Strawberry Marshmallows - a delicate sweet in the garden
Each gardener who grows strawberries, tries to choose the best variety in taste and yield. Breeders try to satisfy these needs and create more and more new varieties. One of the interesting varieties of foreign breeding is the Zephyr strawberry, which brings very early crops.
History of Strawberry Marshmallow Growing
Strawberries Zephyr (Zephyr) is relatively little known in Russia, although in Europe it has been popular for a long time. This variety appeared in Denmark, and since the mid-1960s began to be actively grown in Norway, from which we can conclude that this variety is well suited even for harsh climatic conditions. It can be cultivated both in open ground and in greenhouses. Due to its high yield and good transportability, it is suitable for commercial cultivation.
Harvested Strawberry Marshmallows Suitable for Industrial Growing
Strawberry Zephyr - very early, ripens in the second half of June, 8-10 days earlier than the Corona variety. The bushes are large, with upright strong peduncles that are located at the same level as the leaves or slightly lower. Berries never fall to the ground . The leaves are large, dark green, with a corrugated surface, sitting on long (8–10 cm) petioles. The surface of the leaves is pubescent.
Strawberries bloom profusely - at least 20 snow-white flowers are formed on each shoot, each of which gives an ovary.
Marshmallows blooms beautiful large flowers
In mid-June, elegant bright red berries with shiny skin begin to ripen in unison. They have a blunt shape and can be ribbed or with a scallop. Juicy flesh of soft pink color and a pleasant texture has a small amount of white veins, without voids. The berries are quite large in size, weighing from 17 to 35 g, sometimes up to 50 g . The berries have a pleasant aroma and a sweet, dessert flavor.
Like other strawberry varieties, Zephyr has a number of useful properties. Its juice and pulp contains folic, malic and salicylic acids, a large amount of vitamin C, trace elements (magnesium, iron, potassium and phosphorus). Strawberry "diet" is recommended to normalize digestion, alleviate the symptoms of hypertension, reduce blood sugar.
Strawberry Marshmallows - video
Characteristics of the Strawberry Variety Zephyr
Strawberries Marshmallows have both positive and negative qualities.
- early ripening in open ground and early (mid-May) when grown under a film;
- long fruiting period;
- high productivity (up to 1 kg from one bush);
- good survival of seedlings and rapid entry into fruiting (with spring planting, it can yield a crop in the same year);
- presentation, good taste and resistance to transportation;
- high winter hardiness (up to -35 ° C in the presence of snow cover, in snowless winters up to -16 ° C);
- resistance to drought;
- good resistance to a number of diseases: rot, powdery mildew, fusarium, spotting.
The disadvantages of the variety include:
- susceptibility to mold and tick damage;
- a decrease in the size of berries by the end of the fruiting period.
Features of planting and growing
Strawberry Marshmallows, like most other varieties, can be propagated by mustache, division of the bush and seeds.
There is an opinion that strawberries Zephyr poorly propagated by seeds, however, gardeners' reviews indicate that this is not entirely true and from the seeds of Zephyr it is quite possible to get full-fledged plants with the characteristics of a variety.
I will share the experience of growing strawberries Marshmallows from seeds. Seeds were sown at the end of February directly into the ground (without stratification), or rather, in the snow. Small dark strawberry seeds are very convenient to sow in the snow, as they are clearly visible. Moreover, during snowmelt, the seeds themselves are drawn into the ground. The stratification is natural and all seeds sprout perfectly. Most of the resulting bushes repeated the properties of the mother plant.
A sufficient number of whiskers is formed in strawberries Marshmallows, so many prefer this method of reproduction . You need to choose the most prolific plant and use the first (in the worst case, the second) sockets on each mustache, and the rest you just need to remove. In order not to clutter the bed with rooted rosettes, you can substitute a separate container with soil under each of them, and after rooting the rosette, cut the mother's mustache and transplant the resulting seedling to a permanent place.
If you root each outlet in a separate cup, it will be much more convenient to transplant young plants to a new place
The division of the bush is often used for small or bezusny varieties of strawberries, but for varieties with a large number of mustaches this method is also suitable. By the end of the season, 10 or more growth points may form on a strawberry bush. Such a bush can be divided into parts (horns) so that each of them has at least a couple of roots.
The overgrown bush needs to be divided into separate bushes (horns)
If the bush is divided into 3-4 parts with a sufficient number of roots on each of them, then you can leave a part of the leaves, and with a small number of roots it is better to remove all leaves when planting. To separate the bush, you need to take it with both hands and, slightly shaking, "pull" into separate sockets.
