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My strawberries that I planted last fall are blooming--the leaves have not grown at all and no new growth is sprouting. This is my first time growing strawberries here--should I be picking off these early blooms? Unfortunately, I do not know the variety--I expect them to bear all at once, presumedly in June. Are they confused or is this normal in zone 7b?
I read that you should pick the blooms off first year strawberry plants so the plants will put all its energy into its roots. This way the plants will last longer, about 4-5 years. If you let the first year plants set fruit, they will not last as long, maybe 3 years, but you do get the fruit one year earlier. I planted some strawberry crowns in January and they are just now starting to grow, but they are nowhere near producing a bloom, that I can tell. These are June bearers, I don't know the variety.
That being said, I think you should pick off any blooms that form now. I don't think you will get any mature fruit off blooms that are this early, so might as well let the plant concentrate on growing roots and leaves. I think you will get enough blooms and fruit once the weather warms up.
Well, that was my philosophy, too, since I assumed they needed pollination and there are no pollinators about. Mine were planted last fall, so I'm probably going to let them bear even knowing I shouldn't! Just can't wait...!
Wow, I'm jealous--I remember getting strawberries in late May in northern California once, but that was the earliest. Seems like everything has "season" confusion this year--we were warm when we should have been cold, and cold later on. No wonder they are blooming...