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CONTROLLING WEEDS IN STRAWBERRIES

Introduction

Weeds can be a hazard to strawberry production in many ways. They compete with strawberry plants for moisture, nutrients, and light. Strawberry plants are dependent on open space for good light penetration, good water drainage to prevent crown rot, and room for the plants to grow. To achieve this, it is necessary to control weed growth.

Strawberries are planted in raised beds to keep the fruit off the soil. As the berries grow, their foliage can touch the ground, making them more susceptible to weed invasions. To prevent weed growth in strawberries, you must take proactive measures before they even sprout their first leaf.

Watch for different weed varieties

Preventing weed growth in strawberries is crucial for strawberry fields, but some weeds are undesirable even if they’re easy to deal with. For example, wild morning glories spread rapidly by vines that grow into strawberry plant crowns and choke them out. In cases like this where a particular species of weed is particularly aggressive, it may make sense to try a different method of control on those plants rather than going through the whole field and risking damage from other varieties of weeds at the same time.

If you use herbicides, make sure you apply them at the right time and in the correct manner. If they’re applied too early or late, they won’t work as well. Throughout the growing season, strawberry plants will be especially vulnerable to weed growth if their leaves are nipped by frosts or damaged by hail storms. When this happens, weeds can grow into a thick patchwork that creates a monoculture of unwanted vegetation within a field of strawberries that would otherwise be producing high yields.

Before Planting

Weed seeds can be present in virtually any type of soil, so growers need to conduct a preliminary inspection of an area before planting strawberries there. One method is called “walkover scouting” where pairs of people walk through strawberry fields with wide spacing between each other and use their feet to feel for weeds that may have already sprouted or ones that are about to come up. If you find any seedlings, try using one of the weed control methods below:

  • Pull out weeds by hand while the soil is still moist
  • Use pre-emergent herbicide to kill any weed seeds before they sprout

After Planting

Applying a pre-emergent herbicide after planting will not prevent weeds from invading strawberries, but it can kill any new arrivals. When applying this type of chemical, be sure to follow manufacturer instructions for use near strawberries. Once weeds reach about 3 inches in height, you can pull them up and remove them from the field, or cut them with a mower and leave the vegetation on top of the ground where it’ll eventually break down to a manageable size.

Keep Weeds Manageable Using Mulch

You can also prevent weed growth in strawberries by utilizing mulch around the plants, but this may not be an option for organic growers because of the risks associated with using artificial chemicals. Strawberries have shallow roots that benefit from being kept warm and moist. In addition to weeds, straw mulch helps reduce evaporation as well as regulate soil temperature, which is why it’s been used since ancient times. There are many ways you can manage strawberry beds using mulch:

  • Straw bale gardening – Grow strawberries between rows of straw bales and keep them off the ground where they won’t come into contact with weed seeds or soil
  • Weed fabric – Use a type of impermeable weed fabric that prevents seeds from poking through the ground and growing
  • Mulch mat – Take sheets of black plastic and cover the rows in between strawberry plants, then push straw mulch over the edges to prevent it from blowing away or seeping into the soil

If you’re Growing Strawberries organically…

Regular herbicides should never be used on organic strawberry crops. Instead, try tying up weeds with something like baling twine so you can trim them off once they die out. Be sure not to leave any living vegetation in your strawberry field because it could eventually begin to regrow and spread its seed throughout your crop, making it harder to keep weeds at bay.

Regardless of how you choose to combat weedy invaders, remember that weeding and killing weeds should be done early and often for best results. The most important time to keep weeds out of strawberry beds is between March and May, when weeds are at their prime and strawberries are just starting to emerge from the ground. Keeps a close eye on any new growth for hampering weeds so they can’t take hold in your crop, thus limiting the damage they could potentially cause during future growing seasons.

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Chandler Strawberry Farming in Kenya

These early mid-season June-bearing strawberries are a good choice for fresh pickings of homegrown, bright red, flavorful fruit. Firm, large and beautifully shaped, these berries are especially appealing in fresh fruit trays.

The vigorous, high-yielding, June-bearing Chandler strawberry plants produce very desirable strawberries.  Chandler strawberries are very large, firm, and produce early-season to mid-season.  The strawberries vary from being long and wedge-shaped to large and conical.  They are a brilliant red color, glossy, and have an exceptional flavor profile.

The Chandler variety has gained prominence among many farmers in Kenya due to its fast maturing rate, superior pest and disease resistance traits and low cost production process. On average strawberry takes three months to mature.

Make Great Fortunes by Growing Grapes.

Chandler strawberries, however, are susceptible to root rot and absolutely must have well-drained soil and be planted properly.  The preferred soil pH is about 6, and additional watering is needed when rainfall is not sufficient. The mulching helps to suppress weeds and retains moisture around the berries.

