Strawberry Albion: a unique variety from which berries are picked all summer
Both adults and children love sweet strawberries. Many wonderful gardeners want to grow these wonderful berries, who, of course, want to have the most productive, delicious and beautiful varieties. Of the many types of strawberries of foreign origin, not all are suitable for growing in Russia. But there are pleasant exceptions. These include strawberries Albion, which, with proper care, can be grown in the southern regions and central Russia.
History and Description of Strawberries Albion
The repairing variety Albion appeared in 2006 thanks to the work of California scientists. Strawberries were obtained by crossing Diamante and Cal 94.16–1 varieties and were intended for commercial cultivation. The original new hybrid was called the CN220.
Albion is a neutral daylight variety. It is recommended for cultivation in the United States, Italy, southern Canada. In the Russian Federation, cultivation of this variety gives the best results in the southern regions (Crimea, Krasnodar Territory, Rostov Region). In the middle lane and northern regions it cannot be grown in open ground, but it bears fruit well in greenhouses under the condition of high-quality lighting.
The variety blooms and forms ovaries continuously (in the conditions of Russia - from the beginning of May to October). When grown in greenhouses, crops can be harvested year-round. It bears fruiting in the second year after planting.
Bushes of Albion are large - up to 40–45 cm high; they form a little mustache. The surface of large and dense dark green leaves is smooth, with an oily sheen. Strong, vertically growing peduncles easily withstand the weight of berries, preventing them from touching the ground.
The berries are very large (average weight 30–50 g), conical or oval-elongated. Usually the first harvest (at the end of May) is characterized by one-dimensional fruits, and by 3-4 fruiting the shape of the berries can change to oval, heart-shaped or elongated.
Berries of Albion are large, conical in shape, with a shiny surface
The taste of fruits, according to gardeners, improves with the second wave of fruiting (second half of July). The skin color is bright red, with gloss, the surface is even. The pulp is a deep pink hue, dense, without voids, with a strong strawberry aroma. On the palate, the berries are usually sour-sweet, and in suitable climatic conditions - sweet, without sourness.
Video: Albion strawberry crop ripens
Strawberry Albion is characterized by a number of advantages and disadvantages. Advantages:
- high productivity - in open ground 500-800 g per bush per season, in a greenhouse up to 2 kg;
- large sizes and good taste characteristics of berries;
- good drought tolerance;
- high resistance to transportation due to the increased density of berries;
- long shelf life (7-8 days);
- high resistance to gray rot, anthracnose, verticillosis and late blight, moderate resistance to other diseases;
- good resistance to spider mites.
Unfortunately, the variety also has shortcomings:
- low frost resistance (bushes die at a temperature of -10 ° C);
- sensitivity to weather fluctuations (at a temperature of +30 ° C, ovulation may stop, and in wet weather the berries lose their taste and become watery);
- not too long fruiting period (transplantation is necessary every 3-4 years);
- not everyone likes over-dense, almost crisp flesh.
Video: Albion Variety Description & Care Tips
Reproduction and planting
Having one bush of your favorite variety, you can provide the entire garden with planting material.
Of the traditional methods for propagating strawberries for the Albion variety, dividing the bush or sowing seeds is recommended, since few whiskers are formed on plants.
- Division of the bush. You need to take well-developed bushes at the age of 3-4 years and divide them into separate rosettes so that each has developed roots. You can divide using a sharp knife or a shovel, or you can soak the root system in water to separate the earth, and then carefully “pull” the bush with your hands.
Soaking the roots will help divide the strawberry bush into separate rosettes
- Sowing seeds. To obtain seedlings, fully ripened berries are harvested, rubbed and the seeds washed. The resulting seed is dried and stored in the refrigerator (shelf life - up to 1 year). Before sowing, the seeds are soaked for a day in water with the addition of growth stimulants (Steampo, peat oxidate Strawberry, Energen). Full seedlings (3-5 leaves, root neck with a diameter of more than 6 mm, the minimum root length of 7 cm) is obtained with this method after 2 months.
Video: growing strawberries from seeds
When buying ready-made seedlings, you need to pay attention to the condition of the roots - they must be healthy, moist, at least 7 cm long. The normal number of leaves on a seedling bush is 5-6, there should be no dry areas, wrinkles and any damage .
Video: preparing Albion seedlings for planting
The landing site of Albion should be well warmed up by the sun, be level and have good drainage. The soil for strawberries is different, but loamy, rich in nutrients is best suited. The reaction of the soil should be from slightly acidic to neutral.
When preparing the soil (3-4 weeks before planting), weeds should be removed from the site and soil fertility increased. For each square meter make:
- 70 g of superphosphate;
- 30 g of potassium sulfate;
- 30 g of ammonium nitrate;
- 2–2.5 buckets of humus.
