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What do I do with my strawberries??

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What do I do with my strawberries?? Empty What do I do with my strawberries??

Post  Aub on 10/9/2010, 11:37 pm

I decided to redo my strawberry patch. It was infested with chipmunks and I never even got 1 strawberry from it. I pulled everything out of it today (and let the hound dog in, she loved it!). I don't know what to do with all the plants. I put them in piles according to size and I have a bunch. I started with 3 plants and I bet there are over 100 now!
What do I keep and what do I pitch?
Will it all grow into new plants next year?
Can you really do Strawberries SFG Style?
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Post  Garden Angel on 10/10/2010, 12:32 pm

Am planning a box just for strawberries myself. I have read that you can cut off the shoots and the main plant will make bigger berries or you can let the shoots grow runners and have more plants with smaller berries. I plan on planting one plant per square and keep some trimmed and let some run, we'll see what happens! by keeping them in a box SFG style you can cover it with mess netting to keep out the critters ! good luck !
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Post  milaneyjane on 10/10/2010, 12:51 pm

My friend just severs the runner vine between the main plant and the new plant with the side of a hand spade and then she replants the new little plant. It is hysterical to watch her----she looks like a machine she is moving so fast---just a few seconds for each plant. She constantly has new hardy plants and pulls the following year old plants that aren't producing. Most of my runners had already rooted in my SFG so I just cut the vine between the two plants. I will see how it does next year.
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Post  Old Hippie on 10/10/2010, 12:58 pm

Mine have filled up one entire 4'x4' box and keep producing more babies. The older plants do seem to lose their vigour after a while so when they are not doing much anymore I just throw them away to make room for the newer ones. Not very scientific but seems to work for me. They really do well if side dressed with aged manure or compost. For winter, a protection of straw helps keep down damage to the crown. Mine don't seem to need much else and they just keep on producing. I have an everbearing variety.

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Post  donnainzone5 on 10/10/2010, 2:26 pm

As a former professional strawberry picker (from ages 7 to 16), I know a thing or two about them.

In a commercial field, strawberry plants are at their best during years two to three. After the fourth year, you probably should replace them.

That said, my own humble strawberry bed stumbles along, at the whim of weather and light. I think I'll give them a small dose of fish emulsion today, since they're all in bloom.

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Post  Megan on 10/10/2010, 4:34 pm

Anyone have suggestions for how to overwinter a strawberry jar? The tiny plants I started from seed this spring have actually gotten big and are producing fruit!
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Post  Old Hippie on 10/10/2010, 4:46 pm

I have tried with mine with strawberries and then with herbs. It seems they don't have enough soil around their roots for them to make it through the winter. Nothing has ever made it through the winter, even when I kept it in the shed. I have given up using it for anything but annuals. I know you have to be careful with clay ones because if they freeze they can crack Perhaps if you keep it in a garage, shed or greenhouse that doesn't totally freeze during the winter.

GK
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Post  Odd Duck on 10/11/2010, 4:04 pm

I have overwintered strawberries in a jar in my zone (borderline between 7b and 8a), but there really just isn't much room for roots. It was a booger getting the strawberry plants out to put them in a bigger, conventional pot and I ended up breaking the pot and using it for shards. I have also had trouble with the pots just not having enough room for roots for herbs or strawberries. The strawberries produced much better in a bigger pot. I got more berries from fewer plants (not all made it through the winter in the strawberry pot) in a wide, conventional pot.

Strawberries are near and dear to my heart, so I have done a bit of reading (what a surprise, right?), and it follows just what others have said - best production from 2-3 year old plants, etc.

My plan for the strawberry half of the asparagus/strawberry bed is to get both everbearing and June-bearing and I'll try to keep them separate just to keep track of which is which. I plan to pinch all the runners for the first 6 months or so to let the plants develop better and to produce more fruit. Then I'll let them runner a bit aiming for doubling the number of plants for the next year. Then separate babies and continue the same cycle each year with some 2-3 year old plants, with baby plants in between that will become next year's 2 year olds. I'll do some pinching to limit runners to get better fruit production.

