So who is growing strawberries?

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ponyexpress
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So who is growing strawberries?

#1

Post: # 27356Unread post ponyexpress
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:36 am

I'm a relatively new strawberry gardener. My friend gave me some plants last year (Jewel & Allstar) and I got some Seascape plants from a fellow community gardener. Seascape is an everbearing variety. Jewel/Allstar are mid-season June berries.

So far, my favorite is Jewel. Huge healthy plants with big beautiful berries. They have a little white cap so it's easy to slice the top to core it. I picked berries for about 2 weeks and then the deer demolished the plants.

Allstar did not have much of a crop. I discovered plants dying in the middle of the bed and uncovered a huge ant farm below the mulch. Wow, the soil was aerated. I put out ant bait and took care of the farm. The plants are starting to recover.

Seascape had some berries but during the hot month of July, it stops producing. It will resume again towards the middle of August and produce until October.

I have some runners in pots. I plan to start a couple of new beds where I don't let the plants produce runners, only berries. After the berry season is over, I'll let the plants produce 2-3 runners to transplant into a new bed for next year. The idea is to try to rotate several beds so that there's a three year rotation where every year, I kill off the oldest bed.

Anyone growing strawberries successfully and do you have tips to share?

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Re: So who is growing strawberries?

#2

Post: # 27387Unread post Shule
Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:19 pm

We're growing strawberries.

We've had better success with garden strawberries (Ozark Beauty specifically) decades ago, in a raised bed, but now they really struggle in our garden, directly in the ground, even mulched.

The sun is too strong, and I guess they have trouble in that soil.

Anyway, these are the kinds we're trying:
* Ozark Beauty (not from our old plants)
* Quinault
* Allstar
* Fort Laramie
* Tresca
* Fresca

The one to produce the most fruit of these, so far, has been Fort Laramie (by a landslide). Ozark Beauty got a few fruits. Quinault got a few very undersized fruits. Allstar has produced nothing whatsoever. The garden strawberry varieties that did produce only produced up until the late spring or so.

Tresca and Fresca are newer and shaded more. I'm not sure if they have fruit now, but Tresca was flowering nicely the last I checked (I haven't checked in a while, unfortunately). Fresca flowered a little. If they did get fruit, they didn't do it fast. They flowered much later than the other strawberries.

Anyway, the alpine strawberries are doing so much better than the garden strawberries. I've found the trick with them in my garden is to plant them under the shade of the eaves on the north side of our house, in a clay-type soil that stays moist easily (I don't even need mulch), and split them up into individual plants (they seem to do better that way); splitting them up in the fall seems like it would be much better than in the spring. They've been fruiting nicely all summer, and in the spring, too. The alpine types by the garden strawberries aren't doing as well, but they haven't been split up (in a long time), and they have too much sun (and need watering a lot); they were also decimated by variegated grape leafhoppers earlier, this year. They still produce fruit, though, but yeah.

Interestingly, my garden strawberries are clumping (multiplying without runners; the runners never root in that mulched soil). It looks like I could divide them just like alpine strawberries.

Here are some Alexandria alpine strawberries harvested from under our eaves:
July 14th, 2020:
IMG_20200714_023256.jpg
IMG_20200714_023256.jpg (523.82 KiB) Viewed 2964 times
July 3rd, 2020:
IMG_20200703_192211.jpg
IMG_20200703_192211.jpg (435.33 KiB) Viewed 2964 times
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Re: So who is growing strawberries?

#3

Post: # 27418Unread post ponyexpress
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:08 am

Shule wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:19 pm
We're growing strawberries.
Nice post! How long have you been growing the current batch for? There's nothing like fresh strawberries from the garden.

Do you have any issues with blight or diseases with your plants? In the community garden, we have some blight on the leaves but it doesn't seem to affect the production.

I'm hoping to get a new variety for next year called Albion. Another community gardener is going to give me a bunch of runners from Mara de Bois variety. Will try these in a row at my community garden plot.
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Re: So who is growing strawberries?