It is best to plant the sockets received by dividing from spring to September. With a later planting, the plants will not have time to take root before the frost and die.
Right before planting, the bush is carefully divided by hand into separate outlets
To stimulate the growth of the root system, strawberry plants are regularly spudded, raking the ground to outlets. Only you can not allow falling asleep growth points (heart), otherwise the plant will die. Remember that rooting requires high humidity.
Dividens are best rooted in a greenhouse (in partial shade) with a thickened planting of 10 by 20 cm. The root system becomes powerful after 25-30 days, then plants can be transplanted to a permanent place.
If during the division of the bush part of the horns breaks off without roots, they can also be rooted. It is necessary to cut off all the leaves from the horn and put in a greenhouse, arranged in the shade. High humidity should be maintained not only in the soil, but also in the air. This is done using a fogging plant or simply spraying plants with water 5-10 times a day until completely wetted. The greenhouse needs to be opened as little as possible.
Soil preparation and planting
Seedlings obtained by any of the above methods are planted in a permanent place in April or August according to the 25x30 cm pattern. August planting (in the last decade) is considered preferable, since the plants have better rooting by the next spring and will give a plentiful harvest. In fairness, it should be noted that during spring planting Zephyr grows rapidly (a full-fledged large bush is obtained after 3 months) and can bear fruit in the first year.
The place for strawberries should be allocated as even and sunny as possible, protected from drafts, otherwise the berries will not gain sweets.
Good predecessors for strawberries are beets, carrots, cabbage, onions. Marshmallows are unpretentious to soil conditions. A preferred soil is a loose, breathable soil with a neutral reaction.
Strawberries Marshmallows can not be kept in one place for more than 4 years in a row!
During spring planting, the soil must be dug with organic fertilizers and watered with a weak solution of potassium permanganate (for disinfection). It is advisable to make the beds higher so that when watering the berries do not splash with dirt. Sand is recommended along the bed, which will retain moisture.
If strawberries are grown in a greenhouse, it is advisable to fertilize the soil one more year before planting with compost. The distance between the rows should be maintained at 50-60 cm, and between bushes - 40-45 cm.
The bushes are planted in the morning or in the evening in pre-moistened holes with a depth of at least 25 cm with the addition of two tablespoons of ash. When using seedlings with a closed system, you need to shake off the ground and cut off too long roots. When planting, the roots should look down.
Sprinkle the soil carefully so as not to fall asleep heart. After planting, the plants are watered with warm water, and to preserve moisture, mulch the soil with straw or hay.
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Strawberry Marshmallow Care
Strawberry Marshmallows do not require any special care - just normal watering, weeding and top dressing is enough.
Although the variety is characterized by drought tolerance, it should be watered regularly, once a week. During the formation of buds and ovaries, the need for moisture increases. With insufficient watering, the bushes will not suffer, but the yield will be noticeably smaller and worse in quality. Before setting the fruit, watering can be carried out by sprinkling, and after the appearance of the ovary, irrigation furrows. The best way to water is drip irrigation.
Young strawberry plant responds very well to sprinkling
Since the yield of the variety is high, strawberry plants draw a large amount of nutrients and trace elements from the soil. Without regular top dressing, the soil quickly depletes, which negatively affects crop yields. Marshmallows need to be fed 2 times a month. It is recommended to use ammonium nitrate, superphosphate, potassium salt, taken in equal proportions.
Remember that chlorine-based fertilizers should not be fed strawberries!
To increase the yield level, it is useful to apply various organic fertilizers, for example, a mixture of peat with humus.
I was able to increase the setting of berries as follows. In early spring, after removing old leaves, the plants are sprayed with a mullein solution in a ratio of 1: 3, then with a pale pink solution of potassium permanganate with the addition of 10 drops of iodine for every 5-6 liters of water. Before flowering, strawberry bushes were sprayed with a solution of boric acid (10-15 g per bucket of water).
The soil must be maintained in a loose state. After watering, weeds must be removed and the surface of the soil mulched. Loosen the soil 6-8 times per season. To stimulate the good growth of the bushes and laying the crop, you must regularly remove mustaches (if they are not required for reproduction) and old leaves. This operation is carried out using a secateurs every 10-12 days. To reduce labor costs for weeding and loosening, you can cover the beds with a black film or agrofabric.