Dig the soil deep and, if desired, form beds 25-30 cm high (you can not do this and plant strawberries on a flat surface). Landings located on the beds are more convenient to water. In addition, planting on the beds is recommended when moisture stagnates in the area. The beds should be ready 6-7 days before planting, so that the soil has time to settle. The distance between the beds (rows) should be at least 45-50 cm, since the Albion bushes are large and require sufficient space.
After fertilizing, the soil must be dug carefully.
It is advisable to carry out planting in the fall (the last decade of August - the end of September) so that the seedlings take root by the next spring and begin to produce crops. It must be borne in mind that planting should be completed 1–1.5 months before frosts. In cold regions, strawberries are planted in the spring in early winter. Soil temperature should be at least +15 ° C. After spring planting, all formed peduncles and mustaches must be removed so that the forces of the plant are directed to rooting, so that the crop will have to wait until next spring.
Strawberry Planting Procedure:
- Check seedlings, weed out all weak plants.
- Remove all leaves, except 2-3, shorten the long roots to 7-8 cm. It is recommended to soak the seedlings for a day in water with the addition of a growth regulator.
- Make holes in the bed (with an interval of 30–35 cm) sufficient to accommodate the size of the roots. Pour 150-200 ml of warm water into each well.
When planting seedlings on beds covered with a film, you need to make small cuts in appropriate places
- Place the plants in the holes, spreading the roots, and sprinkle with earth.
When landing, you can not deepen the growth point (heart), it should be at ground level
- Seal the ground around the bushes with your hands and water the plantings.
The soil around the bush must be carefully compacted with your hands
- If the weather is too hot, you need to shade the beds with agrofibre or straw for several days.
A very good result is given by adding a glass of vermicompost or half a glass of humus to each well under the roots of a bush with 1 teaspoon of ash.
Although strawberries are not too whimsical, but to get good yields, they need regular care - watering, top dressing, weeding, protection from pests.Recent entries In April, I process roses so that no pests encroach on my beauties
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Watering, fertilizing and soil care
Strawberry Albion reacts negatively to a lack of moisture - the quality of the berries deteriorates, voids may appear in them. However, excessive watering is also harmful, causing decay. Therefore, you need to water regularly (every 12-14 days), but in moderation. Before flowering, it is recommended to water by sprinkling, then along the grooves. But the best way is drip irrigation, because the water goes directly to the roots.
The drip irrigation system tubes are laid during the arrangement of beds
The soil also needs regular maintenance. After each watering, weeds must be plucked out and the soil crust destroyed by loosening (10-15 cm between rows and 2-3 cm near the bushes). You can save yourself from this tedious job if you grow strawberries under a black film, but you must not forget that it sometimes provokes the spread of fungal diseases.
To increase the productivity of the repair strawberry, it is recommended to remove the flower stalks in the first wave of fruiting. This method can significantly increase the yield of subsequent harvests.
Regular top dressing is very important for repairing strawberries of any variety, since the plant constantly forms a crop. The best fertilizer is organics - solutions of mullein or bird droppings, compost, manure. In liquid solutions, it is recommended to feed strawberries every 2-3 weeks.
Mineral fertilizers are applied 3 times during the growing season:
- At the beginning of the growth of young leaves, 0.5 l of urea solution (1 tbsp. Per bucket of water) is added to 1 bush or 50 g / m2 of nitrophos.
- Before flowering plants are fed 2 tbsp. l nitroammophoski and 1 tsp. potassium sulfate per bucket of water (0.5 l per 1 bush).
- In autumn, after fruiting is completed, 1 l of a solution of 10 l of water is added to the plant with the addition of nitrophoska (2 tbsp. L.) And wood ash (1 glass).
Fertilizer doses cannot be exceeded - the plant begins to build green mass to the detriment of the crop.
Strawberry responds well to foliar top dressing:
- In the spring, when the leaves grow, spray with a 0.1% solution of manganese sulfate, a 0.1% solution of boric acid, a 0.05% solution of molybdenum acid ammonium.
- In August, it is useful to carry out foliar top dressing with urea (0.3%).
An important component of foliar feeding strawberries is manganese sulfate.
Protection against diseases and pests
Despite the good resistance to most diseases, preventive treatments will be useful. In particular, it is recommended to apply after snowmelt, and then during flowering Fitosporin or Glyokladin. You can also increase the resistance to diseases with the help of a soap-iodine solution (30 drops of iodine and 35–40 g of laundry soap per bucket of water).
To protect against pests, prophylactic or therapeutic treatments will be required:
- Strawberry mites can be eliminated with a solution of colloidal sulfur (55-60 g per bucket of water).
- Pollination with ash or metaldehyde (3-4 g / m2) will help from slugs before flowering and after harvesting.
