วันศุกร์ที่ 24 ธันวาคม พ.ศ. 2553

Growing Fresh Strawberries in the Home Garden

Smoothie Strawberry

Strawberries are an easy to grow fruit crop that will reward the home gardener with ample harvests for many years. With favorable conditions, each strawberry plant should produce one quart of strawberries.

Choosing Strawberry Plants

There are basically 3 types of strawberry plants to choose from: June bearing, Everbearing and Day Neutral.

June Bearing strawberries produce a single, large crop per year

during a 2 - 3 week period in the spring. June bearers are the traditionally grown plants, producing a single flush of flowers and many runners. They are classified into early, mid-season and late varieties. The largest fruits are generally from June bearing varieties.

Everbearing strawberries produce two to three harvests of fruit intermittently during the spring, summer and fall. Everbearing plants do not send out many runners.

Day Neutral strawberries will produce fruit throughout the growing season. These strawberries also produce few runners. Everbearing and day neutral strawberries are great when space is limited, but the fruits are usually somewhat smaller than June bearers.

Site: Where to Plant Strawberries

Basic considerations when locating a strawberry patch include:
  • Full sun

  • Well drained, sandy loam with a pH from 5.8 to 6.2 is ideal

  • Don't plant where tomatoes, potatoes, peppers or eggplant have been grown recently (Verticillium Rot)


Planting Strawberry Plants

What ever planting method you choose, the following rules apply:
  • Plant in the spring as soon as the soil is dry enough to be worked, or in late fall

  • Be sure you have certified disease-free plants

  • Select plants with large crowns with healthy, light-colored roots

  • Amend soil with 1-2 inches of organic matter like compost or well- rotted manure

  • Keep weeds from competing with your strawberry plants
  • Make a hole large enough to spread the roots. Hill the center of the hole and place the crown at soil level. Spread the roots downward on the hill. Bury the plant so that the soil only goes halfway up the crown.

Matted Row System for June Bearing Strawberries

The matted row system works well with strawberry plants that send out a lot of runners. Set plants 18 inches apart in rows of 24 inches, with 4 - 4 1/2 feet between rows.

Leaves and flower buds will emerge shortly after planting. Pinch off all flowers during the first year in the garden, on June bearing varieties, and all flowers that form until July 1st on ever-bearing and day neutral varieties. This will encourage both plant vigor and production of runners to fill in the mat. Pinching off this years flowers means no crop this year but a much better crop next year and several more years of production.

As runners form from the plant crowns, train along the row and space 6 to 9 inches apart. Press the runner gently into the soil, hold in place with a rock or cover with about 1/2 inch of soil until roots form. Do not sever the runner from the mother plant.

Hill System for Day Neutral and Everbearing Strawberries

Day neutral and everbearing strawberry plants don't send out many runners and instead focus their energy on producing multiple harvests. The hill system is basically a raised bed 8 inches high and 2 feet wide. Plants are set out in staggered double rows, about 12 inches apart. All runners should be removed as well as all flowers until July 1st of the first year. Plants may then be allowed to produce fruit. Multiple harvests are exhausting on plants and both day neutral and everbearing varieties should be replaced about every 3 years or whenever they seem to slow in vigor.

December 6, 2005
PHOTO: The strawberry is the only fruit with seeds on the outside - there are about 200 on a medium-sized example.

Mulching the Strawberry Bed

Mulch between plants after planting to keep the soil temperature cool, deter weeds and to keep the fruit off the soil. Straw is the traditional strawberry mulch. Do not use black plastic since it will raise the soil temperature and optimal fruit production requires cool soil.

In colder climates, mulching over the strawberry plants will prevent injury to the crowns. Wait until the temperature drops to 20 degrees F. and cover with several inches of straw or pine needles. Be sure to use a mulch that can be easily removed in the spring.


Strawberry Water Needs

1 - 2 inches of water per week is needed for juicy fruit. Water is especially important while the fruit is forming, from early bloom to the end of harvest.


Fertilizing Strawberries

Start with a rich, organic soil. Apply a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) at planting at the rate of one pound per 100 sq. ft. Fertilize again after renovation of June bearers or second harvest of day neutrals and everbearing types. Do not over fertilizer or you will have excessive leaf growth and poor flowering. Do not fertilizer strawberries late in the season in colder climate to prevent new growth that will be damaged by frost.


Credit : http://gardening.about.com/od/fruitsberriesnuts/a/Strawberries.htm

Cultivation of Pineapples


pineapple-juice


The crop requires areas where the climate is warm, humid and free from extreme temperatures (25 °C being optimal). These areas have a great potential for pineapple production.

