Strawberry Marshmallow - delicate sweetness in the garden
Every strawberry gardener tries to choose the best variety in taste and yield. Breeders are trying to satisfy these demands and create more and more new varieties. One of the interesting varieties of foreign selection is the Marshmallow strawberry, which brings very early harvests.
The history of growing strawberry marshmallows
Strawberry Zephyr is relatively little known in Russia, although it has been popular in Europe for a long time. This variety originated in Denmark, and since the mid-1960s has been actively cultivated in Norway, from which we can conclude that this variety is well suited even for harsh climatic conditions. It can be cultivated both in open ground and in greenhouses. Due to its high yield and good transportability, it is suitable for commercial cultivation.
Harvesting strawberry Marshmallow suitable for industrial cultivation
Description of the variety
Strawberry Marshmallow - very early, ripens in the second half of June, 8-10 days earlier than the Korona variety. The bushes are large, with erect, strong peduncles, which are located at the same level as the leaves or slightly below. Berries never fall to the ground... The leaves are large, dark green, with a corrugated surface, sitting on long (8-10 cm) petioles. The surface of the leaves is pubescent.
Strawberries bloom profusely - at least 20 snow-white flowers are formed on each shoot, each of which gives an ovary.
Marshmallow blooms with beautiful large flowers
In mid-June, elegant bright red berries with a shiny skin begin to ripen in unison. They have an obtuse conical shape and can be ribbed or scalloped. The juicy pulp of a pale pink color and pleasant consistency has a small amount of white veins, without voids. The berries are quite large in size, weighing from 17 to 35 g, sometimes up to 50 g... The berries have a pleasant aroma and sweet, dessert taste.
Like other strawberry varieties, Marshmallow has a number of beneficial properties. Its juice and pulp contain folic, malic and salicylic acids, a large amount of vitamin C, trace elements (magnesium, iron, potassium and phosphorus). The strawberry diet is recommended for normalizing digestion, relieving symptoms of hypertension, and lowering blood sugar levels.
Strawberry Marshmallow - video
Characteristics of the strawberry marshmallow variety
Strawberry Marshmallows have both positive and negative qualities.
- early maturation in the open field and very early (mid-May) when grown under a film;
- long fruiting period;
- high yield (up to 1 kg per bush);
- good survival rate of seedlings and a quick entry into fruiting (with spring planting, it can yield a crop in the same year);
- presentation, good taste and resistance to transportation;
- high winter hardiness (up to -35aboutFrom in the presence of snow cover, in snowless winters up to -16 aboutFROM);
- drought resistance;
- good resistance to a number of diseases: rot, powdery mildew, fusarium, spotting.
The disadvantages of the variety include:
- susceptibility to mold and mite infestation;
- reduction in the size of the berries by the end of the fruiting period.
Features of planting and growing
Strawberry Marshmallows, like most other varieties, can be propagated with a mustache, dividing the bush and seeds.
There is an opinion that strawberry marshmallow does not reproduce well by seeds, however, gardeners' reviews indicate that this is not entirely true and it is quite possible to get full-fledged plants with signs of the variety from marshmallow seeds.
I will share my experience of growing strawberry marshmallows from seeds. The seeds were sown at the end of February directly into the ground (without stratification), or rather, into the snow. Small dark strawberry seeds are very convenient to sow in the snow, as they are clearly visible. In addition, when the snow melts, the seeds themselves are drawn into the ground. The stratification is natural and all the seeds germinate perfectly. Most of the resulting bushes repeated the properties of the parent plant.
Strawberry Marshmallows develop a sufficient number of mustaches, so many prefer this particular breeding method.... You need to choose the most prolific plant and use the first (at least the second) sockets on each mustache, and the rest you just need to remove. In order not to clutter the bed with rooting sockets, you can substitute a separate container with soil under each of them, and after rooting the outlet, cut the mother's mustache and transplant the resulting seedling to a permanent place.
If you root each outlet in a separate cup, it will be much more convenient to transplant young plants to a new place.
The division of the bush is more often used for low-mustache or no-mustache varieties, but this method is also suitable for varieties with a large number of mustaches. By the end of the season, 10 or more growth points can form on the strawberry bush. Such a bush can be divided into parts (horns) so that each of them has at least a pair of roots.
The overgrown bush must be divided into separate bushes (horns)
If the bush is divided into 3-4 parts with a sufficient number of roots on each of them, then you can leave part of the leaves, and with a small number of roots, it is better to remove all the leaves when planting. To divide the bush, you need to take it with both hands and, shaking it slightly, pull it apart into separate sockets.
It is best to plant the sockets obtained by dividing from spring to September. With a later planting, the plants will not have time to take root until frost and will die.
Right before planting, the bush is carefully divided by hand into separate sockets.
To stimulate the growth of the root system, strawberry plants are regularly spudded, raking the earth to the sockets. Only the growth point (heart) should not be allowed to fall asleep, otherwise the plant will die. Remember, high humidity is needed for good rooting.
Delenki root best in a greenhouse (in partial shade) with a thickened planting of 10 by 20 cm. The root system becomes powerful in 25–30 days, then the plants can be transplanted to a permanent place.
If, when dividing the bush, part of the horns broke off without roots, they can also be rooted. It is necessary to cut off all the leaves from the horn and plant them in a greenhouse arranged in the shade. It is necessary to maintain high humidity not only of the soil, but also of the air. This is done using a fogging device or simply spray the plants with water 5-10 times a day until they are completely wetted. The greenhouse should be opened as little as possible.
Soil preparation and planting
Seedlings obtained by any of the above methods are planted in a permanent place in April or August according to a 25x30 cm scheme.August planting (in the last decade) is considered preferable, since the plants have time to root better by next spring and will give a bountiful harvest. In fairness, it should be noted that even with spring planting, Zephyr grows rapidly (a full-fledged large bush is obtained after 3 months) and can bear fruit in the first year.
