We received a question from Alexei: "How is strawberry watered at different stages of its development?"
Watering strawberries should be carefully verified during the entire period of active vegetation of the crop, but, especially when the plant gives the first flowers, and then the berries.
Watering strawberries: the rules
In addition to a sufficient amount of moisture, strawberries need a continuous supply of oxygen to the roots, so watering must be combined with loosening. This is the only way to achieve optimal conditions for its cultivation and get an excellent harvest.
The plant is unable to draw water from the lower layer of the earth, since its roots do not go below the surface layer, and the tops of strawberries during the growing season “parted” intensively with moisture. This means that moisture must be replenished regularly, but subject to weather conditions.
The irrigation rate is determined depending on precipitation, and if it rains constantly, strawberries (during fruiting and flowering) can be covered with agrofilm to prevent the appearance of fungal infections.
We also suggest that you learn about safe methods for controlling thrips in strawberries.
For different types of soil where strawberries grow, it is customary to observe certain moisture parameters:
- during flowering and fruiting - 65-70% (for sand);
- during flowering and vegetation in general - 80% (for clay);
- after picking berries - 60-65% (for sand).
If there is little rainfall in spring, the first watering occurs at the end of April. It is clear that strawberries on light soil will require less water than on heavy.
They start watering in the morning, so that the bushes dry out in the evening. It is better to keep water in tanks so that it can warm up by the time of irrigation. It is not necessary to fill the plants: this can lead to its diseases.
Recall that after irrigation and rainfall, the soil must be loosened to prevent the formation of an earth crust, which prevents air from reaching the roots. Loosening can be accompanied by mulching.
How often to water strawberries
- Starting to plant, prepare at least half a liter of water for each bush. For quick adaptation of seedlings and productive flowering, they are watered three times a day for 14 days after planting.
- Then the interval between irrigation lengthen, interrupting for 1-2 days. An average of 3 liters of water is consumed per square meter.
- Before the flowering begins, you can safely use sprinklers, after the first flowers appear, the irrigation method is changed to drip, directing water only to the roots.
- During fruiting, drip morning watering is maintained, but the frequency of watering is determined by the owner of the site: it is clear that in the steppe arid zones the plant will begin to feel thirst faster than, for example, in the Far East.
- It is logical that the amount of watering is related to air temperature: with its average performance, strawberries receive water 1-2 times every seven days. Moreover, a rare, but plentiful watering is much more useful than frequent, but meager moisture. The norm is considered to be up to 20 liters per square meter.
- During intensive fruiting, strawberries should receive plenty of water every day: especially in hot weather. Therefore, when the berries ripen, the water supply must be increased.
- Watering strawberries by drip irrigation has its own nuances. If you are used to harvesting several crops during the summer, before starting irrigation, collect all the ripened berries so that they do not rot. Refrain from "overflow" - during the fruiting period, you can spoil the ripening fruits.
- During irrigation, the bushes can easily pick up the fungus. Straw can play the role of an antibacterial "pillow": it will block the path of fungal diseases and absorb excess fluid. In addition, berries fenced from the ground will retain their pristine purity.
- By the way, as a prophylaxis of the fungus, you can once a decade treat strawberries with a solution of Fitosporin M.
- And if you do not forget to water the bushes after you harvest, the formation of flower buds for future fruiting will be much faster.
Watering Strawberries: Methods
- If you don’t have money for modern irrigation systems, you can continue to supply strawberries with water using garden watering can. The disadvantage of this method is one - its increased complexity.
- The second inexpensive watering device is hose. It is more powerful than a watering can, but the pressure of water can not only help the plants, but how much harm them by knocking down fragile seedlings.
- The water from the strawberry hose is very cold, and is also able to quickly pick up the fungus and smash it to the site.
- If the family budget allows, it’s better to set drip irrigation systems or sprinkler system, the advantage of which is its mobility.
- With drip irrigation, a minimum of water is consumed, since it, unlike hose irrigation, goes strictly to the roots. Aisles are not moistened and weeds become much less.
- The structure of the soil is preserved, which, with the drip method of irrigation, remains warmer, protecting the seedlings from sudden frosts.
When and how to water strawberries
Remember that properly organized rhythmic watering is a guarantee of a quality and significant crop.