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Tell me about your strawberries

Claremore, OK

Please tell me all about you and your strawberries. What varieties you like, what and when you fertilize, do you mulch yours? Observations and tips are most welcome.

Someone sent me six plants a few years back and they just took off; however, I have problems with slugs and I'm not sure about how to manage them.

Thanks for your help!

Thumbnail by darlindeb
suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

I don't have any Strawberries. I have a Strawberry Begonia though! I'd love to have a Strawberry patch!

Claremore, OK

I guess I'll just call a Master Gardener in the area and see what they suggest.

Kansas City (Joyce), MO(Zone 5a)

darlindeb, I have strawberries but like you they were given to me and I do not have a name. I can tell you I really messed up and stuck them in the flower bed until I got a place ready....well they took off like weeds, so this year will be the move year....all 20,000 of them...rofl, just kidding.

Tried and true cure for slugs is saucer of beer, slugs love beer, but so does my lab....
other method, lay down a piece of wood keep the soil and the wood moist, the slugs will move to under the wood and you can pick them (uck!) and dispose of them.
Copper kills slugs also, so I have read where people place pennies around a plant, (don't know how you would do that with strawberries, or they buy some copper strips. Course these days copper strips are sort of expensive.

Being in a strawberry patch I wouldn't use the slug killing baits myself.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Well, I have some now. Tonite, I went to Walmart and did some shopping. I couldn't resist a bag of strawberry bulbs for $3! They are called 'Clancy'.
There was 2 kinds there that I saw, called 'Sure Crop' and this one 'Clancy'. I hope I got a good one! Maybe I'll have strawberries afterall!
While I was there, I got 3 cheapo packets of flower seeds for $1 each, they are Johnny-Jump-Ups, Foxglove and Delphinium.
I'd like to spruce up around my proposed waterpond this year is the plan.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

I planted the 'Clancy's today, but they had grown together in the bag! I didn't want to risk killing them, so I left all ten of the plants clumped together and planted the whole lot of them. Boy, what have I done?! Oh well, I made sure to get them pretty close to the center of my 4 x 4 raised bed. I'm prolly gonna have a big ol' cluster of Strawberries now! Maybe now I won't have to worry about them escaping the 4 x 4 bed. I also got those cheapo seed packs potted up, 2 pots per packet.

Thumbnail by shortleaf
Claremore, OK

When and what do you all mulch your strawberries with?

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

Hi guys, I got the same strawberry plants as shortleaf. Have'nt planted them yet. I've always mulched them with sawdust or dried leaves. Am planting these in containers and have'nt decided if or what i'll mulch with.
I always mulch mine soon after they start growing. leaving the crowns free of mulch.
When they start vining I put the new plants down in the dirt leaving the vines in place till the new strawberrys have rooted than cut the vines.
I've always heard you should pinch off all blooms the first year. But i never could. LOL
I never fertilize much either at first.
I always grew Cardinals here but will go with wally worlds.
They also need alot of sun.
Good luck! Here's to strawberry shortcakes!
Vickie

Cumming, IA

I am on my second year with Seascape, Honeyo, and Albion in a 4'x8'x 16" raised bed.

I kinda followed Mel B.ideas from his Square Foot Garden book. I used Mel's Mix for soil in the raised bed. The raised bed had housed peppers and tomatoes in previous years (yeah, I know, possibly a bad move, but I had no diseases on the tomato or pepper plants). I fertilize with compost, I mulch with oat straw. I am south of Des Moines a bit. Zone 5.

The strawberries last year were great, but I had to fight runners all summer. I had huge berries right up to frost. The hardest thing I found last year was to pinch out those first blossoms and keep the runners at bay.

Last summer I had some runners spill off the side and down into the gravel at the base of the 16" tall bed. They all lived through the winter without any mulch and they were firmly anchored in gravel. I dug them up a week ago and gave them away, I had no idea how strong those little roots were. They encompassed the gravel with great strength.

