The fame of Strawberry Elizabeth 2 is very controversial. Some gardeners say that the variety is super-yielding, the berries are large and tasty. Others are disappointed with bushes with an abundance of mustaches and one dry and tasteless berry. There are two main reasons for negative reviews. The first - instead of the famous Elizabeth 2, a fake was bought, the second - improper care.
Elizabeth 2 is considered an improved version of Queen Elizabeth. There is a legend about the origin of both varieties. Two decades ago, an English breeder Ken Muir bred Queen Elizabeth's remontant and virtually musty strawberries. The scientist is famous as the creator of the best varieties-masterpieces of strawberries and wild strawberries.
In the Donskoy fruit nursery (Rostov-on-Don), this variety was successfully grown, propagated and sold to the population. And in the process of such work, breeders noticed that some bushes differ from the original in larger and sweeter berries. They had more whiskers, and their repairability was brighter. So, Elizabeth 2 appeared.
Elizabeth 2 bears fruit from late May to October
Which of this is true is not known. It is impossible to find a strawberry called Queen Elizabeth on the English-speaking Internet space, just as little is known about Ken Muir in Russian. There is only one fact that can be checked: Elizabeth 2 was entered in the Register of Breeding Achievements in 2004, zoned for all regions of the Russian Federation... The originator is NPF Donskoy Nursery, the author is Zakubanets Lyubov Efimovna. The rest is called a PR move by many to increase interest in the brand.
In the State Register, Elizabeth 2 is listed as a strawberry, however, by mistake or habit, gardeners and sellers continue to call this berry a strawberry.
Confusion with the origin and advertising promotion played into the hands of unscrupulous sellers. On the market you can find strawberries under similar names: The real Queen Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth 2, Super Elizabeth, Elizabeth the first, etc. In order not to become a victim of deception and not leave angry reviews about the variety later, you need to know Elizabeth 2 in person.
The variety belongs to the remontant and the earliest. The buds for spring bloom are formed in the fall, so Elizabeth 2 blooms earlier than other varieties. Having given an early harvest, strawberries again lay flower buds and bear fruit in July, and then in September-October. For the whole season, from spring to autumn, one bush gives up to 3 kg of berries: in spring 600-700 g, the rest ripens from July to November. According to the observations of gardeners, during the autumn frosts, the berries freeze, and during the day they thaw and ripen in the sun.
The bushes of Catherine II are not too spreading, of medium density, they grow up to 50-60 cm in diameter. The leaves are dark green, shiny, slightly concave, their surface is medium wrinkled and ribbed, and there are pronounced sharp denticles along the edges.
This strawberry forms a little mustache, they do not creep far from the bush, they have an ordinary green color.
Varietal features of Elizabeth 2: leaves are glossy, without pubescence, along the edges are covered with sharp denticles, peduncles are short, flowers are numerous, but not large
Peduncles are almost always located under the leaves, the buds are collected in lush inflorescences. By the way, the flowers of Elizabeth 2 are modest, no more than 2 cm in size, but the berries grow from them large, the weight of some reaches 90-100 g. The berries are cone-shaped and rather heavy for their size, since they are devoid of voids inside.... The pulp is firm, which makes the variety commercially attractive.
Elizabeth 2 perfectly tolerates transportation, storage, it can be frozen without losing its presentation.
The berries of Elizabeth 2 are sometimes irregular in shape, but always dense, without voids, so for their size they seem heavy
Strawberry flavor Elizabeth 2 is estimated at 4.7 points out of 5 possible. It is called dessert, that is, pleasant, sweet and sour. There is a bright strawberry aroma. But we must understand that all this is true for strawberries, which had enough sun, moisture, nutrition and warmth.
In autumn and rainy summer, due to the lack of sun, any fruits become insipid. This is another reason for negative reviews about Elizabeth 2. Berries harvested in the fall, though not as tasty as summer ones, are great for winter harvesting.
Planting should start with the purchase of seedlings. They appear on sale in spring and in the second half of summer. Buy strawberries in nurseries and specialized stores, look at the bushes and leaves, compare: do they fit the description of the Elizabeth 2 variety. In addition, the seedlings should not show signs of disease, that is, spots: yellow, red, round, shapeless, etc. ...
