How not to get lost when buying strawberry seedlings? Take our advice!
To choose good seedlings of strawberries (garden strawberries) in the summer is not so difficult: healthy plants look beautiful, the foliage on them is lush. But with the spring seedlings, the situation is more complicated: at the beginning of the season, the seedlings have not yet had time to acquire new leaves and do not look very presentable. In order not to get lost at the time of purchase, we suggest to get acquainted with our advice on choosing.
Prefer local varieties of strawberries
No matter how much you are attracted to the exotic, it is safer to buy seedlings of zoned varieties included in the State Register. So the probability that the seedlings take root, increases. It is not necessary to "be" on the loud advertising of producers: the most vaunted "giant" strawberries can wither in the conditions of the middle lane.
If possible, choose a healthy seedlings
Ideal for breeding - the so-called healthy seedlings, which is derived from uterine plants, bred in special laboratories. Such saplings are most resistant to diseases and are not afraid of pests. In addition, a healthy strawberry brings 50% more yield than ordinary.
Of course, if you plan to allocate one modest bed for garden strawberries, you shouldn't spend money on such an expensive pleasure. But if your plans include growing strawberries in larger volumes, the healthy seedlings will pay for themselves by saving money from pests and diseases, as well as increased yields.
Buy seedlings from reputable manufacturers
We will not rediscover America if we say that the best place to buy planting material is certified nurseries. Moreover, it is advisable to choose not newcomers to the agricultural market, but “mastodons” industries that value their reputation. In this case, you do not have to worry that instead of the very healthful seedlings you have sold the most ordinary.
If you buy seedlings on the market, act on the same principle: choose sellers who bring their products every year. Another good option is to buy seedlings from a friend of an experienced gardener.
If you want to order seedlings by mail, you can take a chance only if the weather is warm outside and the threat of return frost is over.
Inspect the condition of the leaves in strawberry seedlings
Now that we have decided on the theory, it's time to start practicing. Carefully inspect the leaves of the seedlings and pay attention to the following signs.
1. The number of true leaves. If you buy strawberry bushes in early May, they should be at least 2-3 young leaves (not counting a few last year).
Young leaves on strawberry seedlings are a good sign.
2. Leaf color. The leaves should be healthy green, leathery, shiny, with characteristic pubescence. Pale foliage may indicate late blight necrosis of the horns. This disease is not treated - the plant will simply die.
Pale foliage - a sign of dying horns
3. Defects of leaves. If young leaves on a seedling are wrinkled, this is a sign of a strawberry mite.
Leaves affected by mite are visible to the naked eye.
Dark or white dots on the leaves indicate the presence of fungal diseases. Buy this seedling is not worth it!
Symptoms of fungal infection
Check the condition of the strawberry cones
A strawberry seedling can have one or several horns. The main thing - that they were powerful and healthy. Horns should be juicy, light green in color.
Do not buy seedlings with a thickness of horns less than 0.7 cm. The thicker the horn, the better the seedlings will take root and the greater the yield it will bring.
The thicker the horns, the better the harvest
Rate the root system of strawberry seedlings
The roots of seedlings of garden strawberries should be branched. If you buy a seedling with open root systemits length must be at least 7 cm.
Sapling with open root system
If the bush is sold in a peat pot or a tablet, the roots must come out. In a plastic container, they usually occupy the entire volume.
Sapling with closed root system
To check the roots of seedlings, carefully lift the bush by the leaf stalks and remove it from the container.
Following these simple guidelines, you can choose high-quality strawberry seedlings, which this summer will delight you with a harvest of fragrant berries.