This year I am trying Allstar in another 4'x4' bed. According to Mel, I will be putting in another bed next year making it a 3 year cycle on the strawberry beds. Putting a bunch of plants in every year seems like a bit of a pain, but the raised beds make it so easy.

The sweetest berry last year was the Honeyo.

Back in March I pulled off my straw mulch and gave a side dressing of compost and then tucked the plants back under their blanket of straw until today. Upon pulling back the mulch today I find that the flower buds are coming on, so I have removed some more mulch. I don't think a single plant heaved to death this winter.

I don't know if it is too early to leave them exposed, but I figure that they need more sun with flower buds starting. If anybody has any ideas I am listening.

Claremore, OK

Good to know about the Honeyo variety.

When and how deep are you putting the oat hay around your berries?

One master gardener here recommended I try putting pecan shells around my strawberry plants to ward off slugs.

Kansas City (Joyce), MO(Zone 5a)

Like the idea of the 3 year strawberries. I will have to find Honeyo, mine are good but I wouldn't say overly sweet at all. How big are your raised beds? I just built one raised bed two concrete blocks high and have enough blocks left to build two more beds.

Bethesda, MD

I'm growing Mara des Bois - trying to reproduce the sweetest, most flavorful berries I have ever tasted (from France). I bought seveal Mara des Bois plants for my parents two years ago and they love them. Very tasty berries, and prolific plants; we had cheesecake with fresh garden strawberries the first week in October! I started my own bare roots two weeks ago, and I'm just crossing my fingers that they will produce something this year. Anyone have any insight on whether to expect fruit from first-year bare root pants?

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

We just planted twenty-five Mara des bois, which I got after being able to taste-test them in France this fall. The growing instructions say to pick off the flowers for the first six weeks and then let them bloom and fruit, but they also say that you can't renovate them and they're only good for a year or two. Is that what you've found, Cadifor?

Bethesda, MD

I've heard that strawberries should be replaced every 3-4 years as they can become diseased, but there is absolutely no reason in my mind that you couldn't let each of your old plants put down two or more runners at the end of the summer and have very productive daughter plants the next spring. That precisely how the growers get us the plants in the first place - bare root plants are just runners that have rooted with their leaves chopped off. I think if you start raising daughter plants and eventually pull out the originals, and keep cycling that way, you should always have healthy strawberries that keep producing. This warning could just be some kind of ploy to keep us all coming back to buy new plants!

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Nourse seems to think that day-neutral strawberries can't be propogated that way; we shall see! I did wonder whether they were just trying to keep themselves in business, but they give excellent instructions for propogating regular strawberries for succeeding years!

Our strawberry patch got away from us last year and we got almost nothing, although I think the turtles were satisfied. It had gotten overgrown and the plants didn't seem to do well. That may have been the diseased condition that "they" talk about. So we are starting over again in a new area and planting them in a long row instead of a square (a sixteen foot long, 30" wide row each for Mara des bois and Cabot). I hope that will make it easier to keep track of them and also to pick and weed them!

Kansas City (Joyce), MO(Zone 5a)

Wow didn't know you were suppose to destroy the old plants....I have them growing all over a earth berm on the house and have never destroyed any of them, unless giving starts to folks because they have spread everwhere up there. I don't know the old from the new.......

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Hey, if they're still producing you're just fine!

Kansas City (Joyce), MO(Zone 5a)

Whew.....LOL had me worried. They produce just fine so far. I end up walking on them so maybe I take out a few that way.......

I really want them out of there because it is also a flower bed, I had no idea how bad the strawberries would spread......

(Louise) Palm Bay, FL(Zone 9b)

I read an article about running a tiller down a line through the strawberry bed to rejuvinate the plants and return organic matter to the beds.

Kansas City (Joyce), MO(Zone 5a)

I have a question, I dug up some strawberry plants and put them in pots for a friend. They look beautiful and even put off strawberries in the pots. Someone else told me if the plants I dug were not putting off runners that would not work. Any opinion on this?

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