Preparing the soil and forming beds for strawberries in spring


Strawberry (or garden strawberry) is the very first and long-awaited berry in the country. In order to enjoy its unique taste every summer, it is necessary to properly prepare the soil and beds for planting crops. The composition and acidity of the soil is critical for a flavorful crop.

Choosing a place for strawberries

Before you start preparing the soil, decide where to plant your strawberries. The quantity and quality of the crop depends on the correct choice of place.

The place for planting strawberries must have the following characteristics:

  • well lit by the sun. If you plant strawberries in the shade, leaves will develop more actively, rather than berries. The fruits will be smaller and sour, and ripening will be delayed;

    To get large, sweet berries, you need to plant strawberries in a well-lit area.

  • have a groundwater level not higher than one meter. With prolonged waterlogging, the delicate roots of strawberries can rot. If your site is with a high groundwater table, plant strawberries in bulk beds 15–20 cm high;
  • be protected from the wind. Experienced gardeners advise planting strawberries between currant and gooseberry bushes;
  • be located on level ground. It is good if there is a slight slope in the southwest direction. Place the rows not along, but across the slope. This will help keep the spring melt water, and during heavy rains, the top fertile layer will not be washed off. Avoid planting strawberries on steep slopes or in low areas where cold air builds up;
  • to be cleared of perennial weeds - wheatgrass, sow thistle and others.

Strawberries are grown in one place for no more than 4-5 years. After this period, the berries become smaller, the yield decreases. When choosing a new location, observe the crop rotation. The best predecessors are:

  • onion,
  • garlic,
  • carrot,
  • any greens,
  • legumes and siderates.

Do not plant berries after potatoes, cucumbers, and tomatoes. These crops are often affected by fungal diseases, which are dangerous for strawberries. The berry can be returned to its original place no earlier than after 4 years.

When choosing a place to plant strawberries, try not to place the garden close to trees. Once I made a mistake with the choice of a place, having made a bed not far from the apple tree. In the spring, when the leaves had not yet blossomed, the strawberries were fully illuminated by the sun. Then, due to the abundant foliage, my garden bed was in the shade for a good half of the day.

Preparing the soil for planting in spring

In order for strawberries to give a bountiful harvest, it is necessary to properly prepare the soil for planting it. If you plan to plant strawberries in the spring, you need to prepare the garden in the fall.

Sandy loam or loamy soils are best suited for growing strawberries. They are good because:

  • easy to handle;
  • contain a sufficient amount of nutrients;
  • breathable;
  • absorb moisture well;
  • warm up quickly and slowly give off heat.

    Loamy soil is more structured and fertile compared to clayey

But not always a garden plot can meet such requirements. There are various ways to improve the soil structure:

  • if the soil on the site is sandy, then by 1 m2 add a bucket of dry clay and 2 buckets of humus;
  • in clay soil, add 1 bucket of peat and 1/4 bucket of sand per 1 m2 beds. Make drainage grooves if necessary.

From experienced gardeners, I have heard different opinions about adding peat to the soil. Some believe that peat loosens and enriches it with oxygen. Others - that peat increases the acidity of the soil. Still others suggest adding a glass of ash to a bucket of peat, which will balance the acidity.

In fact, only high-moor peat increases acidity, and for most crops, lowland peat is used, which enriches the soil with the necessary mineral and organic substances, helps to retain moisture in the soil.

Only low-lying peat is suitable for a garden bed with strawberries.

Clay soils can also be improved with sawdust. They are prepared like this:

  1. Dilute 1 tablespoon of urea in 10 liters of water.
  2. Fresh sawdust is poured with this solution.

    To get rotted sawdust, they must be poured with a urea solution

  3. Add dolomite flour or ash (1 glass per bucket of sawdust) and mix well.
  4. Pour the mixture into a bag that does not allow water to pass through, and leave in a warm place for several days.

It is necessary to add rotted sawdust to improve the soil before winter, while digging the site.

Soil acidity

Strawberries do not grow well and bear fruit in acidic soils. The optimum pH is 5.5–6, that is, the soil should be slightly acidic or neutral.

You can understand that there is acidic soil on your site by the following signs:

  • abundant growth of such wild crops as plantain, field mint, horsetail, horse sorrel, creeping buttercup;
  • the presence of brown plaque on stones and paths;
  • soil color with a tinge of rust.

Cornflower, chamomile, nettle, quinoa, creeping wheatgrass grow on weakly acidic soils. On neutral soils - coltsfoot, bindweed. On alkaline - field mustard, poppy seed.

You can determine the acidity of the soil using ordinary table vinegar. Take some dirt from the plot and drop acid on it. If bubbles appear, then lime is present in the soil and its acidity is neutral. If there is no reaction, the soil is acidic.

And you can also determine the acidity with a special device - a pH meter.

A pH meter is used to determine the acidity of the soil.

To reduce the acidity of the soil, it must be calcified:

  • 1 m2 sandy and sandy loam soil - 100–150 g of lime;
  • 1 m2 clay and loamy soil - 0.5-1.4 kg of lime.