- Nematodes can be treated with strong insecticides (Dinadim, BI-58). Better yet, destroy the infected bushes. If the cuttings became short and deformed, and the leaf plates twisted, you need to dig a bush with roots and burn.
Straw pests in the photo
- The mite eats young leaves, they shrink, and the berries are smaller
- Slugs are especially active in wet weather, they invade the berries, gnawing moves in them
- The plants affected by the strawberry nematode lag behind in growth, turn yellow, their leaves are deformed and the fruits are smaller
In early autumn, you need to start preparing strawberries for wintering:
- In September, two to three times to loosen the soil to a depth of 5 cm.
- In October, after harvesting the last crop, mulch the plantings with a 5-cm layer of peat or sawdust.
- In November, additionally cover the beds with spruce branches. If the winter turned out to be snowless, then another layer of straw or rotted manure is poured over the spruce branches.
Growing strawberries in flower pots and hydroponics
In addition to cultivation in open ground and in greenhouses, there are other ways. Like other repair varieties, Albion can be grown at home. Each bush is planted in a regular flower pot with a volume of at least 3 liters. The soil must be nutritious and, in addition, to ensure constant fruiting, you will need to feed strawberries with solutions of organic and mineral fertilizers every two to three weeks.
Strawberries grown in a pot on a windowsill will delight berries in winter
Another option for growing Albion strawberries, suitable for both industrial and home conditions, is hydroponic cultivation. This means planting strawberries in containers filled with claydite or coconut fiber instead of soil. To ensure the growth, development and fruiting of plants, the substrate must be kept moist, and all the necessary nutrients are added to irrigation water.
In hydroponics, with drip irrigation, strawberries develop well and bear fruit
When and how to harvest
When cultivated in open ground, the Albion variety usually produces 4 harvest waves:
- At the end of May.
- At the beginning of July.
- In the middle of August.
- In the second half of September.
It is advisable to wait for the full ripeness of the berries. Torn unripe will no longer gain sweetness and remain sour.
Harvesting strawberries is done manually, in the morning or in the evening, in dry weather. Berries must be picked with the stalk and put in boxes or pails. Unlike other varieties, Albion withstands laying with a thick layer, practically does not crease. Store the crop in the refrigerator, where it can maintain freshness and taste for 7-8 days.
Strawberries of this variety are very good in fresh form, and is also recommended for making jam, as dense berries retain their shape when cooked. But, of course, you can use the crop for other purposes - fruit salads, a punch, compote.
Strawberries are an excellent raw material for pear and other drinks.
We must not forget about the medicinal properties of strawberries. Berries help improve metabolism, have urinary and diaphoretic effects. Decoctions and infusions of strawberries help with stomatitis and pharyngitis. Infusions of leaves help lower blood pressure and have a hemostatic effect. Even the roots find application - their decoctions are used for colitis and hemorrhoids.
Gardeners reviews on Strawberry Albion
In 2008, I tested the varieties of NSD, including Albion. Albion showed very good results, which was written in the journal Ogorodnik No. 5 of 2009. Unfortunately, last year I lost this variety, and now I will restore it.Club Nika, Ukraine
planted a potted albion on the balcony. the berries turned red to burgundy but the size of the largest is 30 mm (3 centimeters) I don’t know what weight I have yet to pluck. on the bush there are only 18 berries of different sizes from green to bright red. As I understand it, for albion these are small berries. What needs to be done so that the berries of the next ovaries are larger?sleepy, Moscow
The ripening of my trial bush of Albion coincided with the rains. The result - the pulp is very dense, no taste. I will watch further.Anyuta, Kiev
Yes, there are not a lot of owners of this variety, my planted in 15 is very small, it grew well, got accustomed, picked up green leaves and gave three berries, in the fall I thinned bushes, removed my mustache. I covered it with non-fabric in the winter of 16, I wintered well the greenback was good, but commodity berries I collected a little 50 grams from the bush from it. In autumn 16 it was thickened but powerful, in winter it didn’t cover the snow early and many 20-30 cm, wintering poorly had a lot of attacks like Klerry’s, he spilled it pre-fine in April, sprinkled it with fertilizers in the form of urea, you can see the bushes have bright green the colors bloom poorly and grow poorly, they are already in their third season, that's how Albion behaves with me, next to him Syria is very good with growth and color and berries!Volmol, Uryupinsk
The fruiting of Albion was waited two months after planting seedlings. It is very difficult to give any final estimates, since our climate is not strawberry at all, and I don’t deal with berries for sale. The pulp of the berry is very dense, there is little sugar, strawberry aroma is present. It seems to me that this is a real industrial variety.Che_Honte, Melitopol
Variety Albion, despite its origin from sunny California, can grow in cold Russia. True, this strawberry does not tolerate winter well and in the northern regions it must be grown in greenhouse conditions. But if you follow all the necessary rules of care, you can get abundant harvests of beautiful, delicious berries.