#4

Post: # 27456Unread post Bower
Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:17 pm

My Mom wants a new strawberry bed. Dad kept one always but it ran out the year he died, and got put into other vegetables. There are still a lot of strawberry plants in her garden that were escapes from the original bed, but they don't produce berries, I'm not sure why. I guess I need to learn about strawberries. I take it from your description that the plants stop bearing if they're 3 yr or older, and best to start a bed with the new runners.
I had a strawberry bed here even longer ago than Dad's, at least 15 years ago or longer when I gave it up because i was tired of fighting the robins for a berry. There are also lots of wild strawberries here which are very tiny, since I always considered them a benign weed and just let them grow. IDK if these strawberries got crossed but I now have quite a few berries from volunteers that have grown up around my raised vegetable/garlic beds and poached a bit of nutrient and moisture from the beds I guess. The berries are not huge but bigger than the wild ones. The birds don't seem to bother them or I guess they do get a few but I still get a nice share of them if I bother to look - without any special effort other than not treading on them. Just a few handfuls of free fresh berries nothing too dramatic but it is nice to have them. Still lots of wild ones around too.
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Re: So who is growing strawberries?

#5

Post: # 27471Unread post Shule
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:06 pm

ponyexpress wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:08 am
Shule wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:19 pm
We're growing strawberries.
Nice post! How long have you been growing the current batch for? There's nothing like fresh strawberries from the garden.

Do you have any issues with blight or diseases with your plants? In the community garden, we have some blight on the leaves but it doesn't seem to affect the production.

Thanks. :)

I started all the Alexandria and Yellow Wonder strawberries in ~2016, from seed.

We bought the Fort Laramie, Quinault, and Allstar strawberries from a nursery in the spring of 2019. Just one plant of each.

We got several Ozark Beauty plants from a friend in the spring of 2019. We just have one left, now, because I dug the others up.

I started the Reine des Vallees alpine strawberry, as well as the Tresca and Fresca garden strawberries from seed last year, and transplanted them in the fall.

Disease has been a problem with the strawberries in the backyard, as of 2019 (I think the disease came from the Ozark Beauty strawberries). I'm thinking about just digging all the backyard strawberries up, and starting again another year. The alpine ones can still produce fine, though, just as before, as long as they're watered enough. It's hard to say if the disease has impacted production on the garden strawberries, but they didn't do much before they were diseased, either.

The disease they have mostly just seems to make the leaves look burned on the tips/edges of the leaves. Maybe it's rust or something. I don't know.

The ones I have out the front (under the eaves) are all Alexandria, and I don't think they're diseased (I hope it hasn't spread). All the others are out the back (there are Alexandria out the back, too).
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Re: So who is growing strawberries?

#6

Post: # 27472Unread post Shule
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:18 pm

@Bower
Garden strawberries are supposed to produce for a few years and then stop. Planting the runners and digging up the old ones is supposed to provide fruiting plants again. I wonder if dividing them might do the same thing, but I don't know.

Alpine strawberries will produce every year, even when they're more than a few years old. They don't produce runners, usually, but they do multiply, and you do need to split them up. They still produce if you don't split them up, but they seem to do a lot better (and get bigger, and more fruit) if you do split them up. Alpine strawberries seem to produce for longer periods than everbearing strawberries, too. I've even had fruit long after the season had ended and gone cold (it might have even been winter one time)! Garden strawberries have bigger, firmer fruits, however.
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Re: So who is growing strawberries?

#7

Post: # 27506Unread post ponyexpress
Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:58 am

Bower wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:17 pm
My Mom wants a new strawberry bed. Dad kept one always but it ran out the year he died, and got put into other vegetables. There are still a lot of strawberry plants in her garden that were escapes from the original bed, but they don't produce berries, I'm not sure why. I guess I need to learn about strawberries. I take it from your description that the plants stop bearing if they're 3 yr or older, and best to start a bed with the new runners.
I'm not an expert as I've been doing this for a little over a year but I have done a lot of reading. You might be better off buying new plants from an established nursery as they're fairly cheap. 25 plants for $15 (US) + S&H. There are two kinds: June Bearing & Everbearing. I think for your Mom, you should get Everbearing so that she has berries to pick throughout the year.