    Lime is applied in spring or autumn when digging a site

You can also deacidify the soil with wood ash: by 1 m2 soil - 700 g of ash. In addition to reducing acidity, it perfectly fertilizes the soil: ash contains many trace elements, such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus, etc.

Wood ash is a good soil deoxidizer.

I have an old metal stove in my dacha, which was left over from the previous owners. She stood for a long time without use. Once the electricity was turned off and the stove turned out to be irreplaceable. Now, besides the aromatic smoky tea, I always have wood ash. I rake it out of the stove, pour it into a small barrel, cover it tightly and store it in a dry place.

Soil disinfection

So that young strawberry seedlings are not affected by diseases and pests, the soil must be disinfected. It can be processed in different ways.

Chemical method

Treating the soil with chemicals destroys pathogens, but together with them, beneficial bacteria are destroyed. In addition, chemical elements accumulate in the soil and affect the quality of the crop. Therefore, use the chemical method when other means do not work.

To disinfect the soil when planting strawberries, use:

  • fungicide TMTD: 1 m2 soil - 60 g of powder;
  • 1% solution of copper sulfate: dilute 100 g in 10 liters of water and shed the soil.
Treat the soil with preparations containing copper once every five years. With their frequent use, the quality of the soil deteriorates and the number of beneficial bacteria decreases.

Copper sulfate is used no more than once every five years.

Biological way

Treatment with biological preparations rid the soil of pathogenic microorganisms, pest larvae and populates it with beneficial bacteria. You can use these preparations before planting strawberries:

  • Fitosporin-M - fungicide (antifungal);
  • Trichodermin - anti-infective agent;
  • Alirin - insecticide (against insects);
  • Baikal EM is a concentrate of beneficial bacteria.

    Fertilizer Baikal-EM contains beneficial bacteria

Each product comes with detailed instructions for use.

The soil must not be treated with chemical and biological preparations at the same time, the interval between treatments must be at least 14 days.

Agrotechnical method

The agrotechnical method includes the organization of the correct crop rotation and the competent distribution of plantings. Due to the periodic change of crops (as mentioned above), pathogenic infections and pests do not spread in the soil.

Strawberry beds are not placed near raspberries, cabbage, Jerusalem artichoke. But garlic and parsley root perfectly coexist with this culture. They can be planted between rows to repel pests with a specific smell. For the same purpose, calendula and marigolds are planted along the beds with strawberries.

Calendula not only drives away pests from strawberries, but also decorates the garden

I scatter calendula and marigold seeds throughout the site. I pull out excess plants that interfere with the growth of garden crops and use them as mulching material. Bright flowers not only scare away pests, but also decorate the site. At the end of summer, I collect seeds and use them for sowing in spring.

To disinfect a small bed for strawberries, you can spill it with boiling water before planting, which will destroy pathogens and larvae of pests that have overwintered in the soil.

Fertilizing the soil before planting

For better survival of strawberry seedlings and a good harvest of berries, fertilizers must be added to the soil before planting. As mentioned earlier, if you plan to plant strawberries in the spring, then the soil is prepared in the fall. The best time is September.

As fertilizer per 1 m2 soil, the following composition is used:

  • 7 kg of humus or compost;
  • 30 g of potassium sulfate or potassium magnesium;

    Potassium Magnesium Effective for Chlorine Sensitive Crops

  • 200 g of wood ash.

Fertilize the soil as follows:

  1. The composition is evenly distributed over the surface of the earth.
  2. Then the bed is dug onto the bayonet of the shovel.

    The earth is dug up together with fertilizer to the depth of a shovel bayonet

  3. During digging, all the roots of perennial weeds such as wheatgrass, sow thistle, etc. are removed.
  4. Then the surface of the earth is leveled with a rake and left until spring.

In the spring, two weeks before planting, it is evenly scattered and covered with a rake for 1 m2 soil:

  • 20-25 g superphosphate;
  • 20-25 g of potassium sulfate.

Fresh manure cannot be used as fertilizer, as it will burn the delicate strawberry roots. It is also undesirable to use fertilizers containing chlorine.

Thermal insulation of soil

For regions where long return frosts are possible, it is advisable to build warm beds for strawberries. They are fertile and serve to insulate the soil. The principle of making such beds is simple - they should consist of three main layers:

  • the bottom layer acts as a drainage and retains heat, preventing it from going into deeper layers (dry tree branches, cutting boards, etc.);
  • the middle layer consists of organic residues (weeds, tops, food waste (except meat), etc.);
  • the top layer is fertile land at least 20–25 cm high.

There are several types of warm beds.

Bed-box

This type of bed is used in areas where there is a high level of groundwater. A box is hammered out of boards (or slate) and filled in layers with dry branches, organic matter and earth.

In a warm bed-box, strawberries are not afraid of recurrent frosts

Trench bed

Where groundwater runs low and does not flood the site, a trench bed is made.

To make a warm bed, dig a trench on a shovel bayonet

Combined bed

Such a bed is more difficult to manufacture, but justifies its purpose. It is done like this:

  1. A trench is dug into which coarse waste is laid.
  2. A metal mesh is laid in it from mice, which can settle in a warm bed.
  3. The place above the trench is fenced off with a box.
  4. Organic matter and a fertile layer are placed in the box.

