Main characteristics of strawberries.
The strawberry is a perennial herbaceous plant and is part of the large Rosaceae family. It is commonly cultivated for its fleshy and sweet false fruits. In fact, the true fruits of the strawberry are the dark achenes or granules that cover the smooth, red surface. The flowers of the plant are characterized by yellow stamens and whitish, sometimes pinkish petals. They can be pollinated by insects and wind. The leaves are a beautiful green, more or less intense depending on the variety, and have a characteristic serrated edge. The appearance of the fruits is variable but, in principle, they are heart-shaped and when fully ripe, they are ruby red. The fruits that are currently on the market come from more productive hybrids.
Strawberries propagate by stolons and, more rarely, by seeds. In June, the strongest plants are chosen and four runners are selected. Later they are fixed to the surface of as many jars full of earth with forks and watered abundantly. After about four weeks, the runners will have established their own little root system and can be cut from the parent plant. Strawberries can be planted in a larger pot or in an area of the garden of your choice. To get a good harvest, strawberry crops must follow certain rules. For example, plants should be placed a foot apart from each other so that each receives the right amount of light and produces better fruit.
Strawberry crops mainly thrive in well-drained soil with good sun exposure. The plants are afraid of frost and in the harshest winters they die easily. Before planting the new plants, it is always advisable to enrich the soil with a good dose of mature compost. If during the ripening phase the fruits touch damp ground, they may gradually begin to deteriorate until they rot before turning completely red. To overcome this problem, the floor can be covered with black nylon. This will not only protect the fruits from molds and diseases coming from the soil, but will prevent weeds from growing by improving the quality of life of the seedlings themselves.
Annual strawberry crops provide better produce but bear less fruit compared to perennials. However, growing strawberries in the same spot multiple times can deplete the soil. To avoid this phenomenon, it is advisable to dismantle the strawberries each year by placing the plants that are still in good condition in another area. Ideally, you would add nitrogen to the soil during the fallow period simply by planting legumes such as beans or peas. To keep pests away from organic strawberry crops, it is a good idea to plant onions, onions, but also salads and spinach nearby. To preserve the fruits from the voracity of snails, mustard is the only solution: plant it near the strawberry plant.