Features of growing strawberries and strawberries on the balcony
Few people refuse to regularly enjoy strawberries and strawberries without leaving the walls of their apartment. Fortunately, it is quite realistic to grow these crops on an ordinary city balcony.
advantages and disadvantages
Year-round strawberries and strawberries on the balcony are grown in good light, as well as in the presence of constant lighting, the impact of which lasts at least 6 hours. In other cases, you can enjoy sweet berries in the traditional fertile season. In principle, growing berries at home has almost no disadvantages – except that you need to pay enough attention to the care of the plants. The advantages are many: a great harvest is always at hand, and in some cases, even in winter, the planting system does not take up much space, so it can be placed even on a small balcony.
Another plus is that insects or diseases are detected very quickly and, accordingly, eliminated.
To grow berries at home, it is recommended to choose remontant varieties. They will bear fruit twice a season, and the first time this will happen a few months after direct planting. The advantage is that such varieties are able to bear fruit even in conditions of low light. Experienced gardeners recommend paying attention to “Supime”, which gives very sweet fruits in large quantities, and “Queen Elizabeth II”, the berries of which have a characteristic sourness. Good reviews get abundant fruiting variety “Darselekt”, the weight of the fruits of which sometimes reaches 80 grams. One only has to pay attention to the “delicacy” with a small root system, perfectly placed in small containers.
If it is possible to mount suspended structures on the loggia, it is worth taking ampelic varieties, the length of the shoots of which can reach 30 centimeters.
For example, we are talking about Toscana, Romana and Aluba. For a balcony overlooking the northern side, Elvira and Temptation, whose persistent immunity is not afraid of undesirable conditions, will do. Giving preference to the “universal debut”, you will be able to enjoy not only the sweetest fruits, but also elegant dark pink buds. Of the strawberry varieties for growing at home, the most suitable are the fragrant and ever-blooming Toscana.
how to grow
Home berries are bred in different conditions, but when choosing a particular container, you should always remember that the smaller its volume, the less soil, which means that the plant will be deficient in nutrients. Quite original, but at the same time convenient to grow strawberries in plastic bottles. For this purpose, a two-liter container is first cut in half. The part, twisted with a lid, is punctured in several places and filled with a soil mixture. It is in it that the culture is planted, after which the structure is installed in the bottom of the bottle and already filled with water.
In hanging pots
Most often, hanging pots are used for strawberries, although strawberries feel quite comfortable in them. When choosing such pots, an important rule must be followed: the volume of the container can be at least 2.5 liters.
Such pots are attached either to a horizontal stick, or to a hook.
On the EGS.
A bench for strawberries with strawberries can be bought, or you can make it yourself from wooden slats or metal rods. The unusual design is a pyramidal world, consisting of containers. The lower level looks like a wide pot, in which grow 5-6 bushes, and in the middle is defined by a towering cylinder. It already contains a smaller container and the uppermost level, created similarly to accommodate a bush.
It is quite acceptable to grow berries in wooden crates. Planting bushes should be carried out in such a way that at least 15 centimeters between seedlings are retained.
In addition, it is important that the bottom of the container is studded with drainage holes.
A highly ventilated soil is essential for a remontant crop. Even if a highly basic berry mix is purchased, it must be regularly separated. In addition to the universal mix bought in the store, you can use a mixture of peat and perlite in equal amounts. Very nutritious will be a combination of chernozem, peat and humus, which is taken in the same proportions and diluted with a small amount of sand. The last component should be coarse and purified. If sawdust is added to the mixture, it should be impregnated with urea beforehand.
Whatever soil is chosen before planting, it must be disinfected. Most often this process is carried out in the oven: the filled palette is enough to heat for about 10 minutes at a temperature of 200 degrees. You can also use a microwave oven or simply dilute the mixture with boiling water. After disinfection, the soil should “rest” for some time in a cool place, and the temperature should not exceed 5 degrees.