Combined bed combines a trench bed and a box bed

Formation of beds for planting strawberries

For planting strawberries, there are many options for forming beds.

The easy way

The most common way is to plant strawberry seedlings in simple beds. They are not raised or fenced off. Only between the rows of strawberries furrows are made 30–40 cm wide and 15–20 cm deep. Excess water will accumulate in them after irrigation and rain. And it is also convenient to walk on them, harvesting.

Furrows are made between the rows of strawberries, along which it is convenient to walk

Carpet landing

Carpet planting of strawberries is very easy to care for. Plants settle into vacant spaces and cover the soil with a continuous carpet. As a result, moisture is retained and weed growth is suppressed. However, over time, the berries become smaller, as the plantings become too thick.

Strawberries can be planted with a carpet and ribbons in several rows, in the latter case, the possibility of crumbling berries is reduced

Ridge landing

Ridge planting is an option for a simple bed. This achieves several goals:

  • the roots are protected from nearby groundwater;
  • water and fertilizer flow into the furrows between the ridges, which prevents the soil from washing out from under the roots.

However, such beds are quite time consuming in terms of weeding.

Video: planting strawberries on the combs

Low german bed

Strawberry beds using German technology are gaining more and more popularity. At the same time, not simple grooves are made between the rows of strawberries, but fences made of boards, slate or bricks are installed.

German strawberry beds can be made in any shape

Formation of a German bed:

  1. Dig a trench 40 cm wide by 20 cm deep to plant the strawberries in one row. If you plan to plant two rows of strawberries, then the width of the trench is 80 cm. The length is at your discretion.
  2. Install a fence with a height of 20 to 40 cm around the perimeter of the trench.

    A low fence is installed around the dug trench

  3. Lay long-decaying material at the bottom - board trimmings, dry branches, cardboard, wood shavings, etc.
  4. Cover with fertile soil on top and level.
  5. Plant the strawberry bushes in one or two rows.

    It is better to mulch the planted strawberries.

  6. Lay the furrows between the rows with paving slabs, cover them with broken bricks or cover them with boards.

Watering low beds is carried out with caution. It is best to water with a watering can, making circular motions so as not to blur the soil near the roots. If a hose is used for watering, then wrap the end of it with a cloth that allows water to pass through well. In this case, you need to water at the root of the plant.

Tall beds of tires or barrels

When there is little space on the site, tall vertical beds can be made from old car tires or barrels. Such beds have a number of advantages:

  • a lot of space is saved in a small area;
  • beautifully designed tires or barrels will decorate your garden;
  • plant care is simplified - no need to bend over, moving from one bush to another;
  • ripe berries do not touch the ground and are easy to pick.

The disadvantages include:

  • frequent watering, as the soil dries out quickly;
  • the need to feed strawberries at least once every two weeks;
  • complete soil replacement every 2 years to obtain a good harvest;
  • planting new strawberries every spring, as they freeze in winter.

Not all strawberry varieties can be grown in tires or barrels. Experimentally, gardeners came to the conclusion that it is best to plant remontant varieties that develop well and bear fruit under various growing conditions (for example, Elizabeth 2).

A bed of car tires

It is most convenient to use tires of different sizes. Procedure:

  1. Cut off the top of each tire.

    To make a high bed, the top of each tire is cut off

  2. Put the tire with the largest diameter down and fill it with nutritious soil.
  3. Put a tire of a smaller diameter on top, and so on, depending on the number of tires.

    It is most convenient to use tires of different sizes

  4. Plant strawberries.
  5. Water the tire pyramid as usual.

If the tires are of the same diameter, make holes in each tire with a diameter of 7-10 cm at a distance of 15-20 cm, fill with soil and plant strawberries. For even watering, be sure to insert a 5 cm diameter tube along its entire length. Put the hose on the end of the tube and turn on the water.

Video: planting strawberries in car tires

Barrel bed

A barrel for growing strawberries can be made of any material - metal, plastic or wood. Do not use barrels after salted fish and chemicals.

Prepare the barrel for planting strawberries:

  1. Make drainage holes in the bottom of the barrel at least 2 cm in diameter.
  2. On the side walls, make cells measuring 7-10 cm in a checkerboard pattern at a distance of 25-30 cm from each other.

    Make cells along the side walls of the barrel

  3. Pour drainage on the bottom of the barrel - broken brick or stones.
  4. Place a tubing with 3–5 cm holes inside the barrel for watering. Fill it with fine gravel.

    The tube diameter should not be more than 1/3 of the barrel diameter

  5. Fill the barrel with fertile soil down to the bottom cells, making it a little more compact. Place the strawberry seedlings in the holes, straightening the roots inside the barrel.
  6. Fill in the earth to the next cells. Gently water the planted bushes with water. Place the seedlings in the second row of cells and so on up to the top row. Plant a few strawberry bushes on top of the barrel.

