For Those Of You Who Grow Strawberries...

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by TrudyPowell, May 31, 2006.

  1. TrudyPowell

    TrudyPowell Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    255
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Location:
    Missouri
    Although it's too late for this year, I'm wanting to learn about raising strawberries. My Dad has raised them before but seems to think it's a lot of trouble. I would really like to have them and don't mind too much trouble (hoping to get the kids out there to help as well), but I don't want to start something if I know I won't enjoy it. I'm in S/W Missouri.

    So...from your perspective, how much trouble is it? Very time-consuming? Worth all the effort due to the reward? How do I keep birds, deer, etc. away (we're right next to the woods)?

    Thanks for your input.



    Trudy Powell
     
  2. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

    Messages:
    3,516
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Location:
    AR (ozarks)
    I have fence around mine 4ft high wire and also chicken wire now as rabbits were eating the leaves and Netting is a must where we are DW said the birds were eating way more than their share, But yesterday she set the netting up and no more worries now. I would say they are worth it at least for your own use.Fresh strawberries of various kinds grown organically and ripened on the plant do not compare to the stuff coming out of cali.
     

  3. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,002
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    East central WI
    Well worth the effort!!

    The amount of time is directly related to your expectations. Ignore the weeds and just pick the fruit and it's no work at all! That's what I do!

    Throw bird netting over just before the fruit ripens, the rabbits here don't bother them except to make a nest in them, not sure about deer.

    IMO, plant junebearers and tear out the patch every few years. There's probably still time to do it this year. Might even get plants on clearance.
     
  4. rwinsouthla

    rwinsouthla Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,054
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    http://www.lsuagcenter.com/garden/fruits_nuts/home+garden+strawberry+production.htm

    Understand that this is written for folks in Louisiana. Our climate is SOOOOO much different than yours in the winter. For instance, I had only one freeze this year and only 31 degrees at that. With black plastic you should be okay during the winter. A layer of pine straw over the plants would work too.

    VERY MUCH worth the effort. I plant 500 plants every year. We get on average 10 pints a day from late January to early June.


    You may be able to google some other information.
     
  5. Peacock

    Peacock writing some wrongs Supporter

    Messages:
    6,873
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    SW Ohio
    Yes, absolutely it's worth it. I had a small patch a few years ago till DH put a hot tub in right there (I'm still miffed about that) and just planted a new one. That patch (about 20 plants) produced more than we could eat in late spring/early summer, and they were sooooo good.

    My advice is to plant next to your house. Strawberries are cute plants, maybe not as pretty as roses, but not ugly. Critters tend to leave them alone more, there.
     
  6. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

    Messages:
    7,220
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    i got a book from my county ag extension office called "small scale fruit production". it was written by the penn state college of agriculture. i imagine nearly every ag ext. would have similar guides. i have a good reference for growing strawberries, bramble berries, apple and pear trees and cherry and peach trees. there was also a section on blue berries. the loose bound book was well worth the $7.50 i paid a decade ago.

    when i started planting strawberries i had a heck of a time though. i ordered plants a bit late and had a hard time getting them established in the drought we had that year. i lost 75% + of the plants. when they finally started to grow, the groundhogs and rabbits ate them to the ground. i had to make a small fenced area and replant using starts from a friend. the protected patch is great. what remains of the original planting finally has some berries but the plants got hammered by animals again. i recommend a fence or a free-range dog, lol.
     
  7. randy in central missouri

    randy in central missouri Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    362
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Location:
    missouri
    i know its a long drive, but i do real well wtih strawberries here in central missouri. i could show you mine and give you plants.
     
  8. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

    Messages:
    11,456
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    NW Pa./NY Border.
    Randy, do you have pictures???
     
  9. Sasha

    Sasha Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    78
    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Location:
    Indiana
    Growing strawberries has been very painless for me. I'm not a scientific gardener, I'm a stick-it-in-the-ground-and-hope-for-the-best type. I prepare my soil, plant my berries, and use fish emulsion from time to time. I spread the contents of the chicken bed around them once for mulch.

    Considering around here organic strawberries--when you can find them--are $4.99 a container then YES, it is absolutely worth it.
     
  10. Tabitha

    Tabitha greenheart

    Messages:
    1,751
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Location:
    Ky
    strawberries are worth the effort, definitely, especially when you look at the price and flavor in the store bought berries. mulch them, be rigorous about pulling out unneeded suckers, after the harvest I mow them down and go with the tiller down the middle. Otherwise you will wind up with a tangle that does not do so well. I buy new plants every three years. Plant your bed, from that years suckers start another one. After two years tear up the original bed. I don't like to use suckers for more than two years. after that I buy new. I find that the berries get progressivley smaller, no matter how good the plants look. I have tried planting plants that I got from someone, they had been going too long. If somebody gives you starts from a first year planting that is fine, but from an old, long established bed I would pass. Been there, done that.I like horsemanure on my strawberries (I know, you like whipped cream) when I can get it.
     
  11. chas

    chas Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    549
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Location:
    western pa
    I rototilled all last summer for the patch I planted last week to kill off all the quack-grass.Because of the wet location in spring (causing gray mold)I raise my strawberries on foot high raised rows.(Easier picking also)
    I rototill in about six to eight inches of mushroom compost(30$ a ton and don't have to fertilize then!)Rake into raised rows then plant oats a week before the strawberries.The oats come up faster than weed seeds and shade them out pretty much.
    When the oats grow up they fall over mulching the berries naturaly.
    Four varietys for up north keep us picking june and july.
    Every other year I buy virus free plants to replace the old ones.I don't take chances on planting someones extras,but I do give my plants away to those that don't want to spend money on new plants!
    Diatomatious earth(food grade)sprinkled around the border of the patch keeps the ants and slugs killed off.
    And the oats that the birds didn't get reseed for the next year and hide the fruit somewhat from birds and is easy to pick thru.
    Chas
     
  12. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

    Messages:
    3,119
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Location:
    ME
    If I can do it anyone can. I mulch in the winter and they come right back. I heard you can direct the new plants by moving them around.