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Getting a rich strawberry harvest on your site is the dream of every gardener. Today, the choice of types of delicious berries is huge, which often causes difficulties for novice farmers. The strawberry variety must be suitable for the soil type and climate of the region where the berry is planned to be grown. Strawberry variety Elephant calf is ready for cold and drought tests, suitable for the northern regions of Russia.
Description of strawberry baby elephant
Baby elephant is a large-fruited frost-resistant variety of garden non-repair strawberries. Unpretentious, perfect for beginner gardeners. Recommended for cultivation in the West Siberian and East Siberian regions of Russia, bred by domestic breeders.
The main distinguishing feature of the culture is its exceptional drought and frost resistance. Description of strawberry variety Elephant:
- Non-repairing variety: fruiting once a year.
- Berry ripening period is average.
- Productivity up to 2.5 kg of berries from one bush.
- The berries are large, weighing up to 40 g.
- The color of the fruit and pulp is red, saturated with shine.
- Forms a mustache.
- The bush is upright, powerful.
- Intense aroma of ripe fruits, pronounced classic strawberry sweet and sour taste.
- Resistant to frost and drought.
- Universal purpose of the variety: berries can be consumed fresh, suitable for canning and freezing.
By the end of the season, the berries of the Elephant variety can become shallow, the variety does not differ in stable fruiting. The baby elephant is suitable for the purposes of personal subsidiary farming and for commercial cultivation, the berries have good transportability.
Pros and cons of the variety
Despite its unpretentiousness and ability to endure natural disasters, the Elephant variety has a number of disadvantages:
- Berries are susceptible to gray fruit rot. Excessive rainfall contributes to this disease, the harvest of berries can be halved.
- Taste qualities of the fruit "for an amateur" - there is sourness in the taste, the pulp of the berries is not juicy enough, dense.
- Possibility of uneven color of the fruit: the tip of the berry may remain white.
Baby elephant is one of the most popular strawberry varieties among gardeners. It has more advantages than disadvantages:
- Large fruit and beautiful appearance of the berry: suitable for decorating desserts.
- Undemanding to agricultural technology.
- Survives and gives a decent harvest in areas with a changeable climate.
- Winter hardiness.
- High productivity.
When growing a variety of strawberries, the main thing is not to overdo it with watering. High humidity is detrimental to the fruit. It is recommended to loosen strawberry beds and apply mulching. It is recommended to use pine needles or sawdust as mulch.
Growing garden strawberries
The success of obtaining a healthy and abundant strawberry harvest depends on the choice of a place and compliance with the rules for planting and caring for plants.
When and where to plant
Seedlings of strawberry variety Elephant calves can be planted both in spring and in autumn - "before winter". Planting in the fall is more favorable because the plant has time to form a root system.
A good place for strawberry beds is a sheltered, unshaded, sunny area. The more sunlight the plants receive, the larger the strawberries will grow, the berries will be bright and sweet. The best crop precursors are cucumbers, legumes and parsley. You cannot plant berries after potatoes - the wireworm and the Colorado potato beetle will harm the seedlings.
Acidic soils are not suitable for strawberries, but if there is no choice, it is recommended to add lime to the soil.
Selection of seedlings
Saplings should be chosen healthy, attractive in appearance. The bush should be sprawling, with a dense stem, have 3-4 formed branches. The color of the leaves should be uniform, without spots.
Important! The optimal root length for a young plant is 7-10 cm. It is recommended to cut the roots if they are longer than the required length.
It is recommended to buy seedlings from trusted suppliers: in specialized nurseries, at thematic exhibitions or grow it yourself.
Having chosen the optimal site for planting, you should adhere to a certain sequence of actions:
- A month before planting seedlings, fertilizers are applied to the soil - wood ash and ammonium nitrate.
- Two weeks later, the soil is dug up and organic fertilizers are applied: manure or humus. The plowing depth is 30 cm. Superphosphate is added from mineral fertilizers at this stage.