There are 5 major pineapple groups grown throughout the world. Two of these, Cayenne and Queen, are widely cultivated in South Africa.
Cayenne and Queen Cultivars

The Smooth Cayenne cultivar is used for both canning (75 % of which is exported) and as fresh fruit. The Queen, because of its high sugar content and unsuitable canning qualities, is cultivated only for fresh consumption. However, because production of the Queen pineapple is more costly, fresh consumption is shifting towards the Cayenne.

Cayenne plants and the fruit are normally larger than that of the Queen, with succulent yellow fruit. Queen fruit has a golden yellow colour and is less juicy.

Planting Requirements

Pineapples can be grown in a variety of soil types but prefer mildly acid soils (pH 5,5_6,5). However, there are certain requirements for successful pineapple production, which include:

Preparing the soil

  • Remove trees, stumps and stones
  • Subsoil (rip) to a depth of 800 to 900 mm under dry conditions
  • Disc, plough and till the soil a number of times, to achieve a fine tilth, for effective plant rooting
  • Ridge the soil for better drainage, temperature and to improve aeration
  • Have soil samples analysed at least 6 months before planting to determine fertilisation and fumigation requirements

Planting material

Unlike many other crops grown from seed, pineapples are grown by planting various parts of the plant according to the cultivar, where it is going to be produced, and the cultivation methods practised in the area.

Although crowns are mostly used as planting material for the Cayenne cultivar, they are considered uneconomical for the Queen cultivar because of the length of time they take to bear.
Suckers are planted in the case of Queen pineapple production. Slips bear sooner than crowns but they require a great deal of labour (to break them out and to remove the small fruit attached to their bases). Stumps are generally used when no other planting material is available.

Planting time

Plant pineapples between July and December.
Why?

  • For rapid growth and uniform stand
  • The temperature during this time ranges from satisfactory to ideal

Do not plant between February and April.
Why?

  • Temperatures become progressively lower
  • Retarded growth, poor and uneven stand

Farm planning, selection of soils and land layout

Consider the following factors when designing the layout of the land where you are going to plant pineapples as they will have an effect on production:

  • Climate—is it warm, humid and frost free? The occurrence and intensity of rainfall should also be considered
  • Soil type—clayey loams or sandy soils are ideal for planting
  • Natural obstacles—rocky outcrops and vleis
  • Soil conservation—unprepared soil usually results in poor plant uniformity, root development and weed control
  • Position of windbreaks—to protect soil and crops
  • Topography—gentle slopes will require a layout different from that for steep slopes. Steep slopes are more difficult to manage and cultivate (more powerful machinery is required)

The aims in the layout of a pineapple land are to:

- control water runoff and thereby limit soil erosion

- facilitate good drainage and prevent root and heart rot

- uniform distribution of sunlight to all plants

- have roads allowing machinery easy access to the pineapple plants (to expedite harvesting and spraying)

Planting

Planting is done by hand, with or without the aid of a planting machine. Use of the latter results in uniform, neat plantations.

Plant spacing

Spacing from ridge centre to ridge centre: 1,5 m.

Each ridge must carry a double row of plants.

Spacing between rows should be 600 mm.

Spacing between the plants in the row: 300 mm.

ridge1.gif
1,5 m Spacing from ridge centre to ridge centre

ridge2.gif
600 mm Spacing between rows

ridge3.gif
300 mm Spacing between plants in the row

Weed Control

For the control of most broad-leaved weeds and annual grasses, contact herbicides can be used.

Apply pre-emergence herbicides immediately after planting the pineapples, before root development and weed emergence.


450px-pineapple1.JPG

The herbicide should be applied according to the type of soil:

Initial weedkiller application (spray)

- 3-5 kg bromacil/ha: low rate for sandy soils

- 3-5 l diuron/ha: low rate for sandy soils

- 5-6 l atrazine/ha: where euphorbia is a problem

- 3-4 l ametryn/ha: if weeds are already present

Booster applications (at 12 months interval)

- 2 l diuron/ha

- 2 kg bromacil/ha: at grower’s discretion

- 4-6 l atrazine/ha: if euphorbia is present

- 3-4 l ametryn/ha: if weeds are already present

Pest and Disease Control

Effective control measures are available for the most important pests and diseases. Pesticides used to control soil pests and diseases should be incorporated into the soil before ridging, with booster applications if required.

Pests above the soil level are usually controlled by spraying with a foliar pesticide during the period when the pests are most active.

Always read the label on the pesticide containers.
Why?

