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Beginner Gardening Questions: Allstar Strawberry problem(?)?

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Lisa42Tn
Mount Juliet, TN
(Zone 7a)

June 19, 2014
7:34 AM

Post #9871764

I purchased an Everbearing Strawberry which is planted in the garden and doing great! The nursery (Needhams Nursery in Mt Juliet, Tn) was out of the Everbearing so I thought I'd just get this one, the Allstar. ** (They would have ordered it if I'd of asked. I name them because I think they are the best local nursery around!! Family owned/operated, VERY helpful, knows their products, employs some who need a 2nd chance, cooks for and feeds their employs and even rescues and cares for stray dogs!!). I decided to plant in a Strawberry pot on the deck. On Tues morning I found that one of the runners which was growing good had a black/dead area a short way up the runner. When I handled the runner, the spot where its black, snapped off. I took a pict of the area after laying the new growth back down. The reddish "dust" you see on the deck is actually ground red pepper. I started sprinkling it around the pots on the deck to keep the squirrels out. (So far its been working). I have no idea why the new growth on the runner broke off. I saw at the nursery, plants in regular hanging baskets with tons of runners hanging and they had strawberries. So I thought I didnt need to have the runners go through the small holes in the strawberry jar pot. Am I wrong?? Anyone know what happened?? This is the first time Ive planted strawberries. The 3rd pict is of the Everbearing planted in the garden. We put screen on the ground around the plant because a mole was coming up under the top cover and eating the berries. So far this has worked. But...I now have 2 runners on that plant. Do they need to have access to the dirt?? Or are they ok laying on the screen by the original/mother plant?? I appreciate any help or advice. Thanks. Have a good day. (Mt Juliet, Tn)

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WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

June 19, 2014
4:00 PM

Post #9872200

I learned how to grow fab strawberries from my good old Dad, sadly passed away.
Anyway, I was told many years ago, first year planting strawberry plants, DONT allow the runners to take, they remove a lot of energy from the young plants at the cost of good quality fruit, after the fruiting has passed, then allow maybe 2 runners to grow, YES after the runners are large and stem long enough to be independent enough to be planted into the soil say a 12 inch /foot away from parent plant, then make a wire pin (like a ladies hair pin) scrape away some soil, sink the little baby plant into this soil (DONT cut the baby/ runner) away from the parent till your sure the roots can support the little plant, then sever it.
Make sure you water, weed and care for the runners, and shelter from cold in winter IF you have these conditions in your area.

After 2-3 years you should remove the original plants as they will be weaker after 2-3 seasons of fruit giving, but you should have enough new runners from previous years to have a continual crop each summer.
Make sure you label the plants / baby runners, as you sever them from parent so you always know what named plants you have.

We always gave the plants a mulch of horse manure each spring as soon as new growth was evident, ONLY well rotted manure as fresh manure could easily burn the tender new shoots.
Next when the flowers were showing, we laid straw along the ridged up plants, this prevented the fruits being trod on, eaten by slugs or birds, and it kept the fruit clean from soil splashes when watering,
OH and try to water around the roots of the plants as they don't like water to sit on the foliage or into the tender heart of the middle of the crowns, it causes rot.

Maybe this will give you some fresh ideas and you can get a good crop for future years.
Kind Regards.
WeeNel.
Lisa42Tn
Mount Juliet, TN
(Zone 7a)

June 20, 2014
7:52 AM

Post #9872695

WeeNel Hi. Thanks for the great info!! Guess I wasnt really thinking about future years. Im just hungry for em now!! ha. So I should cut any runners on both plants this year and next summer let the runners grow? Do I cut the runners closer to the Mother plant? Since I put this one in a Strawberry pot Im wondering if it needs moved. We have another garden bed, but its not tilled or protected (w/fencing). We planned on redoing that bed next year. Since Ive never grown strawberries before...do they get bigger each year (the plant, not the berries)? If I leave the one in the pot, when would I need to plant it in the garden in order for it to survive the winter? And, last question, do you know why or what caused this runner to turn black (right before the new growth)? The new growth was still ok, though its dead now. I didnt see bite marks or marks from bugs. It was fine the day before. It just broke off from the stem when I picked it up. I thought in order to have more strawberries they came from all the shutes. But, I know nothing about strawberry plants. I dont think there are any flowers on his plant. I also just got it about a week and a half ago. Thanks for the reply. Have a good day!
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

June 20, 2014
4:11 PM

Post #9873140

OK, I suspect the new growth or runner was more than likely stood on, chewed or something heavy laid on it and it became severed by any of the reasons I gave.
For these reasons alone, it's always wise to peg the runners into the soil say about 12 inch / 1 foot away from parent plant, OR you can fill a small pot, fill with soil, insert the runner and then sink the pot into the soil same distance from parent, don't cut or sever the runner till it's made enough good roots to support itself, BUT don't leave this runner attached too long or it will take energy from the parent.
When you are severing the runner, make the cut close to the parent, you don't want dead bits of runners as the birds, slugs and other animals can tug the runners and this might cause the plants to be tugged from the soil disturbing the roots.

As you have another garden bed, IF possible, prepare this bed or an area of it for planting the Strawberries end of the summer, make a shelter from straw or horticultural garden fleece, this helps prevent freeze or shelters from cold temps especially at night.

I was always told to make a heap the length of the row, plant the strawberries on top of the heap, (make the heap by Dutch hoeing the soil upwards each side of the row to form a heap) flatten the top with spade gently, then plant the strawberries, IF/ When you need to add straw, plastic sheeting or fleece, all you do is gently lay this loosely over the length of the row, place a brick or largish stone along the length on ONE side, then cut a cross into the plastic, fleece of used and use your hand to tuck this material under the plants allowing the plants to sit on top and when you water you add the hose into the cut-out, IF using straw, it's the exact same method but, instead of cutting a cross shape, you just gently lift the foliage and tuck the straw under the greenery, for all 3 methods, you need to always check there is nothing eating, or no mould etc taking hold.

The plants should grow outwards each year BUT as mentioned before, after about 3 years, the fruiting will be thin and maybe none at all as the plants use up a lot of energy flowering, making the lovely juicy berries, then sending out runners, that's why it's wise to plant some of the runners unless you want to try a different type of strawberries, Personally IF you like the ones you have, then just keep the strawberry beds going the way I mentioned by planting the runners.
Don't forget also that IF you don't net the fruit beds, the birds will strip off all those berries by biting each one and rendering them useless for human consumption.

I would NOT be too worried about NO flowers yet, the plants are trying to make new roots as they expand, the flowers will come once the plant settles into it's new environment, leave the one in the pot till you prepare a bit of the new bed you want to ready for later planting,
Add as much humus to the new bed once you clear it of weeds and any other debris I like to use well rotted horse manure (gardeners gold we call it LOL) or store purchased compost or better still start to make you own compost from kitchen waste.

This added humus will help the soil retain some moisture, it helps to break up the soil especially if it's clay, it helps add structure if the soil is sandy, it helps add air to the soil and it adds nourishment so don't let anyone tell you that soil does NOT require any help, it does and IF you can do this helping without chemicals, especially IF your growing things you want to eat, then the healthier the plant will be for a longer time than chemically enhanced feeds, these may be fine BUT the can act too fast rendering the plants to grow too fast, not allowing the flavour to be set by the sunshine naturally and also the plants weaken faster IF you stop the chemicals BUT please take this as a personal view NOT by any means a proven fact on my part.
Well hope I've not missed answering any of your questions this time, but if need be, do still get back onto the thread and ask more if needed, were all here to help.
have a bumper crop and enjoy.
Best Regards.
WeeNel.

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