I would plant in a bed evenly spaced apart according to the planting instructions. Ever bearers don't produce as many runners as June bearers. I would snip any runners you see until August or so. If you can, put out little pots with soil and attach the runner to it. Let each plant produce 1-2 runners max. Use these runners for a new strawberry bed once they're established. I like to attach a paper clip to a runner and let it root in a pot for 3 weeks before I snip it from the mother plant. Put these new plants into a new bed.

Then next year, you'll have 1 bed that is 2 years old and another bed that is 1 year old. Let them produce berries. Snip any runners you see. Then harvest some runners from the daughter plants to establish a third bed. Then the third year, let them all produce berries. Produce runners from the grand daughters. Pull up the plants in the original bed and put the new ones in. Better yet, do it in yet another bed and use the original bed for something else.

If you only have 1 bed and not 3 beds, I suggest dividing it into thirds. The first year, plant the entire bed. Near the end of the first year, rip up 1/3 of the bed to put the new plants in. Then near the end of the second year, rip up another (different) 1/3. Then the third year, remove the original plants (last 1/3).
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Re: So who is growing strawberries?

#8

Post: # 27567Unread post Bower
Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:38 pm

Thank you @ponyexpress for a really helpful tutorial! :) I like this advice.
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Re: So who is growing strawberries?

#9

Post: # 30417Unread post NarnianGarden
Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:19 am

Strawberries are my fave berry to grow, and I have several varieties (from seed as well as a few plants) - alpine and garden strawberries as well a few musk (hautboi) & Virginian plants. Sadly, this year was not the best.. but hopefully next year will be a better season.

I love especially white varieties, many from Russia and Ukraine... The best part of them: birds don't notice them!
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Re: So who is growing strawberries?

#10

Post: # 30419Unread post Whwoz
Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:19 am

Lot of good information on growing Strawberries here folks. We have been growing strawberries at various locations for well over 50 years. Varieties here are different from what you've mentioned with one exception, that being Albion mentioned by @ponyexpress.

When we came across Albion in South Australia a couple of years ago, they were a license to grow proposition, so not available to general gardeners, that may have changed now. The first day we picked at the farm, they were absolutely delicious, having had two days rain and no picking for those two days, they were fully ripe,no white at all. Two or three days later pickers had been through and the berries were like what you buy commercially here and were no where near as good.

@Bower Strawberries will survive and fruit for years, depending upon how much disease, especially virus infects them. We have had beds last 20 years at my parents farm, well isolated from the nearest patched.

Turning beds over is based on commercial growers getting infected plants and maintaining maximum yield.

The main variety we are growing here currently is Hokowase, a Japanese variety. Red Gauntlet, Tioga and Torres are long term mainstay varieties in Oz. We see a lot of new varieties each year, most of which are not as good as the old favourites and only last a season or two.
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Re: So who is growing strawberries?

#11

Post: # 30478Unread post ponyexpress
Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:25 am

Whwoz wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:19 am

@Bower Strawberries will survive and fruit for years, depending upon how much disease, especially virus infects them. We have had beds last 20 years at my parents farm, well isolated from the nearest patched.

Turning beds over is based on commercial growers getting infected plants and maintaining maximum yield.

The main variety we are growing here currently is Hokowase, a Japanese variety. Red Gauntlet, Tioga and Torres are long term mainstay varieties in Oz. We see a lot of new varieties each year, most of which are not as good as the old favourites and only last a season or two.
Do you try to pull older plants? I heard that a strawberry plant is only good for three/four years and then they decline in size and production.

