In Russia, remontant strawberry varieties appeared not so long ago, only about 20 years ago. While in Europe and in the USA, remontant strawberries, or, as they most often call them, short-day strawberries have been grown everywhere for more than forty years. So, the variety of strawberries of Ostara has been known for a long time, but nevertheless it continues to enjoy great popularity both in Europe and in Russia, where it fell more than 20 years after its birth.
Description of the Ostara strawberry variety with photos and reviews of those who grew it in the garden can help novice gardeners and summer residents to finally decide on the choice of how this strawberry deserves to live on their plots. Of course, the choice of remontant strawberry varieties today is quite large; nevertheless, this variety has not yet fizzled out even after so many years, and that means something.
Features of remontant strawberry varieties
Since remontant strawberry varieties are still a relative innovation in Russia, they still do not correctly understand the features of these varieties and what is the competent care for them. There is also some confusion among amateur gardeners about the differences between remontant strawberries and varieties of neutral day. The fact is that in the USA it is not customary to distinguish between these varieties and all remontant varieties are automatically called neutral day varieties, which is not entirely true.
In fact, strawberries have three main varieties because of their sensitivity to day length:
- Plants short day.
- Plants long or long day.
- Plants are a neutral day.
The first group is the easiest to understand, it automatically includes all the usual traditional varieties that have the ability to plant flower buds only when daylight hours are 12 hours or less. This happens just at the end of the summer - the beginning of autumn, when lowering the overall temperatures also favorably affects the general process of planting buds for fruiting in the next season.
Strawberries of the second group are capable of forming flower buds only with a day length of more than 12 hours, ideally around 16-18. For this reason, the varieties of this group have time to give for the warm season two, and sometimes three waves of fruiting.
Fruiting strawberries on a neutral day, as the name implies, is generally not tied to the length of the daylight hours and can only be determined by the conditions of temperature and humidity. That is why these varieties of strawberries are very convenient to grow in conditions of heated greenhouses year-round.
The term repairability only determines the ability of plants to bear fruit more than once per season. Thus, strawberries of a long day, and strawberries of a neutral day can rightfully be called remontant.
But there are not so many varieties of strawberries for a long day compared to the number of varieties from the third group. And for growing in year-round greenhouses, they are not very suitable. But the life of bushes in a strawberry for a long day, as a rule, is much longer than that of a neutral day. They can be grown in one place for up to two or three years, while the varieties of the neutral day, due to intensive permanent fruiting, quickly exhaust their resources and are subject to replacement approximately one year after the beginning of fruiting.Comment! As examples of a long day strawberry, we can mention the Tuscany f1, Sasha f1, Temptation f1 and Moscow delicacy, Garland and others hybrids.
All remontant varieties, especially those belonging to the group of the neutral day, require the use of higher agrotechnology, since they spend a lot of energy on the constant fruit set. But they are usually more adaptable and resistant to adverse weather conditions and various diseases. In addition, the berries of almost any remontant variety have an attractive taste and aesthetic appearance.
As far back as the distant sixties of the last century, Dutch breeders succeeded in breeding the Ostar strawberry variety by crossing the Masherahs Daurernte and Red Gauntlet varieties. Ostara strawberries belong to the neutral day varieties. Even when cultivated in the conditions of ordinary beds under the open sky, it will be able to bring you a harvest of wonderful berries from June to the first snow. Moreover, the autumn harvest in taste does not yield to the early berries, and may differ only in the size of the fruit in the direction of their reduction. But the yield of bushes to the fall is only able to increase, of course, subject to regular watering and fertilizing during the growing season. For the entire warm season, you can collect about 1.0-1.2 kg of fragrant and delicious strawberries from one bush.
True, experts do not recommend leaving the strawberry-bearing bushes of this variety for the next year, but replace them with young plants. Since both the yield and the size of the berries in the next season can disappoint you greatly.
Ostara strawberry bushes have a rather compact appearance and do not exceed 20–25 cm in height. Dark green medium-sized leaves are covered with small hairs.Attention! Flowering and, therefore, the setting of berries occurs during the season, not only on the mother bushes, but also on young plants that form on rooted whiskers.