Growing strawberries and strawberries from seed is considered a very tedious process. The parents of seedlings usually require very careful attitude and die at the slightest supervision of the gardener. However, if this method is chosen, you can increase the likelihood of success if you use seeds beforehand. First, the seeds should be soaked for a few days by wrapping them in moistened gauze or a piece of paper towel. When swollen, the seeds should be placed in a container with vents and stored in the refrigerator for almost a month.
During this time, the “gaps” should be moistened regularly. It will be even better if you spread a layer of snow on the floor and sow the seeds on it. After the container is placed in the fountain area.
If each sprout already has 4 leaf plates, you can pick.
It is much easier, especially for an inexperienced gardener, to plant purchased seedlings of crops. You should choose healthy bushes with 5-6 dense leaves and light roots. From mid-spring it is brought out on the balcony: If it is closed, the air temperature does not play a special role, but if it is open, you will have to wait for +10 degrees at night. When transplanting bushes into permanent containers, they should be deepened, but not too much, and leave a distance of 2-3 centimeters from the floor to the edge of the container.
The optimum daylight hours for the plants should be 8 to 12 hours. If necessary, it can be extended with special lamps. On the loggia, the daytime temperature should not fall below 20 degrees, and at night – 15 degrees. The required humidity reaches 60%. Do not forget how important regular ventilation is.
Balcony culture, living in a container with a limited volume, needs enough nutrients. Fertilizer, which can be both organic and inorganic, should contain potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus. Potassium makes fruits sweeter, and nitrogen makes it possible to grow a good green mass in time.
If you timely feed berries with phosphorus, you can be sure that the root system will not have difficulties in development. Of organic matter, strawberries and strawberries prefer wood ash and humus. Of inorganic fertilizers, superphosphate, potassium sulfate and urea will do. In principle, it is much easier to maintain a crop on the loggia if you buy ready-made mineral complexes in appropriate stores.
In order to ensure that the bushes not only multiply, but also give a crop, they need to be fed twice a month. If it was originally seeded, the first time should be fertilized within a few weeks after the appearance of the first sprouts. Purchased seedlings are fertilized after the completion of adaptation, which usually lasts no more than two weeks. Balcony berries like abundant watering, but can die if the moisture stagnates in the pot. To avoid the problem, holes should be cut in the bottom of the container and a drainage layer should be placed in it.
Regularly loosening the top bottom is also an advantage.
Watering water should be soft, as strawberries and strawberries do not respond well to mineral salts. During watering, it is important to act carefully and avoid drips on the leaf plates. In order to make the process of growing the crop automatically, it is worth buying self-breeding varieties in the first place. To “activate” the process, it is enough to run a brush over the flowers and shake off the pollen. A similar effect is achieved with the help of a fan, which is installed next to the bollards and works with a minimum output.
Another important component of care is the breaking up of whiskers striving to form roots. If their number becomes too large and begins to “take away” the resources of the mother bush, both the size and taste of berries may suffer. Care measures can also be supplemented by regular spraying of plants.
To save bushes in the winter in autumn, they should be released from all shoots, from which the berries were previously cut off. Before wintering, it will not hurt to moisten the soil. Rules for preserving balcony plants also involve a pair of cardboard boxes, but still a slightly different size. First, the bottom of a large box is covered with a layer of foam balls or sawdust.
In addition, a smaller storage box is placed in it, and the remaining voids between them are also filled with insulation. The container with berry bushes is placed in a smaller box. If desired, the floor in them is also filled with sawdust. Harvested for the winter, strawberries and strawberries should be regularly ventilated and watered, but only at not too low temperatures.
Harvesting on the balcony: Growing delicious strawberries
Many city dwellers grow greenery, flowers on the loggia or balcony. You can put containers, pots with garden strawberries and harvest all year round. Agronomy is simple, and if you take into account the nuances and choose the right varieties, the balcony strawberry is sure to please with excellent preparation.
Varieties for planting
Descriptions of garden ground berries include basic characteristics, including length of daylight hours (photoperiodic response). The following types are derived:
- Short-day light group (LSG), fruiting once in early summer. The duration of the day is up to 12 hours;
- Long day group (DSD), bears fruit twice a season. Bud blossoming occurs at day length of 12-17 hours;
- Neutral daylight hours (NLD). Duration of natural light does not affect budding, fruiting is almost uninterrupted. If you create cheap conditions for strawberries, the berries will also be in winter. The same varieties are used for the cultivation of victoria on hydroculture.
