to health, but under certain conditions inside the body they can go into toxic nitrites. This can occur with low acidity, gastritis, and poor hygiene. Most sensitive to nitrites are infants and the elderly. Therefore, children and the elderly are recommended juices from fruits grown without chemicals.
Feeding with mullein infusion
If you have no desire to introduce chemical mineral fertilizers into the ground, but there is an opportunity to get a mullein (manure), then make nitrogen fertilizing from it. Mullein happens:
- bedding - mixed with peat or straw; it is equally rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium;
- litterless - clean manure containing 50–70% nitrogen.
In spring, you need nitrogen top dressing, so use a bedless mullein, that is, ordinary cow cakes that can be collected where cows walk and graze.
Cows process grass into valuable fertilizer - mullein or manure
Recipe for feeding from mullein infusion:
- Fill the bucket 1/3 with fresh cow cakes.
- Fill to the top with water and cover.
- Put for 5-7 days in the heat for fermentation.
- For 10 liters of water, add 1 liter of infusion and pour strawberries at a rate of 0.5 liters per bush.
Such a solution can be poured over the leaves, then the bushes will additionally receive protection from fungal diseases: powdery mildew, different spots and others.
Chicken manure is considered the most valuable and concentrated organic fertilizer. It contains 3-4 times more nutrients than in any other natural top dressing. In the litter there is nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, trace elements. The infusion is made in the same way as from mullein, but for watering, the concentration should be 2 times less: 0.5 l of infusion per 10 l of water. Irrigation rate remains the same - 0.5 l per bush.
Proportions are given for infusion from fresh litter. It is sold dried up in stores, and often under the packaging is not litter, but chicken humus. Therefore, the solution from chicken droppings purchased at the store should be prepared as indicated on the package.
Use the litter from the store according to the instructions on the package.
Fertilizer in the spring with humus
Humus is the rotted remains of plant and animal origin. Often humus is called manure that has lain for 1–2 years. But this category also includes compost, rotted litter from the house, a layer of decayed leaves under the trees. All these are valuable organic fertilizers with a high nitrogen content. They are especially relevant on 2-3-year-old strawberry beds, when overgrown adult bushes begin to bulge out of the ground and rise above it like bumps. Sprinkle the humus between the rows in such a layer as to cover the bare upper part of the roots. Only hearts and leaves should remain on top.Recent entries In April, I process roses so that no pests encroach on my beauties
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Humus simultaneously serves as top dressing and mulch
The disadvantage of feeding with humus, infusions of mullein and bird droppings is that it is impossible to determine the exact content of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus in order to reduce or increase the dose of summer and autumn feeding.
Feeding with wood ash
Ash is a fertilizer that is pointless to apply in the spring without nitrogen fertilizing (urea, ammonium nitrate, mullein, droppings). It contains all the necessary micro and macro elements for strawberries, except the main one - nitrogen. However, with simultaneous application with nitrogen-containing mixtures, an unnecessary chemical reaction occurs. Ash is an alkali, nitrogen in its presence turns into ammonia and escapes. It turns out that useful substances simply go into the air, and not fertilize the soil. Therefore, first give basic nutrition with a nitrogen content, and after 5-7 days, when it is absorbed by plants, add ash (a complex of trace elements).
Ash can be obtained by burning not only firewood, but also any plant debris: dry grass, tops, old brooms from the bath, last year's leaves. When different raw materials are burned, a complex of elements of different composition is obtained. One contains more potassium, the other contains phosphorus, etc.
Table: the content of substances in ash from different materials
|Ash||Potassium (K 2 O)||Phosphorus (P 2 O 5 )||Calcium (CaO)|
A bucket of ash can be obtained by burning dry potato tops collected from one hundredth of the earth
By the way, wood ash is sold in stores for gardeners, but buying it for a whole strawberry plantation is not profitable, since consumption compared to mineral fertilizers is high: 1-2 cups per bucket of water or 1 m².
Ash feeding can be done in one of the ways:
- Pour a glass of ash into a bucket of water, shake it, and until the heavy fractions settle, pour strawberries under the root (0.5 l per bush).
- Moisten the strawberry leaves with clean water from a watering can. Pour the ash into a large sieve or colander and dust the bushes. Rinse off is not necessary. The leaves will take the necessary nutrition, the remains will showered or washed off by the rain and go to the ground, to the roots.
