The characteristics of strawberry
- Type: vegetable plant
- Height: up to 45cm
- Flower color: pink, white
- Fruit name: strawberry
- Desired exposure: sunny, semi-shaded
- Type of soil: well drained
- Sanitizing: no
- Diseases and pests: botrytis, gray mold, moth, white worm
Origins and characteristics of strawberry
Being part of a subspecies called fragaria, which in turn belongs to the family of rosaceae, Strawberry plant would have been discovered in South America in the 18th century before being subsequently introduced to Europe. This is not the case of the strawberry plant, very present in the French forests which is indeed native to the Old Continent.
Today, there are a large number of strawberry species, the new hybridization techniques bringing each year new varieties supposed to produce larger and tasty fruits.
There are two main types of strawberries: the rising strawberries and non-rising strawberries. Their difference? The latter offer a very abundant harvest in May and June while the other family produces fruit until the first frosts, but generally, its strawberries are smaller. There is a third type of strawberry plant, less widespread but still present in France: "neutral days". Harvesting is possible from spring and autumn.
The strawberry is actually a "false fruit". The support of the strawberry flower swells and blushes. It is the small white seeds of the strawberries, called Akènes, which are actually the fruits of the strawberry plant.
Sowing and planting strawberry
Strawberries are one of the most cultivated plants by the French, and their fruits are among the most appreciated. But it is a fragile plant, which requires that we take care of it. To carry out the cultivation of strawberries in the best conditions, follow these tips.
The ideal planting period is in September for the two main varieties. You can also plant strawberries in the spring, but the strawberry flower and the fruit will have less time to develop before the hot summer weather. It is very important that you keep a space of 25-30 centimeters between each strawberry plant, as it tends to spread quickly.
Strawberry plant particularly appreciates a rich, loose and deep soil. It must stay cool in summer. If the soil is too limey, the strawberry plant may suffer from chlorosis. This disease causes an iron deficiency which makes the leaves turn yellow.
It is also possible to plant a strawberry plant in a pot. Use a mixture of leaf compost and garden soil enriched with compost. Plant in a 12cm diameter pot per plant.
In June, cutting the runners (kinds of creeping stems that grow at the base of the roots) is recommended because they deplete the plant. Also, remember to water regularly, strawberries are very greedy in water and cannot bear to be in too dry soil. It is also at this time that it may be necessary to use either a bottom fertilizer or compost, in order to allow the plant to get stronger.
In spring, it is also necessary to mulch the soil, in order to conserve moisture for the summer season.
For a culture of strawberry in pot, be sure to monitor the watering of the plant daily. Mulch with cocoa shells or a mineral to keep the soil moist.
Every year in March, bring compost to the surface to improve strawberry growth.
Strawberry diseases and pests
Strawberries are generally strong and hardy plants, but they can suffer from certain diseases and pest attacks.
The main pests that attack strawberry plants are:
- strawberry beetle
- the birds
For birds, remember to protect your plants with a net.