Varieties of the second and third groups are suitable for planting on the balcony. However, these crops are not for the lazy, as planting is required regularly, soil is needed, otherwise the yield will be low. The table shows the varieties that, according to gardeners’ estimates, are suitable for planting in boxes, pots or in a tube on the loggia, on the window sill in the apartment.
|Variety name||Description, features|
|Clery .||Italian selection. Early stages of development of the fruit system. Remontant species. Berries 30-40 g, cherry color at full maturity. High level of formation.|
|Darselect||CSD variety, mid-season. Heat tolerant, drought tolerant. Harvested 700-800 grams from the bush. The berries weigh up to 50 g, on average – 30 g. Color – red, with an orange hue. The taste is good, pleasant.|
|Florence||Late. Berries grow to 30-50 g, tasty and sweet. Gives a small number of mustaches. The variety is resistant to diseases and pests.|
|Sweet Evie||Forms ovaries in low light. Fruits are burgundy in color with a honey flavor and light aroma. Weighs 20-25 grams” from June to fall.|
|Alsantant||Garden strawberries are large-fruited, the berries weigh 35-45 grams. From plants harvested 1-1.5 kg. The yield is stable, the timing is in June.|
|Regina||A low variety with a rabat, well adapted to the heat, tolerates prolonged drought. Compact. The berries weigh 2-2.5 g. From a bush gather 250-300 g. The peculiarity is the bright aroma of forest berries.|
In addition to these varieties, Billers, Tristan, Peace Debut (with pink flowers), Temptation, Tuscany and the legendary Elizabeth II are grown on the loggia and balcony.
Balcony beautification: What to look out for
Only insulated and glazed balconies and loggias are suitable for growing berries. It is desirable that the room was oriented to the south or east, although with proper care, strawberries on the balcony ripen also on the western or northern windows.
On a side note! For additional lighting (especially in winter) hang LED, fluorescent or phytolamps.
Double glazing is installed on the windows, the walls and ceiling are thoroughly insulated. It is necessary to provide for the installation of special protective grids, blinds or roller shutters that protect the plants from sunlight on hot days. It is mandatory to have cross beams and vents for ventilation.
Because of the limited area of the balcony garden, it is necessary to think carefully about methods of growing strawberries. Gardeners have accumulated a lot of experience in planting plants, the choice depends on the location of the windows of the loggia and the size of the room.
Plants in pots and boxes
Vessels are not used for strawberries, otherwise the soil will not dry out. The volume per plant is 3 liters. Planted in such pots one bush at a time. In boxes of 10-15 liters-3-5 pieces.
The depth of the containers is 15-20 cm, no more. Be sure to pour drainage on the floor and drill holes to drain excess moisture. If you arrange the pots and boxes in rows, use hanging planters. Some gardeners grow strawberries in plastic bottles (5 liters) with the lid cut off.
In test tubes: convenient and easy
Another option is to plant strawberries on the balcony in tubes. In this case, the improvised “bed” is installed vertically or horizontally. Assemble plastic pipes as a frame on a free wall.
For outlets in the pipe make a common or separate holes (at the top). Small holes are drilled at the bottom, which are closed with a net. Soil is poured into the pipe, and strawberries are planted.
Two pipes of different diameters (for example, 50-60 cm and 4-6 cm) are needed for a vertical structure. The smaller diameter serves as a container for watering and fertilizing. The large pipe is filled with soil.
- Drill holes in the walls of a wide pipe (from bottom to top) at a distance of 20 cm;
- Install a plug on the underside;
- Drill small holes in the narrow pipe. Wrap it tightly with mesh. Cork the bottom hole, make a funnel in the upper part;
- Place the narrow one into the wide tube;
- Fill the space between the tubes with sprouts;
- Plant strawberry seedlings in wells;
- In the narrow tube regularly pour water, liquid fertilizer compositions for feeding.