- After preparing the soil and applying fertilizers, they proceed to planting seedlings. A distance of 80 cm is maintained between the beds, and a distance of 20 cm between the bushes. One seedling is placed in small holes: the roots are gently straightened and sprinkled with earth, compacting the soil with the palm of your hand.
- Mulching the soil: each planted bush is sprinkled on top with a mixture of peat, sand and humus.
- Each bush is thoroughly watered.
Planting of plants must be carried out after sunset or in cloudy weather, so that active sun rays do not burn out fragile seedlings.
Subtleties of care
The health of the bush and their yield will depend on compliance with the rules of care.
The baby elephant loves moisture very much, but in this parameter it is necessary to observe the measure. This is the main feature of the Siberian variety. Excessive moisture will lead to disease, and lack of moisture will lead to crushing of the fruit.
Plants should be watered once a week, abundantly, under a bush with warm water. Watering is especially important during the ripening period: the berries take a lot of energy from the bushes. Lack of moisture during this period can lead to yellowing of the leaves and weakening of plant immunity.
Garden strawberries are responsive to all types of fertilizers. If the soil for strawberries becomes poor in nutrients, the yield drops sharply, the berries become smaller.
For planted seedlings in the fall, it is recommended to water the bushes with Azofoska in a ratio of 100 g of fertilizer per 10 liters of water. In spring, plants are fed with urea - 50 g per 10 liters of water. But you should not get carried away with feeding this fertilizer, an increased growth of the foliage of the bushes may be provoked, fewer berries will be tied.
Organic fertilizers in the form of ripe manure, peat are applied at the preparatory stage for planting seedlings. They are dug up along with the soil and brought directly into the dug hole for the plant. In order not to burn the root system with a high organic content, it is recommended to add a little sand.
Prevention of weed control - mulching. It should be carried out regularly, this will make the soil loose and reduce the amount of watering.
Sawdust, needles, straw are excellent material for mulching strawberry beds. It is recommended to leave the needles for the winter, it will protect the plants from the cold, and pests will not start in it.
Pests and diseases
Strawberry variety Elephant calf is resistant to common diseases. Most susceptible to infection with gray mold. Excess moisture in the beds should not be allowed. Chemicals can be used to prevent fungal diseases. From folk remedies, berries can be treated with a solution of iodine and brilliant green at the rate of 10 drops of brilliant green and 5 drops of iodine per 10 liters of water.
Strawberry Baby elephant is weakly affected by pests. As a fight against them, it is enough to use folk remedies, for example, it is recommended to sprinkle the leaves of plants with wood ash: prevention of pests and the introduction of mineral fertilizers at the same time.
The elephant calf is bred with a mustache. After fruiting during the summer, shoots form on the strawberry bushes, on which rosettes are tied - the future strawberry bushes. Strong plants without signs of disease are selected as mother bushes.
The mustache is cut from the uterine bush with scissors, making an oblique cut. The rooted outlet is dug up and planted in a new place. Mustache trimming should be done in the evening after sunset.
Harvesting and storage of crops
The Elephant Strawberry is a perishable berry crop. The fruits spoil quickly and give juice after harvest. Rules for preserving the presentation of strawberries of the Elephant variety:
- It is recommended to start harvesting strawberries the day before the berries are fully ripe.
- It is impossible to water the bushes before harvesting the fruits - the fruits will soften and instantly give juice.
- Berries for storage do not need to be peeled, removing the sepals from them, you can leave the stalks.
- The best time to harvest is early morning or late evening.
- Avoid direct sunlight on harvested berries.
Important! When picking strawberries, it is necessary to sort the berries: those affected by rot, spoiled specimens should not fall into the general basket.
It is better to store the harvested crop in wooden boxes or wicker baskets with gaps: the berries must be ventilated. Cover the top of the strawberries with gauze or other soft cloth. It is not recommended to sort and peel strawberries before transporting or storing them. It is better to do this before directly eating the berries.
The baby elephant is an excellent variety of strawberries of domestic selection. He can easily survive the whims of the changeable Russian climate, please a novice gardener with a decent harvest. The main thing is to properly water and maintain a moisture balance in strawberry beds.