I did this in my big pot and it worked OK, I just didn't have nearly enough plants to satisfy my craving for strawberries. I'm hoping that a 2' x 6' area will be enough to eat fresh, dehydrate some, freeze some, jam/jelly some, etc.

I've also read that you should pinch all flowers for the first month or so after transplanting to force the plant into growing roots and leaves with the goal of being much better eventual fruit production. I'm always so delighted at getting flowers and the thought of getting fruit, I just don't do well with that part. Laughing
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Post  Megan on 10/11/2010, 8:26 pm

Thanks for all your thoughtful comments.

The yellow strawberries I planted from seed this spring in a strawberry jar are now merrily producing fruit. Go figure! Laughing I'm afraid to disturb their roots at this point. I suppose it could be a losing situation either way -- lose the fruit, or lose the plants to cold. Today's high was actually 88 (!!) so I guess I have a little while to figure out what to do. I think I may try to transplant them into the SFG.
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Post  Aub on 10/11/2010, 11:31 pm

Megan- Can't you just bring your jar in the house? I think that's what I would do. We have quite a few plants on our enclosed porch. It doesn't get too cold in the winter.
I replanted 24 strawberry plants on Sunday! I put 1 per square in the new bed. I put hardware cloth under the bed and then weed barrier on top of that. Filled it with MM and planted the strawberries! We'll see how those little chipmunks feel about that!
I just put the grid on to plant the berries but I don't know if I will leave it.
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Post  Megan on 10/12/2010, 7:16 am

I would, but I don't have a good place to put it. The only two windows that get much sun are owned by the cats, who would knock it over in 2 minutes flat. Sure wish I had a porch.

Sounds like you will have plenty of strawberries soon! Good luck with the chipmunks.
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Post  Odd Duck on 10/12/2010, 8:44 am

I really think if you keep the soil mix moist, you should be OK. Especially if you can put it in a sunny, protected area (think south facing wall with a fence or big rock to the northeast side to absorb heat during the day and release during the night). Strawberries are hardy to much farther north than your zone 7a. I'm told growing anything in a pot is like 1 zone colder in the winter, so once the frost knocks down the plants, wrap a blanky around it or keep it in a "hot spot" microclimate wise and you should be good. Not all my plants made it mostly because I was lazy and didn't keep the soil as moist as I should have.

Maybe our northern cousins can remind us what zone is the north end of strawberry hardiness?
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Post  Megan on 10/12/2010, 7:01 pm

When I lived in Southern NH, strawberries overwintered in the ground just fine. Don't recall if we had any in Maine. In general, it was better to have snow than not, though; it protected the plants and kept the temperature more stable, I think.
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Post  The Estate on 10/12/2010, 8:54 pm

mY INFO IS THAT THE NEW RUNNERS PRODUCE THE NEW CROP EACH YEAR AND THAT THE PARENT PLANTS STOPS PRODUCING ?
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Post  Megan on 10/12/2010, 8:57 pm

I grew up with strawberries; the new runners produce babies, yes, but the main plants that grow the runners still keep producing for a couple of years at least. If the runners are allowed to root where they want to, it can get a little crowded, but it still works. We never worried about pinching blossoms and so forth growing up, but apparently the science has been refined since then. But your parent plants should keep on bearing for a bit! Smile


Last edited by Megan on 10/12/2010, 9:14 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I really can spell, most of the time!)
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Post  The Estate on 10/12/2010, 9:11 pm

Thanks for clearing that up for me Megan rock on
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Post  Megan on 10/12/2010, 9:15 pm

No prob, good luck with your berries! Very Happy
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Post  camprn on 10/12/2010, 9:20 pm

I worked on a strawberry farm for a few seasons and they always mulched the berries for the winter and used the baby plants to fill in the rows where the winter killed mature plants.
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