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Strawberries gardening starts with thorough land preparation in order to raise a vigorous crop. A bed raised to 20cm with a width of 1metre by any convenient length should be prepared, and well decomposed manure incorporated into the soil at a rate of one medium bucket per square metre. Then planting holes are made at a spacing of 30cm from row to row and 30cm from plant to plant. In strawberries gardening propagation is done using vegetative material namely splits of the strawberries crown. Planting is done after thorough watering of the bed and the roots be are well covered but not too deep so as to prevent rotting of the stem. Mulching is a recommended post planting management practice in strawberries gardening in order to conserve moisture, control weeds and keep strawberries clean. Irrigate daily in the afternoon during the first month after planting for good crop establishment and 2-3 times a week from the second month of gardening onwards.De-blossoming andremoval of strawberry flowers is recommended for the first 2 months to avoid premature fruiting, which may lead to stunting and poor development of the crop.
Harvesting of strawberry fruits starts 2½months - 3months after planting. Thinning to 2- 3 splits per crown should be done every 7 months to allow rejuvenation and increase strawberry yields. Runners and old leaves are removed in strawberries gardening in a practice called pruning or stripping. Flowering is continuous with adequate watering with a pause in the cold season.The lifespan of the crop is 3 years.During the gardening period foliar feeds may be applied to boost the yields. Rooting media or enzymes which include plantone, Anatone1, Anatone( a broad spectrum for roots, flower stimulation and fruit retention) may enhance strawberry plant establishment. Tie the top end of the cuttings, then dip strawberries cuttings into the enzyme solution for 42 hrs. Put fertile soil into plastic bags and plant the cuttings ensuring two nodes are below the soil level, then water frequently.Seeking knowledge on gardening of strawberries is a necessary step during the planning period. Training on strawberry gardening is highly recommended for all serious visionary agribusinesses, as a mistake made cannot be corrected before 3 yrs are over . Strawberry cultivation is an expanding industry in Kenya with great potential for growth.
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