The place for strawberries should be set aside as even and sunny as possible, protected from drafts, otherwise the berries will not pick up sweets.
Good predecessors for strawberries are beets, carrots, cabbage, onions. Zephyr is unpretentious to soil conditions. The preferred soil is loose, breathable, neutral soil.
Strawberries Marshmallows cannot be kept in one place for more than 4 years in a row!
When planting in spring, the soil must be dug up with organic fertilizers and watered with a weak solution of potassium permanganate (for disinfection). It is advisable to make the beds higher so that when watering the berries they do not splash with mud. It is recommended to sprinkle sand along the bed, which will retain moisture.
If strawberries are grown in a greenhouse, it is advisable to fertilize the soil with compost one year before planting. The distance between the rows should be 50-60 cm, and between the bushes - 40-45 cm.
Bushes are planted in the morning or in the evening in pre-moistened holes with a depth of at least 25 cm with the addition of two tablespoons of ash. When using seedlings with a closed system, shake off the soil and prune too long roots. When planting, the roots should point down.
Sprinkle with soil carefully so as not to cover the heart. After planting, the plants are watered with warm water, and to retain moisture, mulch the soil with straw or hay.
Planting strawberries - video
Strawberry Marshmallow Care
Strawberry Marshmallow does not require any special care - ordinary watering, weeding and dressing are enough.
Although the variety is drought tolerant, it should be watered regularly, once a week. During the formation of buds and ovaries, the need for moisture increases. With insufficient watering, the bushes will not suffer, but the yield will be noticeably smaller and worse in quality. Before fruit setting, watering can be carried out by sprinkling, and after the appearance of the ovary - along irrigated furrows. The best irrigation method is drip irrigation.
Young planting of strawberries responds very well to sprinkling
Because of its high yield, strawberry plants extract a large amount of nutrients and trace elements from the soil. Without regular fertilizing, the soil is quickly depleted, which negatively affects the yield. Zephyr needs feeding 2 times a month. It is recommended to use ammonium nitrate, superphosphate, potassium salt, taken in equal proportions.
Remember that you should not feed strawberries with chlorine-containing fertilizers!
To increase the level of productivity, it is useful to apply various organic fertilizers, for example, a mixture of peat with humus.
I was able to increase berry setting in the following way. In early spring, after removing old leaves, the plants are sprayed with a solution of mullein in a ratio of 1: 3, then a pale pink solution of potassium permanganate with the addition of 10 drops of iodine for every 5–6 liters of water. Before flowering, strawberry bushes were sprayed with boric acid solution (10–15 g per bucket of water).
The soil must be kept loose. After watering, you need to remove weeds and mulch the soil surface. You need to loosen the soil 6-8 times per season. To stimulate good growth of the bushes and the laying of the crop, you need to regularly remove the whiskers (if they are not required for reproduction) and old leaves. This operation is carried out with a secateurs every 10-12 days. To reduce labor costs for weeding and loosening, you can cover the beds with black film or agro-fabric.
When grown in a greenhouse, Marshmallow plants require frequent ventilation to prevent fungal diseases, as well as a gradual increase in air temperature. In the first period after planting, the humidity should be maintained at a level of at least 80–85%, and at the beginning of flowering it should be reduced to 70%. To accelerate ripening, it is useful to use artificial lighting for 8-10 hours a day.
Growing strawberries in a greenhouse - video
Strengthening the aroma of berries can be achieved by laying out needles around the strawberry bushes.
Protection from pests and diseases
Overall, strawberry marshmallows are quite disease resistant. Treatments with a solution of copper sulfate (2-3 tablespoons per bucket of water) will help prevent diseases of the root system.
Strawberries cannot be processed during flowering and fruiting!
Unfortunately, Marshmallow easily gets sick with gray mold - one of the most common diseases that affect the entire aerial part of the bush. The lesion is especially noticeable on fruits that turn brown, soften and become covered with a gray bloom (with high humidity, also a fluffy white mycelium). Treat the disease with Fundazol, Topsin M, Euparen. Treatments begin in the first ten days of April and are repeated 3-4 times with an interval of 7-9 days.
Affected berries are covered with a gray bloom and soon dry up.
Of the pests, one should be wary of the strawberry mite, which is especially activated at high humidity. This pest settles on young strawberry leaves, sucking juices out of them. The leaves turn yellow and deform, becoming wrinkled. An oily coating appears on the surface, and then the leaves dry out.
Leaves affected by mites shrivel and dry out.
To combat the tick, you need to remove and burn all plant residues around the bushes in the fall and spring. Before planting, young rosettes (holding them with their roots up) are dipped in a solution of karbofos (75 g per bucket of water). In the spring, you can spray the affected plants with Karate and Arrivo preparations, in the summer (during the formation of the mustache) - with Mitak, Omite, and in the fall with Isofen or Chloroethanol (60 g per bucket of water).
Collection, storage and use of the crop
Strawberry harvesting Zephyr begins early, in the second decade of June. The berries ripen almost simultaneously. They should be collected in the morning or evening. For transportation, the berries are best picked with fruit and put in shallow plastic containers. The berries are well tolerated.
Strawberries can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Marshmallow tastes very good and, as foreign sources say, is a good snack, but not good for jam. Berries are very good for freezing, do not lose their appearance and shape.
Strawberry harvest Marshmallow - video
Reviews of gardeners about the variety of garden strawberries Zephyr
Strawberry Marshmallows will not cause much trouble when growing. Perhaps this strawberry is inferior in taste to some varieties, but its early and high yield compensates for this shortcoming.
Hello! My name is Maria, 40 years old. My main job is teaching technical subjects.
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