  • To know if pH sensitive or biodegradable, i.e. whether it breaks down rapidly in direct sunlight
  • To find out how to get the desired control with minimum impact on the environment
  • For the safety of workers

Fertilisation

Use the following fertilisers :

Hand applied fertiliser: ammonium sulphate 100 N (sulphate of ammonia)—10 pockets/ha
Phosphate: drilled into the ridges 0-300 kg/ha (Saaifos and zinc)
Potassium: broadcast before ridging 0-400 kg/ha (potassium chloride)
Mixture: drilled/broadcast 0-600 kg/ha (0:1:6 + Mg/Zn)

Forcing agents

With the use of forcing agents, the pineapples can be made to bear fruit at virtually any time of the year.
Why?

  • It initiates flowering, shortens crop cycle and increases yield
  • It ensures uniform, complete and concentrated cropping

Fruit colouring or yellowing

Fruiting agents can also be applied to colour fruit, by spraying or brushing onto fruit. This ensures uniform colouring of the fruit in a plantation.

Irrigation

The pineapple plant is able to utilise rainwater and even dew very effectively. Therefore, the heavy dew that occurs in the coastal regions is so valuable to pineapples that irrigation may not even be necessary. Supplementary irrigation could, however, sometimes be essential and of great value.

Harvesting

Harvesting should be done 7 to 14 days after yellowing. It is labour intensive because workers walk in the space between ridges to pick the fruit by hand, loading it into baskets, or onto a boom harvester.

After harvesting the crowns are broken off (not twisted) and left on top of the plants in the field or are placed in bags to be collected at a later date for planting.

Make sure that the fruit is not too green or too ripe when harvested, not bruised or damaged and that it is not affected to a large extent by any physiological problems.

source : http://www.nda.agric.za

Cherry Trees - hints on how to plant and grow them

Large_cherry


As a general rule of thumb, cherry trees are the first of the stone fruits to blossom and fruit hence the appearance of the fruit in the supermarket shelves herald the arrival of summer. Cherry trees aren't all that hard to grow provided you have :

  • cold chilly winters
  • enough room for 2 trees (they are big trees mind you, some growing in excess of 30 feet, so if you are planting 2, then plant them at least 18 feet apart) - most cherry trees require a pollinator. There are new varieties of sweet cherry trees ( Stella and Sweetheart) which are self pollinating so pick these if you want just one tree which will give you fruit. If you are short on space, you can try to espalier them against a wall and pruning religiously to keep them in check. The advantage of having them espaliered is that you can keep them to a reasonable size and netting to stop the birds getting at the fruit proves to be an easier task.
  • lots of time and patience to spray them and net them to stop the birds from eating the bounty before you get to them.

Cherry trees are originally from Europe and Western Asia. The coveted cherry blossoms that enshroud the tree in spring is a vision to behold. Japan is well known for its cherry blossom festival and the hint that winter is leaving us to give way to spring is never as potently portrayed as an alley full of cherry blossom trees erupting with vivid white. So if you do decide to plant cherry trees, you get a double bounty, the spring show and the fruit to boot!


Cherry tree requirements

Most cherry trees (unless you are after the sour cherries which cooks much prefer) require a pollinator - if you only have room for one tree, then perhaps you could convince your neighbour to have one in their yard too. Cherry trees need frosty winters to bear a good crop, so whilst you may get some fruit if your winters are milder, you aren't going to be able to get basketfuls of cherries. Still, how many cherries can you eat? The fruit really only keeps for a week in the fridge so it would mean a cherry binge for that week after the harvest and then you'd have to wait another year for your next fix!

Cherry trees prefer a protected site and rich, well drained soil - they loathe wet feet. When the tree is about to fruit (around late spring) it's best if there isn't any rain around that time as you get better cherries with fewer subject to rotting. Cherry trees aren't particularly fond of mulching and too much fertilizer is wasted on them. They much prefer just an annual sprinkling of blood and bone or old poultry manure.

How to prune cherry trees

Cherries are borne on fruiting spurs on branches that are at least 2 years old. So if you prune off the spurs by accident, you will have to wait another 2 years for any fruit. Pruning essentially is done to ensure that the cherry trees assume an open vase shape, taking out any dead twigs and removing any branches that cross over each other. Pruning is best done when conditions are dry - avoid pruning in wet and damp conditions as cherry trees are prone to fungal diseases.

Cherry tree problems

Cherry trees are prone to fungal attack so bordeaux spray in winter is often a necessity. If you see little holes in the trunk and branches, then you are likely to have wood borer problems (some moths do this too) and will need to try killing them with wire down the hole or injecting insecticide into the holes and then filling them up with wood putty. The dreaded pear and cherry slug is another problem and needs to be dealt with by spraying with a solution of Derris.