    You can plant strawberries in a wooden and iron barrel

Planting under agrofibre

A very convenient way to grow strawberries under agrofibre (spunbond or lutrasil). You can buy it at any gardening store. As a rule, agrofibre is used in black.

The sequence of actions is as follows:

  1. Prepare the garden bed in any way described above and start laying the agrofiber. Place the joints of the material overlapping each other by at least 15–20 cm.
  2. Secure the agrofibre along the edges of the bed with large stones and earth. It is very convenient to fix it with metal pins, which hold the material well in strong winds and do not spoil the look of the beds. Place the pins at a distance of 50-60 cm from each other.

    Spunbond stones can be fixed along the edges of the bed

  3. Use a sharp knife to make criss-cross cuts in the agrofiber.
  4. Peel back the corners of the cut and plant strawberry bushes, not deeply burying them in the ground.

    To make it easier to plant strawberries, you can bend the corners of the agrofibre at the cut

  5. Water the planting site immediately.

When planting strawberries, use black agrofiber

Soil mulching

Mulching strawberry beds is a prerequisite for growing a good harvest of berries. It is necessary to:

  • retain moisture in the soil;
  • limit the growth of weeds;
  • improve the fertile layer;
  • make the soil structure looser and more breathable;
  • prevent rotting and contamination of ripe berries (they do not come into contact with the ground) even after rain, when the soil is wet.

    Even in damp weather, the berries in the mulched garden will be clean and will not rot.

The following materials are used as a mulching material:

  • straw or grass cuttings;
  • agrofibre black;
  • coniferous litter or branches of coniferous trees;
  • shavings and sawdust;
  • humus and compost.

Photo gallery: mulching strawberry beds

Video: how to plant strawberries in spring

On well-prepared soil, in compliance with all the rules when forming the beds, you can harvest an excellent harvest of tasty and fragrant strawberries for several years in a row.


First of all, before planting, you need to prepare the beds. It is recommended to prepare the soil several weeks or at least a week before planting the strawberries.

As a rule, in the spring or summer, gardeners prepare a free area on which strawberries will grow for several years. In the spring, in such areas, either an early maturing crop is planted, which is harvested in July, or nothing is planted so that the soil is as fertile as possible. In the first case, it is worth knowing that unfavorable predecessors for strawberries are tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, pumpkin, sunflowers, zucchini, cucumbers.

Peas, beans, beans, onions, garlic, parsley, beets, and carrots are good precursors for garden strawberries.

A few weeks before planting, the earth is dug up, weeds and plant roots are removed. At the same time, fertilizers are applied, which can be both organic and mineral. The organic fertilizer used is a compost bucket per square meter. To make the soil even more nutritious, a couple of glasses of wood ash are added to the ground along with the compost. To fertilize the soil for strawberries, you can use a bucket of humus for 1 sq.m.

Superphosphate (40 grams), potassium salt (20 grams) are suitable as mineral fertilizers.

Preparing the land in advance will allow the soil to settle, and top dressing will saturate the soil well, make it as fertile as possible.

Naturally, until the very planting of strawberries, the beds for it are regularly cleared of weeds, which can suck out some of the nutrients and useful substances from the ground.


Vertical advantages and disadvantages

Growing garden strawberries in a vertical way is familiar to many summer residents. If not in practice, then at least through publications and photos in magazines, on the Internet, they know about various technologies and structures made of boards and pipes, in which gardeners successfully plant sweet berries. There are many interesting examples on rastenievod.com not only for strawberries, but also for various flowers and ornamental crops.

At the dachas, vertical flower beds are equipped with flowers, pyramid beds for green crops. Similar structures are made for hydroponic planting.

The method has many advantages:

  • saving space. Ordinary ridges occupy a considerable area, and multi-tiered "verticals" - only small spaces. True, it is necessary to place them in well-lit places, and not in any way in the shaded corners of the garden.
  • low susceptibility to disease and pest attack
  • easy care
  • no weeds. Even if a couple of weeds appear in the soil, they are easy to remove.
  • clean berries (see photo).

In the midst of fruiting, designs with strawberry bushes look picturesque, attracting everyone's attention. And the harvests on such impromptu ridges, due to the good heating of the soil and illumination, are not inferior, and sometimes even exceed the indicators of harvests from conventional plantings.

  • the need to use various materials for the construction of the structure (boards, pipes, pots, bags, containers)
  • fast drying of soil in containers. In order for the plants to develop and bear fruit, it is necessary to adjust the irrigation system, otherwise the strawberries will quickly die in the hot sun.
  • in regions with harsh winters, it will be necessary to think over ways to protect plants from frost. Without shelter, the ground completely freezes.

The disadvantages of the method are easy to eliminate if you carefully think over the irrigation systems for the beds, and also provide for collapsible structures for wintering.


How to make for strawberries

Warm beds

On a flat area, markings are applied. Then a box with a height of 25 cm is assembled from the boards. The recommended width of a warm bed is up to 1 m. Cardboard is laid out at the bottom of the bed-box. This will protect the strawberries from soil pests and perennial weeds. The next layer on top of the cardboard is poured sand, and compost is spread on it. The bed is covered with a 10 cm layer of soil.

