How to mulch strawberries
Mulching strawberries is a kind of shelter for berries. It is an important procedure to protect against pests, diseases and prevent the death of bushes. When and how to do it right, consider this article.
What is mulching
Mulch is an organic or inorganic material that covers the soil around or on top of seedlings. Mulching allows you to prevent freezing of bushes in winter, and in summer makes it possible to collect pure berries. In addition, mulching allows you to saturate the soil with useful minerals and protect fruit bushes from arthropod pests.
- It will also benefit:
- protects strawberries from external damage;
- save from weather disasters;
- will allow earthworms and beneficial insects to multiply;
- help form a fertile layer of soil surface.
Did you know? In France, in the city of Plowastel, a museum dedicated to strawberries was created.
- However, if the mulch is used incorrectly, it will harm both bushes and berries:
- can cause excessive moisture, which will lead to rotting strawberries;
- takes all beneficial microorganisms from the soil;
- destroy even worms that loosen the earth and saturate it with oxygen.
Before applying the mulching of the plant, it is worth determining what purpose this manipulation is carried out.
Often, even experienced gardeners have a question, how is it better to mulch the plant. If the mulching process takes place in the winter, it is better to use organic material.
The choice of material for mulching depends on what time of year you cover the strawberries.
- pine branches, needles;
- raspberry branches;
- mowed grass;
Inorganic shelter is a material such as:
- crushed stone;
- burlap, etc.
Did you know? A face mask of these fresh berries will get rid of wrinkles and freckles.
To use spanbond for covering, in winter it is recommended to place arcs and pull a protective mulch on top, because, in contact with the inorganic coating, the leaves can freeze. In spring, spanbond lets in enough sunlight and moisture.
When it becomes warm, the mulch is removed. It just needs to be removed. But cardboard and gravel will have to be cleaned for a long time. Cardboard will soften and spill due to moisture. It will need to be completely disposed of. With crushed stone, too, have to tinker and choose all the pebbles from the ground.
Video: when and how to mulch strawberries
These are natural remedies - dry grass, branches of bushes, reeds, needles, etc. This material should be scattered abundantly under the seedling bushes, and cover the young shoots from above. The thickness of the shelter should be 6-15 cm. This will not only protect the plant from frost, but also provide the earth with useful organic substances.
In order to use this material, it is necessary to spread light paper, such as a newspaper, under each bush and pour sawdust on top of about 5 cm. They will become a barrier to slugs and snails. Sawdust decomposes for a long time, which extends their validity to 3 years.
This method is recommended for use in summer or winter.
In addition, small sawdust shavings absorb moisture heavily, therefore it requires a large amount of water, but in the future this will avoid frequent watering, as sawdust will keep cool and moisture. However, not all gardeners recommend using sawdust to mulch strawberries. Skeptics claim that sawdust pulls nitrogen out of the ground.
Needles are used exclusively on slightly acidic soils, since it oxidizes the soil with rotting. However, the content of phytoncides and bactericidal substances in this form of organic means allows you to rid plants of diseases and pests.
It is necessary to use no longer fresh needles, preferably yellowed, laying around the bushes in layers, about 3-5 cm thick. The prickly remedy weakly protects the soil from overheating in the hot season and makes it possible to germinate weeds.
If before using straw of any crop it is crushed and used as finely as possible, it will provide the berry with all the necessary nutrients. There will be no need to re-feed.
Straw is an ideal way to mulch strawberries. Stable soil ventilation and saturation will allow you to get a high-quality and high-grade crop. Also this type of material is used in combination with humus and compost. Straw is laid in a layer of 15-20 cm, in the future it will settle.
Video: straw mulching
Using grass in the form of mulch will provide the plant with fiber and additional nutrition, but for a short period of time. Due to the fact that the grass quickly decomposes, it must be updated every 15 days. The layer should be at least 7-10 cm.
This is an artificial material that can also be used as mulch. He, like everything else, has its positive and negative sides.
First of all, it should be at least 30 microns thick. The warranty period for the sale of this raw material is up to 3 years. The method of laying the black film is identical to laying the spunbond, only watering is carried out through the holes in the film or by the drip under it.
This is an artificial fabric that looks like a bag of sugar, only black. It is quite dense and does not allow weeds to grow. Agrofabric is often confused with agrofibre, but these are actually completely different types of material.
It is not recommended to use it in garden and summer cottages, as it strongly compresses and compacts the ground, and is also quite expensive.
This is an excellent tool, but it is better to use colorless cardboard.
The process is carried out in three stages:
- Cover the ground with cardboard.
- Agrofibre is placed on top.
- Then cover with hay or straw.
In this case, strawberries are reliably protected from frost and damage.
Strawberry season and mulching season
Depending on the time of year, there are peculiarities for mulching berry bushes. In addition to organic and inorganic materials, gardeners also use decorative mulch.
- She has her privileges:
- used for any kind of strawberry;
- It looks pretty enough;
- in the winter keeps heat;
- keeps cool in the summer;
- protects the soil.
Important! It is best to plant strawberries in spring in a well-fertilized soil with humus and compost.
To prevent plants from freezing in winter, they must be mulched in the fall. To do this, lay a large layer of material around the stems or cover the soil with a spanbond. When using organic mulch, the earth is saturated with useful nutritional components. One of the best options for the material are fallen leaves.
Before you cover the strawberries for the winter, you need to trim it, fertilize, clean the soil around the bushes, loosen the ground. Then carry out the process of mulching and until spring do not touch the strawberries. For mulching during this period, as a rule, use organic materials.
After the snow has melted, you probably need to remove the winter mulch, clean the ground, fertilize it and use organic mulch material or spanbond, which will prevent the emergence of weeds.Please note that only in the spring can you use mulching cardboard.
How to mulch properly
When mulching strawberries, a variety of material is used. The main thing is to apply it correctly. If this process is carried out in early spring, it must be carried out before flowering. For example, gently scatter the preferred mulch under the bushes. It is necessary to sprinkle in thin layers, so that as a result a blanket comes out around the bushes 6-7 cm.If you plant seedlings in a special film with slots, which will act as a mulch, you must do this carefully so as not to damage the leaves and core of the bush. Any mulch will preserve and protect leaves and berries from damage, dirt, fungus, nematodes.
What will happen if you do not do the procedure
If a gardener does not use mulch for strawberries, it can reduce yields. The berries will be dirty, small and tasteless. It can also lead to the fact that the plant becomes ill or is destroyed by pests. Failure to mulch the procedure for the winter can provoke freezing and death of seedlings.
Mulching makes it possible to grow stronger and more resilient bushes, which will give a good harvest. Harvesting such a crop will be greatly facilitated, due to the fact that the berries will be clean and compactly located on the bush. Using different means to shelter the bushes, you can grow an excellent crop of berries.