If you want brilliant strawberries, use their own colour to outsmart them.For example, by using red mulch, you can trigger the plant into thinking there are competing strawberry plants around. Feeling threatened by rivalry the plant channels its energy into fruit production – hence bigger, more sweeter and tastier strawberries.
Insane gain in size (and sweetness) can be quite easily achieved if also adhere to the following:
- Tip 1: Mix wood chip-based soil with rock dust which has plant beneficial fungi added to it.
- Tip 2: Add ½ an aspirin tablet per litre of water. Once in vegetative growth and twice in the blooming phase.
- Protip for indoor growers – Get your Vapour Pressure Deficit right! What is VPD?
Layer a sheet of red plastic over the row and plant. Once the fruit appears mulched with hay, not red plastic (helps keep berries off the ground and reduce the chance of grey mould). The red plastic mulch strawberries are a million times sweeter (only a slight exaggeration) than the usual ones, it’s like a different plant. We cannot recommend this enough.
Also, there’s no reason this would not work with tomatoes or other plants.
We’ve been using aspirin on my tomatoes for a few years now with great success. Works great!
Now thinking if we should use green plastic or blue for the low trailing peas.
Big love to James Wong for sharing this tip, it really works.
But what´s really going on that makes the strawberries grow bigger faster?
It’s to do with pigment phytochromes, ie the pigment giving colour-proteins in the strawberries. When they pick up the far-red wavelength bouncing back from the mulch, the proteins tell the plant to grow like there’s no tomorrow and focus more on the above-ground parts.
Which does mean a smaller and weaker root, but if you’re using root strengthening fungi like those found in Root Better, you’ll have nothing to worry about.