Bed pyramid

To create a pyramidal cascade bed, you will need boards 25-30 cm wide, from which boxes of different perimeters are assembled. Some designs in the center provide for the installation of a vertical pipe with slots for irrigation from the inside. To grow different varieties on one pyramid, different faces are used, adjusting the illumination, or levels, if you need a special substrate.

To protect against pests, a mesh-netting is laid under the first tier. Then the box is filled with a nutritious soil substrate. The perimeter of the second level is calculated so that the width of the bed of the first tier is 20-40 cm. The box assembled from the boards is installed on the substrate of the first level of the pyramid and is centered relative to the base.

The collection of a multi-level structure continues as long as the width of the previous box allows.

Similar pyramidal strawberry beds are also made from pipes, barrels and car tires of different diameters.

Smart beds

To create a smart bed, dig a trench 30 cm deep. A box of boards, lining or slate is installed along the earthen walls of the recess, thick cardboard is laid out on the bottom. A layer of fresh plant residues (corn, legumes) is poured into the trench. Then a layer of humus. And from above they cover everything with a layer of black soil.

Having planted young strawberry bushes, the bed is covered with agrofibre or a dense dark film with slots for each plant. Strawberries grown in this way are protected from weeds, have a large supply of nutrients and protect the roots from drying out.

Multi-tiered bed

A structure of several tiers is made of wooden boxes of the same length, but different widths. They are built one on top of the other in such a way that steps are obtained, the height of which should be at least 30 cm, and the width of the soil for planting strawberry bushes is 40 cm. The height of the step should allow the root system of garden strawberries to fully develop. Strawberry roots are up to 30 cm long.

Vertical bed

This ergonomic bed can be made in several ways:

  1. Beds of vertically installed plastic pipes filled with substrate. Holes are made in the pipes at intervals of 40 cm. Young strawberry sprouts are planted in them.
  2. Vertical beds, made of thick plastic bags with potting soil, hung on the wall. In the material, slots are made for seedlings.
  3. The netting is rolled up into a cylinder and filled with soil mixture. Sprouts are planted in the mesh cells.

But pocket beds are of the greatest interest to gardeners. The technology of their sewing from foil insulation:

  1. Whatever height the bed is planned, the material will be needed twice as much, since when sewing it folds in half. So, for a bed with a height of 2 m, the insulation should be 4 m. The material folded in half is sewn, stepping back from the fold of 5 cm. The indentation makes it possible to fix the bed on the wall.
  2. The lateral parts and the lower longitudinal part are sewn. The future pockets are marked out so that 1 sq. M. there were no more than three of them.
  3. Sewing on the markup.
  4. Having retreated 3 cm from the seam, a semicircular cut is made on each pocket.
  5. A hollow tube is inserted into the indentation left at the fold and the twine is pulled through it, which is fixed on the supports.
  6. The pockets are filled with a substrate, watered and young strawberry bushes are planted in them.

Low strawberry bed by German technology

Furrows are not made between the rows, but partitions are made of wooden boards, slate or bricks. Low German beds are made 20-40 cm high and 40-80 cm wide. On wide beds, garden strawberries are planted in 2 rows. The distance between bushes in a row should be at least 40 cm.

A garden bed according to Finnish cultivation technology

Arrangement of Finnish beds provides for covering areas fertilized with humus with mulch material with perforated holes for planting strawberries. For regular moistening of the soil, a drip irrigation system is laid under the agrofibre.


Soil composition

Various soil options and the possibility of growing strawberries in them, depending on the composition of the soil, are considered below:

  1. Humus soil has a high content of various organic compounds. This is achieved after the decomposition of manure or any types of vegetation in the soil.
  2. Sod land, especially the loamy type, is also good for strawberry cultivation. It contains a sufficient amount of organic compounds, while it has a rather low level of acidity. However, such a soil is too heavy, therefore, it is imperative to add an additive to it in the form of disintegrants, this is its only drawback.


Preparing a garden for cucumbers in the open field

Before planting a cucumber, it is necessary to prepare the site and beds.

How to cultivate the land before planting cucumbers

It is recommended that you start tilling the soil in advance to saturate it with nutrients. To do this, use the following feed mixtures:

  • Potassium permanganate. A solution prepared from potassium permanganate is used to disinfect the soil and eliminate pathogens of fungal ailments. It is necessary to prepare such a composition from a liter of water and 20 grams of manganese. The site is watered with a manganese mixture two days before planting.
  • Copper sulfate. Before you process the vegetable garden with a vitriol mixture, you will have to cook it. To do this, add 30 grams of vitriol to 11-12 liters of heated liquid. The composition is thoroughly mixed and infused for 2-3 hours. It is necessary to cultivate the land a week before planting cucumbers.
  • Mineral dressing. Before creating the beds, the site should be treated with potassium sulfate, superphosphate, wood ash and nitrophos.

