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In the seedling method, it is possible to cultivate not only garden crops. And no one is surprised that sometimes we grow strawberries on seedlings from the same seeds in bags as cucumbers with tomatoes. Indeed, many are interested in new varieties of this tasty and healthy berry, and sometimes it is not possible to buy ready-made sockets, and the price for them is much higher than that of seeds. Many repairing varieties do not give a mustache on which rosettes are formed. But growing strawberries from seeds is quite difficult, and failures often occur due to improper sowing and care.
How to get good seedlings from seeds
When buying a bag in a store with seeds of one or another sort of garden strawberry, you need to consider that the result may not be exactly what you would like to get. Confident that young plants will repeat the properties of parental bushes, you can only be with vegetative propagation. But in some cases you have to take risks and buy seeds.
Sowing is performed as follows:
- Before planting seeds in the ground, they must undergo stratification - a decrease in temperature, simulating the onset of winter. Without this, the seeds may simply not sprout.
- Very small seeds need to be sown on the surface of the soil without falling asleep on top. Even through a thin layer it will be difficult for them to grow.
- To protect the seeds from drying out after sowing, you need to make a mini-greenhouse. Any container with a lid will do, or the seeding should be covered with glass.
How to stratify? In a small container with a lid, you need to place a wet piece of cloth, gauze or cosmetic cotton pads. Even toilet paper folded in several layers is suitable. Sprinkle seeds from the bag onto wet material, cover them with a second layer of wet tissue and close the container. In the lid, you need to make several holes with a diameter of 0.5 cm for air exchange.
It is necessary to withstand the seeds at room temperature for 2-3 days, then put the container in the refrigerator on the shelf, where the temperature is maintained + 1 ... +50C. Stratification lasts at least 2 weeks. During this time, it is necessary to periodically check whether the material on which the seeds are lying has dried out and moisten it if necessary.
Sowing seeds for seedlings should be done in March, when daylight hours are already quite long.
At earlier sowing times, seedlings will have to be lightened. It is required to prepare a substrate. This is done as follows:
Mix 1 part of fertile garden soil with 1 part of humus (compost) or forest soil and add 1 part of fine river sand. With this mixture you need to fill the container selected for the mini-greenhouse to 2/3 of its depth.
You need to get seeds from the refrigerator and use tweezers or matches to transfer them to the soil. It is required to moisten well from the spray gun and close the container. Several small holes should be made in its lid. Leave the container at room temperature in a well-lit but not sunny place. If the amount of condensation on the lid decreases, spray the seeds from the sprayer.
How to plant a strawberry mustache
After 10-14 days, the first shoots appear, and the lid of the container needs to be removed from time to time and air the greenhouse. It is advisable to remove moisture drops from the lid during this period, since the ingress of water on small seedlings can provoke their decay. When part of the seeds sprout, the greenhouse needs to be opened, gradually adapting the seedlings to the drier air of the room. Within 3-5 days, increase their time in the open air and completely remove the cover. All viable seeds should already have sprouted by this time.
After the formation of 2-3 real leaves, seedlings need to be dived into separate containers with a diameter of 5-7 cm. Fig. 1. When picking, you need to try not to deepen the growth point (heart). 10-14 days after the pick, you can gradually temper the seedlings, taking it to a glazed balcony.
After the return frosts pass, the future seedlings can be planted on the garden bed. Until next spring or before the autumn planting of strawberries, seedlings will gain strength, after which they can be moved to a permanent place.
How to prepare seedlings from sockets
To get seedlings of garden strawberries from those bushes that already grow on the site (to propagate rare varieties), use the vegetative method of reproduction. At the same time, all the qualities of the parent plant are preserved.
You need to take care of the offspring in advance: on the bushes intended for reproduction, during flowering, remove all flower arrows. This will provoke a mustache growth a little earlier than usual. PFor the first time, sockets should be pressed to the ground so that they take root as soon as possible. Fig. 2. Remove the following outlets on the same mustache. To get good seedlings, it is recommended not to leave more than 5 mustaches with rooted rosettes on 1 mother plant. So they will receive more nutrients before the formation of their own root system.
When the rosettes develop good roots, they can be cut off from the uterine bush and transplanted to a specially prepared bed (school). The distance between future seedlings should not be too large, enough so that the leaves of the bushes do not close.
How to care for seedlings in school
The main danger to young plants is the summer heat season. therefore a place for seedlings must be chosen so that in the 2nd half of the day, when the heat sets in, young bushes are shaded by a tree crown, a fence. If there are no natural obstacles to sunlight, then you should make shields of non-woven fabric or gauze, which will cover the plants from the sun from 12.00 to 16.00.
Another necessary condition is timely watering. The soil on the bed with seedlings should not dry out, this is especially true for seedlings, which in the 1st year of life are small in size. Watering should be done as the soil surface dries up, when there is no natural precipitation. When watering, it is important to be careful not to fill the heart of the bush.
Strawberry: planting by seed
Strengthened seedlings over the summer can be planted in a permanent place at the end of August. By this time, the thickness of the root neck of self-grown strawberry seedlings should be at least 5 mm. If the bushes are still small, it is better to leave them in the school until spring and then transplant to the plantation.