Many people like gardening at patio, and it’s easy to understand why. Growing your own flowers, herbs, and veggies may be a fulfilling activity that makes you feel accomplished and satisfied. There are many tips and methods to help you get the most out of your gardening efforts, whether you are an experienced gardener or are just getting started. We’ll provide you some useful home gardening information in this post to get you started on your gardening adventure. These suggestions can assist you in quickly growing a wholesome and fruitful garden, from picking the ideal area to harvesting your plants at the ideal moment.
Strawberry cultivation in first started in some hilly areas of Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh in the 1960s, but due to non-availability of suitable varieties and lack of technical knowledge, no special success could be achieved in its cultivation till now. Today, strawberry cultivation is becoming a profitable business due to the availability of high-yielding varieties, technical knowledge, transportation, cold storage and knowledge of processing and preservation. With the arrival of multipurpose companies, special processed products of strawberry like jam, drink, candy, etc. are being encouraged.
Strawberry cultivation in can be done successfully in temperate regions. In the plains, only one crop can be taken in winter. Saplings are planted in October-November, which are obtained from temperate regions. Here the fruits get ready in February-March.
The research done at Shimla Regional Center of n Agricultural Research Institute proves that by covering strawberry beds with plastic sheet from December to February, the fruits get ready a month earlier and the yield also increases by 20 percent. Places with high wind velocity are not suitable for its cultivation. There should be windproof provision at these places.
Land selection and field preparation:
It can be cultivated in light sandy to loamy soil, but loamy soil is particularly suitable for it. It can be cultivated in sandy land where adequate irrigation facilities are available. Land with high salinity and insufficient drainage is not suitable for its cultivation.
The soil is made friable by plowing. It can be cultivated well in beds raised 15 cm from the surface. In terraced fields on hill slopes, beds are prepared 60 cm wide and according to the length of the field.
Normally ten plants are planted in a bed of 150 cm long and 60 cm wide. The quantity of fertilizers and manures depends on the fertility and yield of the soil. In such beds, it is recommended to give 5-10 kg of well decomposed cow dung and 50 grams of fertilizer mixture – CAN, super phosphate and muriate of potash in the ratio of 2:2:1. This mixture is given twice a year, in the months of March and August. In the plains, it can be cultivated by making long beds of 60-75 cm width, in which two rows can be planted, or by making rams, in the same way as tomatoes or other vegetables can be grown.
Saplings are planted in hilly areas from August-September and in plains from October to November. Saplings should be taken from a certified and trusted nursery only, so that information about its caste can be obtained and it should also be free from diseases. Before planting the plant, old leaves should be removed, and only one or two newly growing leaves should be kept.
To avoid soil-borne diseases, the roots of plants should be treated with one percent Bordeaux mixture or copper oxychloride (0.2 percent) or dithane M 45 (0.2 percent) solution for 10 minutes and dried lightly in the shade. Row-to-row and plant-to-plant spacing of 30 cm is kept in the beds.
At the time of planting, a small pit about 15 cm deep is made in the beds, after planting the plant, it is pressed well around the treated roots so that there is no air between the roots and the soil. Light irrigation is necessary after planting.
The main improved varieties are Tyoga, Toray, NR Round Head, Red Coat, Country Sweet, etc., which generally produce small sized fruits. Of these, the good size is tore and NR round head, whose fruit weighs 4-5 grams. Now-a-days, large-sized species are being imported in the country, in which Chandler, Confuchara, Douglas, Garaula, Pajaron, Fern, Eddy, Salva, Brighton, Belrubi, Dana and Etna are the main ones.
Strawberry yield depends on its species and climate. Normally its yield is 200-500 grams per plant. Although a maximum of 900-1000 grams per plant has been taken abroad.
Irrigation and care :
Strawberry plants have deep roots, so a lack of moisture near the roots can damage plants and even die. Even a slight lack of irrigation adversely affects the size and quality of the fruits.
Strawberry crop needs frequent but light irrigation. Under normal conditions, irrigation is necessary at an interval of 10-15 days in autumn and 5-7 days in summer. Drip (drop-drop) irrigation method is particularly beneficial. The amount of irrigation depends on the condition of the soil and the slope of the field.
Covering strawberry beds with dry grass or black colored plastic sheet has special benefits. The thickness of the hay required is 5-7 cm. It has been proved by various researches that by this method good soil moisture is maintained, weeds are also controlled, side effects of frost are also reduced and rotting of fruits is reduced. Covering the ripened fruits with dry grass also reduces damage by birds.
Hailproof nets can be used on the beds in hailstorm affected areas. The shoots should be cut off from the plant from which fruits are to be taken, otherwise there may not be a bountiful crop and the size of the fruits also remains small, which affects the selling price. Strawberry plant starts bearing fruits from the first year itself.
In temperate regions, a profitable crop of a plant can be taken up to three years, but the maximum yield is given by a plant of two years of age. Farmers should plant strawberries in their fields in such a sequence that maximum number of beds are of 2 or 3 years old plants and re-plant in those beds which are more than three years old.
Pest and Disease Control:
Many pests and diseases harm strawberry cultivation. Among the insects, oilseed, mite, cutworm and nematode are prominent. Use of Dimethoate, Dimeton, Furate keeps them under control. Powdery mildew disease on fruits and leaf spot diseases can be controlled by spraying fungicides based on dithiocarbamate.
No fungicide and insecticide should be sprayed after fruit set. Even if it has to be done in emergency situations, spraying should be done with special care. After cultivating strawberry for three years, keeping the fields vacant for at least one year or adopting crop rotation of wheat, mustard, maize and pulses crops reduces the incidence of insects, nematodes and other diseases.
The fruits start ripening from March to May and in the plains from the last week of February to the month of March. At the time of ripening, the color of the fruits starts changing from green to red. Red color of more than half of the fruit is the appropriate time for harvesting. Harvesting of fruits should be done with special care and shallow baskets only. Diseased and damaged fruits must be pruned. Cold storage for two hours immediately after harvesting increases the shelf life of fruits.
English Summary: strawberry farming Published on: 08 April 2018, 11:38 IST