Basic rules for the formation of the garden: width and height

Before making the beds, you need to familiarize yourself with the basic rules for their formation:

  • Determination of dimensions. First you need to determine the size of the beds on which the bushes will be grown. The width should be 30-40 centimeters, and the length should be at least 3-4 meters.
  • Markup. After determining the dimensions, it is necessary to mark the territory for the creation of ridges.

Preparing the soil and forming beds for strawberries in spring

Strawberry (or garden strawberry) is the very first and long-awaited berry in the country. In order to enjoy its unique taste every summer, it is necessary to properly prepare the soil and beds for planting crops. The composition and acidity of the soil is critical for a flavorful crop.

Choosing a place for strawberries

Before you start preparing the soil, decide where to plant your strawberries. The quantity and quality of the crop depends on the correct choice of place.

The place for planting strawberries must have the following characteristics:

    well lit by the sun. If you plant strawberries in the shade, leaves will develop more actively, rather than berries. The fruits will be smaller and sour, and ripening will be delayed

To get large, sweet berries, you need to plant strawberries in a well-lit area.

Strawberries are grown in one place for no more than 4-5 years.
After this period, the berries become smaller, the yield decreases. When choosing a new location, observe the crop rotation. The best predecessors are:

  • onion,
  • garlic,
  • carrot,
  • any greens,
  • legumes and siderates.

Do not plant berries after potatoes, cucumbers, and tomatoes. These crops are often affected by fungal diseases, which are dangerous for strawberries. The berry can be returned to its original place no earlier than after 4 years.

When choosing a place to plant strawberries, try not to place the garden close to trees. Once I made a mistake with the choice of a place, having made a bed not far from the apple tree. In the spring, when the leaves had not yet blossomed, the strawberries were fully illuminated by the sun. Then, due to the abundant foliage, my garden bed was in the shade for a good half of the day.

Preparing the soil for planting in spring

In order for strawberries to give a bountiful harvest, it is necessary to properly prepare the soil for planting it. If you plan to plant strawberries in the spring, you need to prepare the garden in the fall.

Sandy loam or loamy soils are best suited for growing strawberries. They are good because:

  • easy to handle
  • contain a sufficient amount of nutrients
  • breathable
  • absorb moisture well
  • warm up quickly and slowly give off heat.

Loamy soil is more structured and fertile compared to clayey

But not always a garden plot can meet such requirements. There are various ways to improve the soil structure:

  • if the soil on the site is sandy, then by 1 m 2
    add a bucket of dry clay and 2 buckets of humus
  • in clay soil, add 1 bucket of peat and 1/4 bucket of sand per 1 m 2
    beds. Make drainage grooves if necessary.

From experienced gardeners, I have heard different opinions about adding peat to the soil. Some believe that peat loosens and enriches it with oxygen. Others - that peat increases the acidity of the soil. Still others suggest adding a glass of ash to a bucket of peat, which will balance the acidity.

In fact, only high-moor peat increases acidity, and for most crops, lowland peat is used, which enriches the soil with the necessary mineral and organic substances, helps to retain moisture in the soil.

Only low-lying peat is suitable for a garden bed with strawberries.

Clay soils can also be improved with sawdust. They are prepared like this:

  1. Dilute 1 tablespoon of urea in 10 liters of water.
  2. Fresh sawdust is poured with this solution.

To get rotted sawdust, they must be poured with a urea solution

It is necessary to add rotted sawdust to improve the soil before winter, while digging the site.

Soil acidity

Strawberries do not grow well and bear fruit in acidic soils. The optimum pH is 5.5–6, that is, the soil should be slightly acidic or neutral.

You can understand that there is acidic soil on your site by the following signs:

  • abundant growth of wild crops such as plantain, field mint, horsetail, horse sorrel, creeping buttercup
  • the presence of brown plaque on stones and paths
  • soil color with a tinge of rust.

Cornflower, chamomile, nettle, quinoa, creeping wheatgrass grow on weakly acidic soils. On neutral soils - coltsfoot, bindweed. On alkaline - field mustard, poppy seed.

You can determine the acidity of the soil using ordinary table vinegar. Take some dirt from the plot and drop acid on it. If bubbles appear, then lime is present in the soil and its acidity is neutral. If there is no reaction, the soil is acidic.

And you can also determine the acidity with a special device - a pH meter.

A pH meter is used to determine the acidity of the soil.

To reduce the acidity of the soil, it must be calcified:

  • for 1 m 2
    sandy and sandy loam soil - 100-150 g of lime
  • for 1 m 2
    clay and loamy soil - 0.5-1.4 kg of lime.

Lime is applied in spring or autumn when digging a site

You can also deacidify the soil with wood ash: per 1 m 2
soil - 700 g of ash. In addition to reducing acidity, it perfectly fertilizes the soil: ash contains many trace elements, such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus, etc.

Wood ash is a good soil deoxidizer.

I have an old metal stove in my dacha, which was left over from the previous owners. She stood for a long time without use. Once the electricity was turned off and the stove turned out to be irreplaceable. Now, besides the aromatic smoky tea, I always have wood ash. I rake it out of the stove, pour it into a small barrel, cover it tightly and store it in a dry place.