What about sour cherry trees

Sour cherries are the wilder cousins of the more cultivated sweet cherry trees. They tend to be self fertile (you only need one tree) and are smaller and bushier in shape. Sour cherry trees also tend to have bad habit of suckering so bear this in mind when you plant one. The cherries tend to be more tart to the taste buds and are usually used in cooking eg pies. Growth requirements and conditions are similar to their sweet cousins.

Credit : http://www.flowerpotheaven.com/grow-plant-cherry-trees.htm

Growing Cherry Trees


The biggest offender of growing cherry trees in your garden is the weather. Cherry trees are very particular about their climate.

-They don't like long hot summers.

-They need a chilling out period during the winter.

-They don't need a late frost!

The other garden enemy of the cherry tree is birdlife. Growing cherry trees will guarantee a huge garden bird population flocking to your garden. But if you want to eat the cherries you will have to guard against the birds. They can strip a tree in less than half an hour.

Preparation

Decide on the site for your tree/s some months in advance of planting. Soil Ph should be between 6.2 and 6.8. Check and adjust accordingly. Land must be well-drained. Cherry trees can't tolerate wet feet. Check the site throughout a rainy spell: Dig a hole 2 or 3 feet deep. If the rainwater stays in the bottom of the hole for any length of time, the land isn't well-drained enough for growing cherry trees.

Dig over the soil, remove all weeds and dig in well-rotted animal manure if available.

Choosing Cherries!

From the small wild cherry thousands of years ago, man's enjoyment of cherries has developed and we now expect to eat sweet varieties whenever in season.

We have wild cherry trees popping up everywhere in our garden. Thanks to the birds spitting out the pips on their own doorstep! Tut!

"Have you grown cherry trees from pips? Scroll down to the bottom of this page and share your cherry tree success story!"


In our case the system can work well because the birds stay up in the heights of the old wild cherry trees, and tend to ignore the garden cherry trees tucked away in the vegetable plot. That's the theory but it doesn't always work like that. -Best to net your trees as soon as they start to fruit!


Browse through your local garden centre catalogue or drop into a local nursery to have a look at the varieties available in your region.

Because cherries are sooo particular, many varieties have been developed to cope with different temperatures and viruses.

When you buy your cherry trees check instructions for:

Pollination requirements: as a rule sour cherries - the wilder varieties - are self-pollinating. Sweet cherries generally need cross-pollination and should be planted near a compatible variety.

Regional Compatibilty Double check the variety is suitable for your region. Growing cherry trees in extreme temperatures will require a very special variety.

Planting Instructions Growing cherry trees in your garden requires a little fore-thought. They are trees after all! There are a few dwarf varieties on the market and these may have specific planting instructions.

Here are a few different varieties available online, there are many more!

'Stella' 'Sunburst' from Crocus.

This link will take you to their homepage. Crocus.co.uk Choose 'plants' from the menu, then under 'plants by type' choose 'fruit'. There are loads of amazing mouthwatering fruits to drool over including these two glorious cherry varieties.

Growing cherry trees at Nature Hills 'Montmorency' available for U.S. deliveries

Growing cherry trees at Nature Hills 'Stella' available for U.S. deliveries

Planting

As mentioned above, instructions should be double checked before you plant your cherry tree.

Here is a rough guide to growing chery trees in your garden;

Dig a large hole in your prepared soil.-18-24 inches depending on the age and variety of tree.

Tease out the roots of your tree, unless instructions state otherwise.

Place the root ball at the bottom of your hole and fill in with soil. Press down firmly. When all soil has been packed back in the hole, use your heel to firm the tree in place.

If required, place a stake in the ground next to the tree.

Water well.

After Care

It's easy to forget to water trees in the garden. New trees, especially fruiting trees, need lots of water until they are established. During hot summer periods your cherry trees will still require water to 'swell' the cherries.

Netting

Netting is considered dangerous to birdlife and it's true, birds do get caught in nets sometimes.

One way round this is to build a cage type affair to put over your trees when they start fruiting.

Build a square wooden frame that will sit over your tree and stretch very fine netting round all four sides and over the top. The very fine netting will stop the birds getting caught up, and you can enjoy a healthy crop of cherries.

This system works well when growing cherry trees on a small scale. If your trees are big or you have many of them, other methods such as bird scarers may be more appropriate.

Harvesting

Pick the fruit as it becomes ripe. Eat fresh off the tree or bake cherry tarts and pies.

Fresh cherries will store well for a number of days in a cool place.

Growing cherry trees successfully does need a little time and energy - but worth every delicious mouthful!



credit : http://www.flower-and-garden-tips.com/growing-cherry-trees.html