Strawberries are the best fruits, which many buyers get to buy in grocery stores. They are tasty, juicy, and very healthy. Plus, they are very rewarding due to the flavorful taste that can ever get in the grocery store. The seeds dotting outside the berries are the fruits of the flower. The sugar in the berries converts to starch once they are picked. When planting strawberries, any gardener wants to get a grand harvest with large, juicy, and sweet berries. But it is not always possible to achieve such a result. During the harvesting period, you will discover some strawberries being very small. This can be a result of various reasons that affect them during the growth of strawberries.
Why Are My Strawberries So Small?
1. Lack of water
If the strawberries in your garden have become small in hot and dry summer, but they have pleased you with their appearance, then the reason may be a lack of water. Indeed, it is very difficult for plants to extract nutrients from dry soil. This can make strawberries to be so small. The problem is eliminated by regular watering. Ten liters of water need to be poured per square meter of the garden. This should be done as the earth dries up. So that the strawberry does not feel thirst longer, it is advisable to mulch the soil between the bushes.
2. Frozen in winter
Strawberries are not very hardy and need to be covered. Snow is excellent insulation that lingers on this territory of the site. This can make the strawberries to be very small. Even if the wintering is successful, there is a risk that the spring frost will damage the young shoots. It is important to put the shelter on the plantation ahead of time. In addition, berry beds should be covered with spruce branches or straw.
3. Boron deficiency
The boron element is very important for the full growth and development of plants. Strawberries are no exception. If you notice that the young leaves are strongly curved, begin to curl upward, and the old ones have a yellow border along the edge of the leaf, these are the first signs of a lack of boron. With a deficiency of this trace element, the roots become dumpy, and the apical buds start to a slowdown in development, and the lateral ones increase in growth. Boron deficiency in the soil leads to the fact that the plant blooms poorly, ovaries are tied. And if the ovary is formed, then it either falls off, or the berries grow small.
4. Degeneration of landings
Often, strawberries begin to shrink a few years after planting. Usually, the culture degenerates for 4 to 5 years, in which case it is necessary to renew the plantation. It is recommended to plant new strawberries at the end of summer, partially replacing the old bushes in the garden. If the culture takes root well, it will be possible to harvest a bountiful juicy harvest next year. If the new seedlings do not have time to lay flower buds before the fall, the berries will still form on the remains of old bushes in the next season.
Strawberries being very small can be the result of powdery mildew disease of strawberries. Symptoms of the disease are: twisted leaves, plaque on the leaves, the acquisition of purple leaves, and the berries gnarled, crooked, and covered with bloom. The fungus, affecting the ovary, prevents pollination. Because of this, the tissues are formed poorly, and the berries become small.
At the initial stages of the disease with a fungus, you can try to fight folk remedies by spraying the bushes with soap, soda solution, and milk serum. However, when the fruits of strawberries are already affected by the infection, some remedies will likely be ineffective. You will need to treat the strawberries with special fungicides. It is not advisable to enjoy berries processed with these preparations in the current season. In the next season, the plant can recover and give you already tasty and beautiful fruits.
Older plants produce a lot of barren flowers. Even high-quality varietal strawberries cannot bear large juicy berries for a long time. Fruits begin to become small, usually at 4 to 5 years of age. At the same time, the bushes remain large and spreading, bloom luxuriantly, but there are very few berries. You can solve the problem by updating the garden. Instead of old strawberry bushes, plant young plants and look after them as per the agricultural technology for the next 3 to 5 years.
7. Density of planting
If the strawberries are blooming but the berries are small, the problem may be caused by very tight planting. According to the agricultural technology rules, bushes should be placed at a distance of at least 30 cm from each other. About 70 cm is left between the rows. With a closer planting, the bushes will take away moisture and nutrients from each other, suppressing neighbors' development. In this case, the berries will form, but they will be small and rare.
If initially the planting was carried out incorrectly, it is unnecessary to put up with poor harvests. You can thin out the garden and remove some of the bushes so that the remaining ones begin to receive more sunlight, oxygen, and nutrients.
8. Poor pollination
If there are many flowers on the strawberries and the berries are small, the reason may be inadequate pollination. Insects fly worse in rainy, cold, and windy weather, collecting less pollen. In this condition, the set fruits are not fertilized properly and cannot fully build tissues.
To improve pollination, it is recommended to spray strawberry beds with a honey solution prepared at the rate of 20 g of sweetener per 1 liter of water. Bushes are processed in sunny and warm hours. It is recommended to plant honey plants near strawberry beds to attract bees to the site even in bad weather.
Strawberries often become smaller due to insect attacks. They are often affected by the horsefly bug, which is noticeable to the naked eye because the body is 6 mm in size. On the surface of the leaf, spots are found that gradually grow and turn into holes. Adults eat the greens of the bushes, and the larvae destroy the berries. This can cause the strawberries to be so small. If the beetles are found, they are shaken off into a container with water and destroyed. Likewise, if you plant alfalfa nearby, horseflies will prefer it and move from strawberries to this plant.
10. Clogging up the plantation
If the leaves of the strawberries are large and the berries are small, the reason may be clogging of the beds. Low-quality fruits left to lie on the plantation often sprout and form new bushes, resulting in weak and low-yielding. The strawberries suffer from a lack of moisture and nutrients and become clumsy and hard. To prevent the situation, it is necessary to regularly inspect the plantation and remove all garbage and crumbling small fruits in time.
Strawberries are juicy, healthy, and delicious. Those people who do not eat many fruits tend to go for strawberries because of their good taste. If you want to get the best harvest, you will need to plan to be successful. However, strawberries can be so small when harvesting. Read the above tips, and you will know what causes small in size.