Soil disinfection

So that young strawberry seedlings are not affected by diseases and pests, the soil must be disinfected. It can be processed in different ways.

Chemical method

Treating the soil with chemicals destroys pathogens, but together with them, beneficial bacteria are destroyed. In addition, chemical elements accumulate in the soil and affect the quality of the crop. Therefore, use the chemical method when other means do not work.

To disinfect the soil when planting strawberries, use:

  • fungicide TMTD: for 1 m 2
    soil - 60 g of powder
  • 1% solution of copper sulfate: dilute 100 g in 10 liters of water and shed the soil.

Treat the soil with preparations containing copper once every five years. With their frequent use, the quality of the soil deteriorates and the number of beneficial bacteria decreases.

Copper sulfate is used no more than once every five years.

Biological way

Treatment with biological preparations rid the soil of pathogenic microorganisms, pest larvae and populates it with beneficial bacteria. You can use these preparations before planting strawberries:

  • Fitosporin-M - fungicide (antifungal)
  • Trichodermin - anti-infective agent
  • Alirin - insecticide (against insects)
  • Baikal EM is a concentrate of beneficial bacteria.

Fertilizer Baikal-EM contains beneficial bacteria

Each product comes with detailed instructions for use.

The soil must not be treated with chemical and biological preparations at the same time, the interval between treatments must be at least 14 days.

Agrotechnical method

The agrotechnical method includes the organization of the correct crop rotation and the competent distribution of plantings. Due to the periodic change of crops (as mentioned above), pathogenic infections and pests do not spread in the soil.

Strawberry beds are not placed near raspberries, cabbage, Jerusalem artichoke. But garlic and parsley root perfectly coexist with this culture. They can be planted between rows to repel pests with a specific smell. For the same purpose, calendula and marigolds are planted along the beds with strawberries.

Calendula not only drives away pests from strawberries, but also decorates the garden

I scatter calendula and marigold seeds throughout the site. I pull out excess plants that interfere with the growth of garden crops and use them as mulching material. Bright flowers not only scare away pests, but also decorate the site. At the end of summer, I collect seeds and use them for sowing in spring.

To disinfect a small bed for strawberries, you can spill it with boiling water before planting, which will destroy pathogens and larvae of pests that have overwintered in the soil.

Fertilizing the soil before planting

For better survival of strawberry seedlings and a good harvest of berries, fertilizers must be added to the soil before planting. As mentioned earlier, if you plan to plant strawberries in the spring, then the soil is prepared in the fall.
The best time is September.

As a fertilizer per 1 m 2
soil, the following composition is used:

  • 7 kg of humus or compost
  • 30 g of potassium sulfate or potassium magnesium

Potassium Magnesium Effective for Chlorine Sensitive Crops

Fertilize the soil as follows:

  1. The composition is evenly distributed over the surface of the earth.
  2. Then the bed is dug onto the bayonet of the shovel.

The earth is dug up together with fertilizer to the depth of a shovel bayonet

In the spring, two weeks before planting, it is evenly scattered and covered with a rake on 1 m 2
soil:

  • 20-25 g superphosphate
  • 20-25 g of potassium sulfate.

Fresh manure cannot be used as fertilizer, as it will burn the delicate strawberry roots. It is also undesirable to use fertilizers containing chlorine.

Thermal insulation of soil

For regions where long return frosts are possible, it is advisable to build warm beds for strawberries.
They are fertile and serve to insulate the soil. The principle of making such beds is simple - they should consist of three main layers:

  • the lower layer acts as a drainage and retains heat, preventing it from going into deeper layers (dry tree branches, trimming boards, etc.)
  • the middle layer consists of organic residues (weeds, tops, food waste (except meat), etc.)
  • the top layer is fertile land at least 20–25 cm high.

There are several types of warm beds.

Bed-box

This type of bed is used in areas where there is a high level of groundwater. A box is hammered out of boards (or slate) and filled in layers with dry branches, organic matter and earth.

In a warm bed-box, strawberries are not afraid of recurrent frosts

Trench bed

Where groundwater runs low and does not flood the site, a trench bed is made.

To make a warm bed, dig a trench on a shovel bayonet

Combined bed

Such a bed is more difficult to manufacture, but justifies its purpose. It is done like this:

  1. A trench is dug into which coarse waste is laid.
  2. A metal mesh is laid in it from mice, which can settle in a warm bed.
  3. The place above the trench is fenced off with a box.
  4. Organic matter and a fertile layer are placed in the box.

Combined bed combines a trench bed and a box bed

Formation of beds for planting strawberries

For planting strawberries, there are many options for forming beds.

The easy way

The most common way is to plant strawberry seedlings in simple beds. They are not raised or fenced off. Only between the rows of strawberries furrows are made 30–40 cm wide and 15–20 cm deep. Excess water will accumulate in them after irrigation and rain. And it is also convenient to walk on them, harvesting.

Furrows are made between the rows of strawberries, along which it is convenient to walk

Carpet landing

Carpet planting of strawberries is very easy to care for. Plants settle into vacant spaces and cover the soil with a continuous carpet. As a result, moisture is retained and weed growth is suppressed. However, over time, the berries become smaller, as the plantings become too thick.