Video: on the composition, benefits and uses of fertilizer ash
Contrary to the stereotype, ash and slag formed after burning coal are also fertilizers. But it has the opposite effect to wood ash - it deoxidizes the soil and does not alkalize it. It is believed that coal ash contains radioactive elements and heavy metals that accumulate in plants. However, this occurs when the ash concentration in the soil is more than 5%. As an experiment, American researchers fertilized the earth with coal ash for 3 years at a rate of 8 tons per 1 acre of land (200 kg per hundred square meters), which is 1.1%. Groundwater and land contamination did not occur, the metal content remained low, and tomato yields increased by 70%. Such ash contains a lot of potassium, phosphorus, as well as copper, which prevents late blight. But you need to bring coal ash together with organic matter (humus, compost).
Another way to improve soil structure without chemistry is to introduce regular yeast into it. These unicellular microorganisms contribute to the rapid decomposition of organic matter in the earth, that is, they translate it into a form available for plant nutrition. The soil is enriched with vitamins, amino acids, organic iron, trace elements, nitrogen and phosphorus are formed. Fertilizing with yeast improves root formation, and the stronger the roots, the more powerful the bush and the larger the berries on it.
Dry and pressed yeast are suitable for feeding strawberries.
Strawberry fertilizer with yeast has two features:
- yeast is introduced only into warm soil, the optimum temperature for their propagation is above +20 ⁰C;
- in the process of fermentation, a lot of potassium and calcium are absorbed from the earth, therefore, after watering with a yeast solution, it is necessary to add ash top dressing.
The simplest recipe for yeast wort for strawberry irrigation:
- Pour the shoulders of warm water into a three-liter jar.
- Add 4–5 tbsp. l sugar and a pack of dry yeast (12 g) or 25 g raw (pressed).
- Mix everything and put it in a warm place for a while, until the yeast starts to “play” and foam appears on top.
- Pour all the wort into a 10-liter bucket or watering can and top up with water heated in the sun.
- Water the strawberries under the root at a rate of 0.5–1 l per bush.
Video: yeast recipe
There are recipes in which the wort is left for several days until the yeast stops working. But in the process of fermentation, alcohol is formed. The end of fermentation suggests that the yeast died from its high concentration. It turns out that gardeners feed strawberries with a solution, which includes: alcohol, fusel oils produced during fermentation, and dead yeast. At the same time, the whole point of feeding with yeast is lost - to bring them into the soil alive and let them work there.
Feeding with ammonia
Ammonia is sold in pharmacies, but is an excellent fertilizer, because it contains a nitrogen compound - ammonia. In addition, the pungent smell of ammonia scares away many pests from strawberries: strawberry weevil, larvae of the May beetle, aphids, etc. In addition, this solution has disinfecting properties and kills pathogenic fungi that settled on strawberry leaves.
The standard pharmacy volume is 40 ml, a half to a whole vial goes to a feeding bucket
For feeding, dilute 2-3 tbsp. l ammonia in 10 liters of water, mix and pour over the leaves and the ground. Observe safety precautions during solution preparation. Ammonia is very volatile, can burn mucous membranes. Do not inhale its vapors. Open the vial and measure the desired dose in the fresh air.
Video: superfood for strawberries - ammonia
Strawberry iodine treatment
Iodine is found literally everywhere in nature (water, air, in the ground), but in very small quantities. Iodine is found in all living organisms, including plants, especially a lot of it in algae. An alcoholic solution of iodine is another drug from a pharmacy that gardeners have adopted. It is believed that this antiseptic protects plants from diseases, and once in the ground, it serves as a catalyst for nitrogen metabolism.
Iodine protects strawberries from disease and serves as a catalyst for nitrogen metabolism.
Different recipes were invented and tested, the concentration of iodine in which is very different: from 3 drops to 0.5 tsp. on 10 l of water. Is there any benefit at the minimum dose - science has not been proven, at the maximum in practice, side effects in the form of leaf burns were not observed. According to reviews, treatment with iodine serves as a good prevention of fungal diseases of strawberries.
Video: using an iodine alcohol solution to process strawberries
Some gardeners believe that it is impossible to harm iodine. However, this element is toxic, volatile. As a result of inhalation of its vapor, a headache, allergic cough, runny nose begins. If ingested, all signs of poisoning appear. If the dose exceeds 3 g, the result can be very disastrous. The iodine solution is not so harmless. Do not overfeed them with plants. To prepare dressings, select a special spoon, measuring cup, bucket, etc. This applies to all fertilizers and preparations.
In the spring, strawberries need to be fed with fertilizers containing nitrogen. Additionally, to accelerate all metabolic processes, trace elements are added. But do not water the beds with all known and available solutions. It is enough to water the strawberries once before flowering with one of the nitrogen-containing top dressings (mineral, infusion of mullein or litter) and after a few days add wood ash or use a purchased mixture of trace elements (growth stimulant). Use preparations that are not intended for plants with caution, since they are not designed for use at the doses at which they are taken for top dressing, and can sometimes be dangerous.