How to plant strawberries in the fall?


How to get plenty of strawberries? Strawberries in pots or with bare roots? To plant in spring or in autumn? Certified strawberry plants or not? When strawberries are well planted and their cultivation more rigorously managed, the harvest becomes very abundant.

Why plant strawberries in the fall?

In fact, in the fall, the best season to plant strawberries is from mid-August, if it is not too dry until the end of October, beginning of November, period when we take advantage of natural precipitation. Indeed, it seems a bit short to plant strawberries in the spring to hope for a harvest in May, how would they have the time to develop before their first harvest? Eventually, this could be suitable for repeat strawberries that produce until October, provided they are watered very regularly in summer, but the vegetable gardener is not a professional strawberry producer, he does not have specialized equipment to limit the magnitude of the stain.

So even for receding strawberries, we may benefit from plant before winter, knowing that it is possible in spring too.

Planted in September October, the strawberry plant will produce many very deep roots and will be perfectly installed when the drier periods come. Excellent rooting greatly limits watering chores and water consumption.

Strawberry plants certified or not?

What are the certified strawberry plants ? These are strawberry plants whose quality is strictly maintained while their multiplication goes through cultivation. in vitro, then by vegetative propagation in a protected environment, only for a maximum of 10 generations.

The interest? Not only the variety is well preserved, the traceability making that errors are infrequent, but in addition, these plants are virus free, other diseases, and pests typical of strawberries.

Indeed, and culture in vitro, the strawberry plant is propagated from the meristem (the inside of the buds), a place where there are no or few pathogenic viruses, bacteria or fungi, and if ever there is, since it is seen immediately, these cultures are automatically eliminated.

Obviously, these strawberry plants are more expensive.

But certified plants are synonyms of quality. They are then produced by breeders, and then marketed in lumps, pots, trays, or plates.

Bare root strawberries

In late summer and autumn, transplanting bare root strawberries is interesting. They are sold in bundles of 10 to 25 plants. The breeder grew them in sandy soil from where they are easily extracted without damaging the roots. Almost all leaves are cut, and the roots are healthy, long and numerous, finally easier to install in the vegetable garden: there is no bun of roots to untie in the small pots, and the roots already descend to 20 cm deep in your own soil!

Preparing the ground for the strawberries

The land which will receive the strawberries must be carefully prepared, digged, not only for loosen the ground about 30/40 cm deep, but also for remove as much quackgrass, bindweed or nettle roots as possible because the strawberries will remain in place for several years.

The strawberries are greedy, and the preparation of the ground requires an amendment in organic matter, that is to say manure that has been mixed with the soil in the previous spring, or if this is not done,fertilizer organic brown gold type or granulated manure at the time of planting.

Procedure for transplanting strawberries:

  • loosen the earth

  • soak the plants a little in water just before transplanting. No need to praline the bare strawberry roots.

  • make a hole 30 cm deep

  • possibly put a few granules of manure in it.

  • place the strawberry plant so that the collar is just on the surface, spreading the roots a little and cast off the land refined around.

  • press down with the flat of your hand.

  • in the row, space the strawberries by 30 cm.

  • the line spacing must be a minimum of 45 cm

  • water each strawberry plant when everything is planted to drive out air pockets.

And There you go ! you just have to let it go: no need to water your strawberries in winter. At this time of year, the recovery is assured, and they will already give a good harvest the following year.

Maintenance :

  • weed between the rows without trying too hard to interfere with the roots of strawberries. It is better to put up with a few unwanted weeds than to damage the roots of your strawberries. The scraper, an excellent tool locally called lazy, which cuts just below the surface can however be passed between the rows, it is effective against annuals or young perennial weeds and breaks the rind.

  • possible mulching from the end of April : it keeps rainwater longer in the soil and makes a drier layer where the strawberries rest.

  • possibly put a net to avoid pilfering the birds.

  • organic fertilizer application (compost, decomposed manure) between the rows in the spring of the 2nd and 3rd harvest years.

How long do we leave the strawberry plants in the strawberry park?

Strawberries produce well for 3 years, then due to viruses and other strawberry diseases, production is declining, often, without making the strawberries seem more puny. Unless a variety is particularly resistant, the same goes for their runners that can be replanted for a year or two.

So, good management consists in removing them after 3 years (at the producers, they only keep them for 1 year in place).

The ideal is to replant new strawberries every year, and to remove those who have turned 3 years old.

The new plants should be installed if possible far enough away from the first ones and it is estimated that it takes the soil 5 years without strawberries for it to ‘cleanse’ itself naturally of pathogens of the strawberry plant.

Mini garden: In the case of a vegetable patch, it will be better to change all the soil before immediately replanting the strawberries or rolling over 3 different squares.

On the other hand, you can tighten your strawberries a little more since you can turn around, provided you take care of the amendment: the bushy and tight foliage will make the strawberries less visible to birds, the height of the square limits the effect of moisture under the foliage. But watering is to be watched: it dries more.


Source: Au Jardin, conseils en jardinage by www.aujardin.info.

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