The planting dates for strawberries are extended for the entire warm season; you can plant them in the ground from early spring to the end of August.
Saplings of Elizabeth 2: leaves are shiny, ribbed, concave, with sharp notches, no signs of disease
Another important step, besides buying seedlings, is choosing a place in your garden. Usually, it is recommended to choose sunny areas for strawberries, but this variety grows well in beds that are shaded for part of the day, for example, with tree crowns. In a hot and dry summer, it is in partial shade that the largest bushes will grow, the berries on them will also be larger than on strawberries under the scorching sun.
In addition to lighting, Elizabeth 2 needs protection from cold winds, and in winter also from frost. Therefore, place the beds so that they are covered by a fence, shrubs or the wall of the house on the north side. These barriers will protect you from the wind and hold back the snow. Also, for growing Elizabeth 2, a south-facing slope is suitable. Only the rows need to be guided not by the height of the slope, but by the width.
Strawberry beds are located in a sunny area, a fence will quite cope with the function of snow retention
The soil for remontant strawberries needs more fertile than for ordinary varieties, because more nutrients are required for a crop that ripens all summer... Dig up the ground, after sprinkling 2 buckets of humus or compost and 2 cups of wood ash per square meter on it. The planting pattern is 50x50 cm, leave 60-80 cm aisles between the beds so that it is convenient to care for the strawberries.
The planting itself is no different from the classical one: make holes according to the size of the roots and plant, without falling asleep, the heart - the center of the bush, from which young leaves and flower stalks emerge.
Water not under the base of the bush, but in the ring groove around it. In this case, the growth point will remain dry and not be covered with dirt.
The main feature of caring for this strawberry is to provide it with water and food in an amount sufficient to increase three harvests per season. And also if you plan to harvest the entire crop to the maximum, in spring and autumn, Elizabeth 2 needs to be provided with warmth.
Elizabeth 2 needs to be watered more often and more abundantly and fed several times per season. Without these agricultural methods, the berries will be small, dry and tasteless. It is not recommended to arrange sprinkling, since berries are constantly growing and ripening on the bushes, which from excess dampness can get sick with gray rot.
The problem of regular water supply will be solved by the drip irrigation system. If it is not possible to arrange it, water the strawberries as soon as the ground under it becomes dry. The water consumption per bush is individual each time and depends on the dryness of the soil at the time of watering, it should be wet to the entire depth of the roots - 30 cm. Accordingly, if the top 2 cm are dry, 0.5–1 l of water is enough, you need to soak to the tips roots - pour 3-5 liters per bush.
Advantages of drip irrigation: the ground is always wet, the heart is not poured, the berries and leaves are dry, you do not need to carry water in buckets
To keep the soil moist, keep it under plant mulch. Cutting grass, hay or straw will allow less often not only watering, but also feeding. The lower layer gradually decomposes and enriches the earth with humus. However, this rule works if it rains at least occasionally. In hot and dry summers, such mulch burns in the sun, crumbles, turns into dust and is blown by the wind. Therefore, if the heat has been on the street for several days, water not only the bushes themselves more often, but also moisten the mulch so that it decays and performs its functions.
Moistening mulch in the heat has another plus: it absorbs water like a sponge and gradually evaporates. Humidity rises around the strawberries, the temperature decreases, which makes it easier for strawberries to live under the scorching sun. This is especially true when dry weather sets in after planting young seedlings. In a humid microclimate, they will take root faster.
Elizaveta 2 differs from most remontant varieties in that the crop gives not twice a summer, but three times, creating a continuous conveyor from spring to the very frost. Therefore, you need to feed it not periodically, in some specific phases, but regularly - every 2 weeks, including autumn. Top dressing must be necessarily complex, containing all macro- and microelements.
Buy special fertilizers for strawberries / strawberries under the brands: Fertika, Agricola, Gumi-Omi or prepare weed infusions yourself. After all, different herbs take out a whole complex of nutrients from the ground. Having made an infusion of them and watering the ground, you will return these elements back and fertilize the strawberries without any chemistry.