Compounding ability is average, depends on the regularity and composition of fertilizing. The more nitrogen component will be used in fertilizers, the more mustache and young rosettes will be formed. But it can negatively affect the yield and especially the taste of berries. Therefore, zealous with this is not worth it.
Ostara strawberries are resistant to most fungal diseases, except for gray rot. Therefore, in rainy weather, it is desirable for the berries to provide additional shelter if there is such an opportunity.
Winter frosts Ostara bushes carry well, but when grown in the most northern regions of the plants it is better to slightly cover for the winter. It makes frost up to -15 ° С without shelter. However, this is important only in regions with little snowy winters. Because under a large constant layer of snow Ostara strawberries are well wintered.
Hot conditions this variety makes worse, at temperatures above + 28 ° C, pollen can become sterile and the number of berries decreases sharply.
Characteristics of berries
The following characteristics are inherent in Ostara strawberry berries:
- The shape of the fruit is traditional cone-shaped, the berries are attractive in appearance, have a shiny surface.
- The color of the berries is uniform bright red.
- Although Ostara strawberries belong to large-fruited varieties, its berries differ in rather average sizes - about 20-30 grams each weighing. In particularly favorable conditions, the weight of the berries can reach 60-70 grams.
- Berries do not differ in density, but they are very juicy.
- They are stored very briefly, practically unsuitable for transportation.
- But the taste can be called unique, it is very reminiscent of real forest strawberries. The aroma of the berries is also pronounced. According to their taste, Ostaar strawberries got 4.7 points on a five-point scale.
- The use of Ostara strawberries is universal, but they are most tasty fresh.
Terms of planting finished seedlings of strawberries Ostara depend on what exactly you want to get from this variety. If you need a good and high-quality spring harvest, it is best to plant the seedlings at the end of July - in August, so that she can take root and lay a lot of buds.
If you are more interested in the autumn harvest, then you can plant seedlings both at the end of summer - in the fall, and in the spring. The main thing is that at the beginning of the season it is imperative to remove all emerging flower stalks from the bushes so that the bushes do not spend their strength on early fruiting, but build up a powerful root and elevated leaf system and form the maximum number of whiskers and young rosettes. In this case, starting from the second half of summer, the bushes and young rosettes will be covered with flower stalks, on which by the end of the summer a lot of rather large and juicy berries will ripen.
If the flower stalks do not pick off, but continue to intensively feed and water Ostar strawberries, then it will form during the whole summer and until the autumn a small amount of mustache and berries of medium size.
Choose which way of cultivation you prefer, but remember that any strawberry requires careful care and attention, without which it can disappoint you in your expectations.
Ostara Strawberry leaves mostly favorable reviews about itself, especially among people who are faced with the cultivation of remontant strawberries for the first time.Anton, 38 years old, Saransk Until last year, I grew mostly ordinary varieties of strawberries of different ripening terms. But, having decided to enjoy the berry at the end of the summer, in late spring I planted 10 bushes of Ostaar remontant strawberries after 30 cm. I planted it separately from other varieties on a raised ridge and covered the bushes with thin lutrasil to keep it from too bright sun. A month later, the bushes threw out the first flower stalks, but I immediately removed them, because this year I was going to only try the berries, and enjoy the harvest only next season. Until the end of the summer, I left berries on only two bushes in order to evaluate their taste. I liked them, tastier than all remontant varieties, which I still tried with my friends. Interestingly, the flowers during the summer were formed even on rooted antennae. Before winter, I once again covered all the aisles with mowed grass and they wintered well. This year, the harvest of Ostara really surprised me - the berries were large, very juicy and went in an almost endless stream until the first frost. I even got tired of collecting them. Galina, 39 years old, Balashov, ordered Ostara strawberries via the Internet. The saplings were not in the best shape, by the middle of summer only one bush was preserved. I deliberately did not allow him to bloom, so that he gained more strength, but by the autumn I still tried some berries. I really liked them, I was not used to the autumn berries would be so sweet and tasty. He wintered without problems, and the next summer, the first berries appeared around the middle of June. About 12-15 medium-sized berries ripened on the bush, and it was again covered with flowers.