This method saves space, the bushes are less diseased. Vertical strawberry beds look attractive, while the plants retain the necessary amount of moisture and evenly illuminated.
As a side note. The floor dries out quickly in vertical tubes. We recommend checking the humidity and adding water regularly.
Pyramids of boxes, shelves or pots are often installed on balconies. The multi-stage construction proves especially practical in small areas. The pyramid is easy to build yourself or buy ready-made frames in specialized stores.
It is desirable that strawberries get enough light (at least 6-8 hours), so it is recommended to turn the construction regularly. Growing in pyramids allows you to rationally use the balcony space, planting several fruitful bushes in a small area. In such tiered compositions, traffic lights made of garden soil berries look especially attractive.
Features of keeping strawberries on the balcony
“Beds” on the loggia require the same attention as in the open ground. Agrotechnics are standard, as at the dacha, but some subtleties should be taken into account.
Choice of soil
It is useless to expect the fruit to advance in growth in an incomplete nutrient mix. The culture is demanding to local conditions, and when planting in a limited space, this factor is especially important.
Ready-made substrates are purchased in stores and used in independent cultivation:
- sawdust and peat (proportions 2: 1);
- humus, peat, turf soil (1: 1: 1);
- peat, sod soil and river pumped sand (6:3:1).
The peat layer retains moisture, and humus or chernozem is needed for fertility. Urea is used as a sawgrass fertilizer.
Seedlings are grown independently (from seeds), transplanting into prepared containers in April or May. In late January or early February, strawberries from seeds are planned for seedlings. Remontant varieties can be planted in August or early September.
Control the location of the growing point of the shrub. It should be flush with the surface of the floor. In boxes in which several plants are planted, keep a distance of 16-20 cm between the holes.
Plants planted in pots or containers are watered in pots or containers with excessive moisture. In containers, especially on hot summer days, the soil quickly dries out.
Water with heated, settled water, taking care not to get on the leaves and petals of the crop. With overdrying, the corms drop color, and the number of ovaries decreases greatly. With an excess of moisture there is a risk of rotting of plants, so stick to the “golden mean”.
Respectfully! Plantings are sprayed with a sprayer once every 3-6 days.
Berry planted on the balcony, needs a complete feeding. In varieties with a neutral light day, a strong depletion of the soil is noticeable and without additional fertilizers can not do without.
- Solutions of complex fertilizers;
- ash infusion;
- superphosphate solution;
- Ready-made fertilizers for strawberries (for example, Fermatika or Kemira Lux).
Feeding every 10-14 days, observing the recommendations on the dosage of fertilizers.
If possible, it is recommended to plant self-sufficient species of garden strawberries on the loggia. They set berries without the participation of insects and wind. With pollinated varieties, you need to think about feeding options, otherwise you will not wait for berries.
- Hand pollination with a paint brush. The brush is lightly stuffed, spend with stamens and damage the opened flowers. It is recommended to carry out the procedure in the morning.
- With the help of a fan. The blades of the device can create a small “breeze”. The option is not particularly convenient, but if there is time, it completely replaces manual pollination.
recommendations for care
Experienced gardeners advise to remove the first stems on the bushes. The number of new ovaries will increase, therefore, the harvest will be higher. On the bush leave a limited number of tendrils (no more than two), as they delay nutrition and interfere with the formation of flowers.
On hot days on a glazed loggia, the temperature rises significantly. It is necessary to open windows and vents, timely water the plants, not allowing the soil to dry out. At the same time, drafts should be avoided, otherwise the bushes will drop color.
During the fruiting period, the bush is tied up, and stands are installed to support the brushes. Rings and shelves, on which pots and boxes stand, should be securely strengthened, otherwise the structure will collapse under the weight of the fruiting plants. If harvesting during the cold period is not planned, the plants are removed to a cool place before transplanting, that is, take a break.
Growing fragrant garden strawberries on the balcony is not so difficult. It will take some knowledge, financial expenses and compliance with agrotechnics, but the work will definitely give the result. But how much joy (and pride) will get a crop of sweet and fragrant berries on the balcony “bed”!