Weed Fertilizer Recipe:
- Fill any container with succulent grass, nettle is especially useful in dressing.
- Fill with water, cover, keep in a warm place, outdoors in summer, in a shed or greenhouse in autumn.
- Stir the mass every day. It will ferment, a fetid odor similar to dung will appear.
- When the contents of the container turn into a homogeneous brownish-green slurry, you can feed it.
- Dosage of green fertilizer: 2 liters per 10 liter watering can. You can also water over the leaves, consumption: 0.5 liters for annual bushes and 1-2 liters for adults.
In addition to the main dressings, during flowering periods, give foliar: spray the strawberries over the buds with a solution of boric acid (5 g per 10 l).
Elizabeth 2 grows well and bears fruit in greenhouses and greenhouses. In early spring, set arcs on the beds and cover with agrofibre. The first harvest will ripen even earlier and will be richer and tastier. Repeat the same thing in the fall. For the summer, replace the insulation with a bird net.
Arcs are multifunctional devices, in the spring and autumn they are laid with insulation, and at the height of the season - a protective net from birds
However, shelter is optional. Many gardeners have enough of what they collect in the summer. In addition, the first spring berries for Elizabeth II are always smaller than in subsequent harvests. There are recommendations in general to remove peduncles that appeared in the spring. As a result, strawberries do not waste energy on them and in summer they give an impressive harvest of very large and tasty berries.
This variety is resistant to diseases and pests, it is affected only on neglected beds, so surround the strawberries with care and attention.... After each wave of fruiting, trim off any yellowed and stained leaves and old ones lying on the ground. Remove empty stalks left over after picking berries. Remove your mustache regularly. With this care, the strawberries are well ventilated and illuminated by the sun; there are no conditions on the beds that are favorable for fungi and pests.
Winter hardiness for Elizabeth 2 is average. In cold winters with shallow snow, it can freeze... In late autumn, when the temperature drops below zero at night, cover the beds with brushwood, rough stems of plants, spruce branches, burlap or agrofibre folded in several layers. The shelter must allow air to pass through and trap snow. In the spring, as soon as the ground thaws, remove all insulation from the beds.
Traditionally, garden strawberries are harvested during the ripening period every 1–2 days. The berries of the first harvest, of course, are consumed fresh, as a valuable vitamin product. Elizabeth 2 is well sold on the market, so they grow it both for themselves and for sale.
If you plan to store and transport this berry, then pick it in the first half of the day, when the dew has melted, but the sun is not yet very warm.
They say that strawberries of this variety are stored in the refrigerator for a week without losing their qualities.... For the winter, you can freeze it whole, the berries will not lose their shape after thawing. The fall harvest is less sweet. But at this time, a lot of fruits ripen in the garden. You can make compotes and add strawberries to them. Thanks to the dense pulp, the berries remain intact not only in compotes, but also in jams.
Elizabeth 2 can really be called a masterpiece variety. It is very fruitful, the berries are produced by a conveyor, moreover, large and tasty. But she reveals all her strengths only with good care. If we devote time to ordinary strawberries only 1-2 months a year, then this queen needs to be looked after in spring, summer and autumn.
I live in Siberia. I have my own house and my own plot) In the articles I share my experience, I learn something myself with you)
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The origin of the remontant strawberry variety Queen Elizabeth has not been precisely established. There is information about her English roots, but she is unreliable. The author of the variety is called Ken Muir. This berry has a variety: Queen Elizabeth 2, which appeared after the breeder M. Kachalkin from Russia saw bushes with larger fruits among the plantings of the original variety and fixed this feature.
There has been a long debate about whether to count strawberries Elizabeth and Elizabeth as 2 different varieties. They ended only with the introduction of the resulting variety in the State Register as a variety.
According to gardeners, these two plants do not differ significantly. Strawberry Queen Elizabeth 2 has larger berries, a longer fruiting period and forms a slightly larger mustache. There is no other difference between these varieties.