Woodspirit - Strawberry help please!

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Niki, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. Niki

    Niki mini-steader

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    Dear Mr. Woodspirit,
    You come highly recommended as a wonderful resource. I am looking for the proper way to care for my strawberry plants. I planted two mother plants a few years ago and have lots and lots of runners. It seems the younger plants are doing quite nicely, but the older ones are producing small dry fruit. Should I be removing the older plants or am I possibly not giving them the proper nutrients? I don't really fertilize them with anything other than compost during the fall/winter. They have all done great till this year.

    :help:

    Thanks in advance (and anyone else who might know what I am doing wrong, please feel free to post, too :D )
     
  2. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i have read that strawberry plants can decline after several years. my book from penn state/ ag extension office says to replace mother plants after 3-4 years.

    it also says strawberries are heavy feeders requiring lots of nitrogen.
     

  3. Niki

    Niki mini-steader

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    Thanks Meloc. I better do some more reading ;)
     
  4. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i bought a "small scale fruit production guide" via my ag extension office about ten years ago for $7.50. well worth the money. if you get a chance, call your county ag extension office to see what materials they have.

    my booklet (spiral bound) has sections for all bramble berries, strawberries, blueberries (gave that section away and kicking myself) as well as stone fruits like peaches and cherries and pome fruits like apples and pears.

    highly recommended. :)
     
  5. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    The more runners you have, the smaller the fruit. They need full sun and plenty of water to produce fruit buds. At least one inch per week if memory serves. You didn't mention what variety you have. Are they june bearing, or ever-bearing? They should be fertilized after the harvest with a balanced fertilizer like a granular 10-10-10- or you could even use a water soluable like 20-20-20. Too much nitrogen will force the foliage and leaves and not give you any fruit. If you get too much water and the berries are under alot of leaf, the fruit could rot. Don't work in them when the ground is wet. Three to four years is about the max for production. We've been getting tons of water this year here, but the warmer temps in March and April have taken their toll on strawberries here. I think that a balanced fert and not keeping too many runners will do alot of good for them provided they have at least six hours or more of sun.
     
  6. Niki

    Niki mini-steader

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    Thank you :) I don't know what variety they are - the plants were given to me about 4 or 5 years ago and I didn't think to ask. They are June-bearing.

    They have full sun and we have had a wet spring. But I think the major problem is too many runners and the older plants seem to be about "done". I will clear out the old ones to give more room for the babies...and, of course, fertilize ;)

    Thanks again!
     
  7. Niki

    Niki mini-steader

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    Oh cool Meloc. Thanks. I will see if I can get my hands on one of those guides...or something similar ;)