Strawberries need to be properly cared for in the spring to get a rich strawberry harvest. What is most important at this time? Above all, it is necessary to loosen the soil, fertilize the plants and cut old leaves.
When cutting old leaves we also check the heart of the plants. If it freezes and there is no snow cover, they can freeze and if it does, the frozen plants will not sprout in the spring and we will have to replace them with new seedlings. It is therefore necessary to store the seedlings that we do not plant in August, but only now in the spring instead of damaged plants. Although we do not get the crop from new seedlings in the first year, there will be some strawberry here, but in the second and third year the strawberries will be rich. Especially in the so-called frost basins, the strawberries are freezing heavily. The dried, old leaves are cut only after the strawberry's heart has grown slightly. Gone must all the old leaves, whereupon we will ship the waste to compost.
As soon as we cut the dry leaves, it is necessary to loosen the soil around the plants. Hand tools are ideal, and we are careful not to damage the plants. However, it is also possible to use an electric knife hoe which is light and easy to handle. But if we really love strawberries and the bed is huge, we can speed up the job with a motor hoe. In any case, we always take great care not to damage the roots of strawberry leaves by too deep loosening.
After loosening the soil, a suitable fertilizer should be used. But we can do it even before loosening, in which case we decide on the bed in a reasonable amount of NPK (granulated fertilizer), or pellets from cow fertilization, whereupon we fertilize the fertilizer slightly into the soil. Special granulated as well as liquid or soluble fertilizers for strawberries are also sold. Apply liquid fertilizer only after loosening, whereupon we also perform a thorough watering.
If we fertilize granulates, it is necessary to have the bed thoroughly primed so that the fertilizer does not damage the roots of the strawberry when loosening. However, whatever fertilization is required, the recommended dosage can be found on the product packaging or in the enclosed instructions for use.
In strawberry beds it is advisable to use a non-woven fabric, especially if we do not have much time to maintain the beds but also the taste. We get the nonwoven fabric white or black, it is permeable, so we can water it, the soil below it is better heated and mainly suppresses the growth of weeds. In addition, the soil remains well loosened. Beware, however, by far not all strawberry varieties thrive in the fabric. The nonwoven fabric is sold either already with ready cuttings for planting plants, or without perforations, whereupon we make the cuts as needed.
In addition to the fabric, other materials can be used, such as mulch with a thin layer of wood chips, straw or hay, or mildly cut grass. We always choose a thinner, thick layer of these materials, which is not entirely appropriate, as water permeability is reduced and rotting occurs too, which is also reflected in strawberry plants. The mulch bark is downright unsuitable because it consumes a considerable amount of nitrogen from the soil, which then lacks plants. As a result of the lower nitrogen content in the soil, the plants weaken and yield less.
Even mulching will help to keep the soil loose, but it will also reduce water evaporation and, by decomposing the mulch, enrich the soil with nutrients. The only drawback to mulching is its popularity with slugs who love places warm and moist, but in the shade. It is in the mulch that they will rest for you during the day and come out in the evening. And of course, no ripening strawberries can hide from them.