When you say that new varieties are not as good as old ones, in what way is that the case? You plant them and after a couple years, the plants are all dead?

NarnianGarden wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:19 am

I love especially white varieties, many from Russia and Ukraine... The best part of them: birds don't notice them!
How do the white varieties taste compared to the red ones?

Now that it’s getting cooler, my Seascape foliage is looking lush and is pumping berries. It seems that it has two seasons: June and Sept/Oct.

I planted Mara Des Bois and I’m amazed at how many runners it produces as I thought everbearers produce less runners.

I have a couple small plants that I started from seed called Gariguette.

Been busy making new strawberry beds and trying new techniques. I have 4x12 beds so I’ll be planting them in two rows, a foot apart with the goal to prune all runners. I also have some in community garden plots to see if the increased sunlight makes a difference. Lastly, I’m doing a test where I use straw as a mulch versus wood chips.

Does anyone fertilize their strawberries? If so, what do you use and when?
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Re: So who is growing strawberries?

#12

Post: # 30492Unread post NarnianGarden
Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:12 am

I have a special berry & fruit fertiliser (organic) from the German company Neudorff, but have not used it this year.
The main thing is to avoid nitrogen overdose, it only causes foliage growth at the expense of flowers and fruits.

White strawberries tend to be more aromatic and less acidic, they have these tropical fruit flavours.. (pineapple-ish if that is a word) :)
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Re: So who is growing strawberries?

#13

Post: # 30523Unread post Whwoz
Sun Sep 13, 2020 6:13 pm

ponyexpress wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:25 am

Do you try to pull older plants? I heard that a strawberry plant is only good for three/four years and then they decline in size and production.

When you say that new varieties are not as good as old ones, in what way is that the case? You plant them and after a couple years, the plants are all dead?
In the instance at the farm where plants were growing for around 20 years, plants were not pulled and replaced, the odd one may have been replaced if it died, but mostly they were left in place. Plants will keep growing and yielding for years, although production can drop off gradually over time.

Most information on growing plants in home gardens is derived from commercial growing information with the advice based on what is required for maximum yield, which is typically second year for strawberries. Take for example the the talk around viruses. Here in Oz, it is widely touted that strawberries will get virus within 2 years and thus will drop production and require replacement. Maybe true in commercial situation where lots of different pickers move through open fields of berries of multiple growers next to each other, but in a home situation where you maybe the only one growing berries within a mile of your house, this is not always true.

If production drops off below what you consider acceptable, by all means replace, but if not and plants are healthy and growing and producing well why replace?

In regards to newer varieties not being as good as old, they are simply not as nice. I see no point in eating strawberry flavoured cardboard if I can eat real strawberries.
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Re: So who is growing strawberries?

#14

Post: # 30533Unread post Whwoz
Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:32 pm

One thing I forgot to mention above, is that different varieties responsed differently to being left undisturbed for a length of time. It is just a matter of finding the right variety for your conditions
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Re: So who is growing strawberries?

#15

Post: # 30538Unread post MrBig46
Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:09 am

I grow strawberries mainly for my wife. I don't like to clean the strawberry bed from weeds in the spring and I grow it on black foil. I do new flowerbeds every two or three years. I also don't like picking strawberries and taking them home and children. If it was up to me, I wouldn't grow strawberries at all. For me, strawberry leaves suffer from red spots, so I have to spray copper in the fall. I grow only once fruiting, harvest in June about 15 kg. Rumba and Salsan Dutch varieties?
Image[/img]
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Re: So who is growing strawberries?

#16

Post: # 30759Unread post ponyexpress
Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:22 pm

I was just inspecting my strawberry beds and noticed that something (deer?) is munching (or is it renovating!) my Jewel plants. I guess I will bust out the row covers to give it protection. Uggh.
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Here is an unaffected bed.
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E2616FA3-7F49-494C-8411-CD2FBF76FAFB.jpeg (7.14 MiB) Viewed 872 times

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