Strawberries can be planted with a carpet and ribbons in several rows, in the latter case, the possibility of crumbling berries is reduced

Ridge landing

Ridge planting is an option for a simple bed. This achieves several goals:

  • roots are protected from nearby groundwater
  • water and fertilizer flow into the furrows between the ridges, which prevents the soil from washing out from under the roots.

However, such beds are quite time consuming in terms of weeding.

Video: planting strawberries on the combs

Low german bed

Strawberry beds using German technology are gaining more and more popularity. At the same time, not simple grooves are made between the rows of strawberries, but fences made of boards, slate or bricks are installed.

German strawberry beds can be made in any shape

Formation of a German bed:

  1. Dig a trench 40 cm wide by 20 cm deep to plant the strawberries in one row. If you plan to plant two rows of strawberries, then the width of the trench is 80 cm. The length is at your discretion.
  2. Install a fence with a height of 20 to 40 cm around the perimeter of the trench.

A low fence is installed around the dug trench

It is better to mulch the planted strawberries.

Watering low beds is carried out with caution. It is best to water with a watering can, making circular motions so as not to blur the soil near the roots. If a hose is used for watering, then wrap the end of it with a cloth that allows water to pass through well. In this case, you need to water at the root of the plant.

Tall beds of tires or barrels

When there is little space on the site, tall vertical beds can be made from old car tires or barrels. Such beds have a number of advantages:

  • a lot of space is saved in a small area
  • beautifully designed tires or barrels will decorate your garden
  • easier care of plants - no need to bend over, moving from one bush to another
  • ripe berries do not touch the ground and are easy to pick.

  • frequent watering, as the soil dries out quickly
  • the need to feed strawberries at least once every two weeks
  • complete soil replacement every 2 years to get a good harvest
  • planting new strawberries every spring, as they freeze in winter.

Not all strawberry varieties can be grown in tires or barrels. Experimentally, gardeners came to the conclusion that it is best to plant remontant varieties that develop well and bear fruit under various growing conditions (for example, Elizabeth 2).

A bed of car tires

It is most convenient to use tires of different sizes. Procedure:

    Cut off the top of each tire.

To make a high bed, the top of each tire is cut off

It is most convenient to use tires of different sizes

If the tires are of the same diameter, make holes in each tire with a diameter of 7-10 cm at a distance of 15-20 cm, fill with soil and plant strawberries. For even watering, be sure to insert a 5 cm diameter tube along its entire length. Put the hose on the end of the tube and turn on the water.

Video: planting strawberries in car tires
Barrel bed

A barrel for growing strawberries can be made of any material - metal, plastic or wood. Do not use barrels after salted fish and chemicals.

Prepare the barrel for planting strawberries:

  1. Make drainage holes in the bottom of the barrel at least 2 cm in diameter.
  2. On the side walls, make cells measuring 7-10 cm in a checkerboard pattern at a distance of 25-30 cm from each other.

Make cells along the side walls of the barrel

The tube diameter should not be more than 1/3 of the barrel diameter

You can plant strawberries in a wooden and iron barrel

Planting under agrofibre

A very convenient way to grow strawberries under agrofibre (spunbond or lutrasil). You can buy it at any gardening store. As a rule, agrofibre is used in black.

The sequence of actions is as follows:

  1. Prepare the garden bed in any way described above and start laying the agrofiber. Place the joints of the material overlapping each other by at least 15–20 cm.
  2. Secure the agrofibre along the edges of the bed with large stones and earth. It is very convenient to fix it with metal pins, which hold the material well in strong winds and do not spoil the look of the beds. Place the pins at a distance of 50-60 cm from each other.

Spunbond stones can be fixed along the edges of the bed

To make it easier to plant strawberries, you can bend the corners of the agrofibre at the cut

When planting strawberries, use black agrofiber

Soil mulching

Mulching strawberry beds is a prerequisite for growing a good harvest of berries. It is necessary to:

  • retain moisture in the soil
  • limit weed growth
  • improve the fertile layer
  • make the soil structure looser and more breathable
  • prevent rotting and contamination of ripe berries (they do not come into contact with the ground) even after rain, when the soil is wet.

Even in damp weather, the berries in the mulched garden will be clean and will not rot.

The following materials are used as a mulching material:

  • straw or cut grass
  • agrofibre black
  • coniferous litter or branches of coniferous trees
  • shavings and sawdust
  • humus and compost.

Photo gallery: mulching strawberry beds

When straw or grass is rotted, a hay bacillus develops, killing fungal infections Agrofibre protects the soil from drying out and weeds Needles increase the acidity of the soil, so use it with caution on acidic soils. Rotten shavings and sawdust acidify the soil, so you need to periodically add ash or dolomite flour Humus or compost as mulch requires frequent renewal, as it is quickly processed by microorganisms

Video: how to plant strawberries in spring

On well-prepared soil, in compliance with all the rules when forming the beds, you can harvest an excellent harvest of tasty and fragrant strawberries for several years in a row.



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