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Strawberries can be found on store shelves all year round. This berry is grown in European countries using the so-called Dutch technology. Its essence lies in the constant planting of new plant seedlings, a special arrangement of bushes, specific conditions of humidity and temperature conditions.
Most often, this method is used to organize a business selling berries. But it is possible to use this system for home use.
Growing strawberries using Dutch technology in a greenhouse
- Constant temperature at the level of 18-25 degrees (before the flowering period - no more than 21 degrees, in the future - no more than 28 degrees). If there are no special installations that regulate this indicator, then you need to periodically ventilate the greenhouse room.
- Humidity is about 70-80%. To maintain, you need to periodically spray the air. Moreover, with artificial heating, this should be done much more often. For the entire flowering period, these procedures are stopped, since the ingress of moisture on the flowers negatively affects the yield, and also increases the risk of strawberry diseases.
- The carbon dioxide content is 0.1%. The level is controlled by sensors, if necessary, ventilate.
- Adequate lighting, similar to 15 hour daylight hours. Under these conditions, the crop will ripen in 35 days. If you reduce the lighting time to 8 hours, then you can wait for the berries no earlier than after 48 days. For additional highlighting of an area of 3-6 sq. m you need a 40-60 W gas-discharge lamp.
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The location of the bushes
Plants are not planted outdoors, as the Dutch system provides year-round continuous fruiting. For planting, you can use large pots (no more than 70 cm high), boxes or plastic bags. The latter method is the most popular for reasons of space saving.
The location of individual bushes depends on the type of room used:
greenhouse with transparent walls and roof - vertical placement,
garage, house room, etc. - horizontal placement.
The fact is that if you arrange the plants vertically, it will be extremely difficult to provide them with proper room in a closed garage.
When all the conditions for placing the future strawberries are thought out, it's time to think about where to get the seedlings and what they should be. Seedlings are planted every 1-2 months. You can buy it in specialized stores throughout the year. But the financial costs in this case will be quite high.
Frigo strawberry seedlings (that is, chilled bushes) can be prepared by yourself. After all, what agrofirms offer is nothing more than well-developed bushes that were dug up in the fall and kept in a cool basement, refrigerator or special freezer.
And there is nothing supernatural about it. After all, nature is practically the same. Strawberry bushes are "canned" in winter under a layer of snow. That's the whole point of the Dutch technology for growing these berries. You just need to create conditions to activate the flowering and ripening of berries.
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Description of strawberry varieties
The highest-yielding Dutch strawberry varieties are Darselek, Mrak, Marmolada, Polka, Sonata, Tribute, Elstanta, Maria, Tristar, Selva. They are completely suitable for this growing method.
And, most importantly, they are self-pollinated. This is an important point. If you choose a non-self-pollinating variety, you will have to do pollination with a special brush manually, at least you need to be able to do this. Otherwise, there will be no berries.
Strawberry cultivation technology
So, here is a sequence of actions that involves growing seedlings on your own. In the case of a purchase, some points can simply be omitted.
- In the fall, prepare the soil for breeding seedlings: add 5 kg of superphosphate, 3 kg of potassium chloride, 20 kg of lime, 5-6 buckets of manure to each hundred square meters of land.
- In spring, plant plants at intervals of 30-50 cm.
- In the first year, cut off all the mustache from the uterine bush.
- In the second year, 20-30 whiskers will grow from each bush, which must be rooted to form strong seedlings.
- Dig up young seedlings in mid-October at a temperature of minus 2 degrees.
- During the next day, in the mode of 10-12 degrees, clear of all large leaves, soil, vegetative shoots.
- Under no circumstances should the roots be washed and pruned!
- Collect the seedlings in bunches, place them in plastic bags (their thickness is about 0.02-0.05 mm, with a thicker film, all plants will die) in a refrigerator at a temperature of 0 to minus 2 degrees. At a lower setting, the strawberry will die, and at a higher setting, it will start growing.
- 1 day before the intended planting, the seedlings need to be taken out and thawed at 10-12 degrees Celsius.
- Fill the containers in the greenhouse with sterile soil: sandy soil (or mineral wool, coconut fiber), rotted manure and sand. The ratio is 3: 1: 1, respectively. You can also take peat and perlite.
- Plant seedlings in prepared places.
- Organize proper watering (preferably drip) and other plant care measures.
- After harvesting, the bush is removed, it can be simply thrown away or, for example, used as a mother plant.
It is worth considering that the so-called "mother plants" need to be changed every 2 years, and not 4, as with ordinary garden strawberries. This is done in order to avoid the inevitable degeneration of the bush.
Growing strawberries at home
Using Dutch technology to grow strawberries at home is not much different from the greenhouse method. Only now, the bushes should be placed in a horizontal plane to organize the correct lighting. And you will also have to work hard to create optimal temperature and humidity indicators.
This method of growing strawberries, when properly organized, gives a stunning harvest. Just keep in mind that such strawberries will never receive the taste and aroma that berries from open ground have.
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