When growing in a greenhouse, Zephyr plants require frequent ventilation to prevent fungal diseases, as well as a gradual increase in air temperature. In the first period after planting, humidity should be maintained at a level of not less than 80–85%, and at the beginning of flowering it is reduced to 70%. To accelerate ripening, it is useful to use artificial lighting for 8-10 hours a day.
Growing strawberries in a greenhouse - video
Enhancing the aroma of berries can be achieved by laying needles around strawberry bushes.
Pest and disease protection
In general, Strawberry Marshmallows are quite resistant to disease. Treatment with a solution of copper sulfate (2-3 tablespoons per bucket of water) will help prevent diseases of the root system.
It is impossible to process strawberries during flowering and fruiting!
Unfortunately, Zephyr easily gets gray mold - one of the most common diseases that affect the entire aerial part of the bush. Particularly noticeable is the defeat on fruits that turn brown, soften and become covered with a gray coating (with high humidity also fluffy white mycelium). They treat the disease with the help of Fundazole, Topsin M, Euparen. Treatments begin in the first ten days of April and repeat them 3-4 times with an interval of 7-9 days.
The affected berries are covered with a gray coating and will soon dry out.
Of the pests, one should be wary of the strawberry mite, which is especially active in high humidity. This pest settles on the young leaves of strawberries, sucking juices out of them. The leaves turn yellow and deform, becoming wrinkled. An oily coating appears on the surface, and then the leaves dry.
Tick-affected leaves wrinkle and dry
To combat the tick, you need to remove and burn all plant debris around the bushes in autumn and spring. Before planting, young sockets (holding them with their roots up) are dipped in a solution of malathion (75 g per bucket of water). In the spring, you can spray the affected plants with Karate and Arrivo, in the summer (during the formation of the mustache) - Mitak, Omayt, and in the fall with Isofen or Chlorethanol (60 g per bucket of water).
Harvesting, storage and use of crops
Harvesting strawberry marshmallows begins early in the second decade of June. Berries ripen almost simultaneously. They should be collected in the morning or evening hours. To transport the berries, it is better to collect them with the receptacle and put them in shallow plastic containers. Berry transportation is well tolerated.
Strawberries can be stored in the refrigerator for 4–5 days. Marshmallows have a very pleasant taste and, as foreign sources say, "is a good snack, but not suitable for jam." Berries are very good for freezing, do not lose their appearance and shape.
Harvest strawberries marshmallows - video
Gardeners reviews about the variety of garden strawberries Zephyr
Marshmallows are a super early ripening variety. The bush is erect, low. The berries are stupid, sweet, and they tolerate transportation well. Yields are above average with relatively high agricultural technology and favorable weather conditions.
This year I came to the conclusion that I will refuse this variety. Sits for the third year on the site. I don’t like the taste of the berry. And since the berry has a very salable appearance, it is transportable, the variety is not susceptible to diseases even in our conditions with minimal processing, but the taste is inexpressive. It doesn’t suit me, I grow berries for myself for “food”.Natalya Andrianova
Strawberries of the Zephyr variety ripen very amicably. According to some reviews, this is one of the best varieties for growing under a film. But in my conditions, he could not stand the competition in taste for the early varieties of Clery, Olbia, RosannaClub Nika, Ukraine
Large-fruited Marshmallow grew from purchased seeds. There were no complaints about the appearance, - a sight for sore eyes. I tried the berries - the sweetest in taste, the most fragrant .... and crackle like cucumbers when you chew. I don’t eat such ...SvetaR, the city of Ruza, Moscow region
Strawberry Marshmallows. High-yielding super-early ripening variety for the Moscow region. The berries are large, very tasty. In lightness and airiness they remind really a marshmallow - a confectionery productNatasha, the city of Ruza
The Zephyr variety is really very early. With good yield already in the first year of cultivation and even after early spring planting with a large lump. In the photo, the bush is only 2 months after planting in April. By taste, the grade is inferior to such early varieties as Kokinskaya early or Lambada. The first large berries are “irregular” in shape, flat, but then leveled, becoming rounded and smaller. The color is bright red, the flesh is light red, soft. Bushes of medium size, leaves are bright green, with characteristic small teeth along the edges of the leaf blade (a good distinguishing feature of this variety).Nikolay
Strawberry Marshmallows will not cause much trouble when grown. This strawberry may be inferior in taste to some varieties, but its early and high yield compensates for this shortcoming.