They are, however, tolerant of gray mold.

Benefits of eating strawberry fruits

  • They can help with blood sugar regulation.
  • They are rich source of antioxidants
  • They support the immune system
  • They can help with body weight management
  • They can improve cardiovascular activities
  • They can have antimicrobial effects

To order chandler seedlings contact 0706,222,888

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Strawberries Farming in Kenya

Strawberries are sweet, red heart shaped fruit which has a delicious taste and has numerous nutritional benefits. Packed with vitamins fiber, and particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols, strawberries are a sodium free, fat free, cholesterol free, and a low calorie food. Eight strawberries provide more vitamin c than an orange.

Health Benefits of Strawberries

  • Reduce high blood pressure. Strawberries are rich in potassium and magnesium and low in sodium which helps in reducing high blood pressure.
  • Boost immunity. Strawberries are highly packed with vitamin c.
  • Help in preventing cancer. Have many flavonoids that act as excellent antioxidants.
  • Boost brain function. Rich in vitamin c, iodine and phytochemicalswhich help in maintaining the proper functioning of the nervous system.
  • May lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Reduces the risk of eye related ailments.

 June-bearing Strawberry Varieties:

June-bearing Strawberry Variety

June bearers are tremendously popular and common. They typically produce the largest strawberries, and do so over a period of two to three weeks, on average. Most June bearing strawberry varieties produce a harvest around the month of June, hence the name. However, strawberry varieties are further classified into Early Season, Midseason, and Late Season. By selecting strawberry plant varieties that produce during different parts of the season, you can prolong your harvest and enjoy fresh strawberries for an extended period of time.

Ever-bearing Strawberry Varieties:

Ever-bearing strawberries aren’t really “ever bearing.” They generally produce two harvests per year: one in the spring and another in the late summer or fall. Under ideal conditions, it is possible for some ever bearing varieties to produce three berry harvests. In general, overbearing varieties put out less runners than the June bearing varieties, as most of the plants productive energy is directed toward producing multiple strawberry harvests.

Inter-cropping and Mulching in Tissue Culture Banana Farming

Day-neutral strawberry varieties:

Day-neutral Strawberry Variety

Day neutral strawberry plants are unique. Unlike June bearing varieties, day neutral strawberries will produce a good yield in the first year they are planted. They will still be producing fruit in October during milder years. The drawback to day neutral strawberry plants is that they produce smaller strawberries than do the June bearing and ever bearing strawberry varieties. Their fruit is usually small to medium in size, rarely exceeding one inch.

Best Performing Strawberries

Here are some of the best performing types of strawberries,

Albion – Very resistant to disease, large, firm fruit, numerous runners (Day Neutral)

Tillamook – Resistant to some disease, fruit is excellent for preserves or eating out of hand (Early)

Northeaster – Large fruits and high yield (Early)

Elsanta – Not resistant to some diseases but large, firm, sweet fruit (Day Neutral)

Jewel – Big firm fruit, some resistance to leaf disease, moderate runners (Everbearing)

Earliglow – Resistant to leaf and root diseases, very flavorful berries (Early)

Quinalt – Resistant to many diseases, large, soft fruit (Everbearing)

These are but a few varieties from which to choose, but your local extension or nursery can arm you with the optimum choices for your region. In addition, you may prefer to plant native strawberries. These make excellent ground covers and are hardy and resistant to most diseases. Native strawberry types include:

a) Alpine strawberry

b) European strawberry

c) Fraises de Boise

d) Woodland strawberry

e) Wild strawberry

Strawberry plants are usually planted 18 to 24 inches apart in rows 36 to 48 inches apart. Spacing decisions depend on the size of your land. Growers should purchase cultivars resistant to red stele and verticillum wilt from a reputable nursery.

Flower blossoms should be removed during the first season. This practice sacrifices the first year’s crop, but it enables growers to establish a bed of vigorous plants. It is especially important to closely monitor and control pests in the first year.

Yields of day-neutral varieties are typically higher than those of June bearers because of the extended harvest season.

Strawberries must be picked and handled very carefully. Berries are harvested at least three times per week. The fruit must be firm, well colored, and free from rot.

When harvested at the right time and handled properly, strawberries will remain in good condition for a few days.

Several insect pests and diseases can cause crop losses; therefore, it’s important to monitor and control pests. Some pests affect the flowers and fruit, while others attack the foliage, stems, crowns, and roots of the plant. Proper scouting and efficient monitoring must be enhanced.

Weeds must be controlled, as strawberries have shallow root systems that put them at a disadvantage when competing for water and nutrients. Proper and timely weeding should be put into practice. Strawberry farming is very profitable when planted under ideal conditions.