Bob
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Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:48 pm

Maintaining strawberry beds???

Last year I built two “circularâ€

lovetogarden
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Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 8:10 am

Bob,
The first year of a strawberry plant you will not get much. Some experts say that you ought to remove the flowers to strenghen the plant. I do not do this myself, but I do know some that swear by it.

The second and third year plants produce the biggest and tastest berries.

By the fourth year, the plant slows down and becomes more suseptable to disease. the plants should be pulled.

I have three strawberry beds. Every year I take runners that has formed after the plants produce fruit and start a new bed. I then destroy the oldest strawberry bed. This method works well with me. Starting a new bed and destroying the oldest one also helps with crop rotation so that the soil does not become depleted of certain nutrients.

Bob
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Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:48 pm

Thanks Love, but I already knew most of that.

Have you ever tried “mowingâ€

aqh88
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Location: Iowa
Contact: AOL

I just planted strawberries this year. I did 24 plants in a rectangle. My plan was to pull all the runners they send out this year which has already been 3 but otherwise let them flower and do their thing. We've already had some flower and start producing berries. Then next year let the runners develop, collect them, and plant them in an identical sized rectangle that is already setup next to the current strawberry patch. Once those new plants are established after a year or 2 we'll dig up the old plants and repeat the same process with the new patch. Wait a year, harvest the runners, replant, and continue. I'm hoping that keeps the strawberries from making a thick patch full of runners and keeps healthy plants with plenty of large berries. It also means I can till in compost to each patch every few years when we dig up the old plants. Currently the empty section of strawberry patch is being used to grow melons and lettuce.

hugh
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Location: Boucherville, Quebec, Canada

I have never heard the expression 'mow' a strawberry bed. What it may mean is that it is essential is to clean away any old growth and any old leaves at the end of the year. This is to reduce disease the following year. You must bin these or burn them.

I burn mine off, as we put straw underneath to protect the fruits. When we burn the straw we burn off the old growth.

By the way the reason the fruits are small is probably that the plants are close toghter. If you spread them you would get bigger fruits. You get less fruit by weight but larger individual fruits.

Whatever you do, you need to get some air around the plants. They are very vunerable to fungal diseases - mold. The best remedy is air space.

Also make sure that you beds are are raised say 6 to 8 ins, preferably with good drainage. This will prevent them becoming waterlogged - they don't like that at all - also encourges mold.

The advice about rotating every three years is very sound. My father - in - law used to grow straberries professionally and he is adamant about this.

My last point on mold - it is the terror of strawberries - is check the plants frequently. If you see any white / grey dust or whiskers on a fruit get rid of it immediatly. Check the rest of the plant for any other signs and junk it like fast if it looks sick.

Have fun, and good eating.

Grace
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Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 9:09 am

Hi Bob, I read about mowing strawberry beds too and have been doing it for the last few seasons ... helps keep the beds neat ... makes mulching and setting new plants easier and the plants continue to produce.

Now a question .... I am setting new beds this year using runners, should I expect a harvest from these plants next year?

Bluzena
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Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:20 am
Location: Portland Oregon

Hi Bob,
We "mowed" our strawberry bed this last year and it came back better then ever, plus we also thinned out the plants too. I'm excited to see what kind of fruit we get this year. :D

pixelphoto
Senior Member
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Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:13 am
Location: Middle Georgia USA

i mow if your plants are planted correctly you should have no problems.
meaning the crown is just above the soil not too high and not buried.
if your crown is set up high and you mow you could kill the plant. raise your mowers bed a little higher if that is the case.
Believe it or not it looks terrible like you killed them all but the roots and crown are still there and they will produce better next year.
I also hand remove all runners or sometimes called daughter plants. These usually don't produce as large a berry and most strawberry beds need to be replaced every 4 years or so. You should also move them every 4 years so soil born bacteria don't build up in one location.

JohnCarson
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Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 6:47 am
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Strawberries new growth and mowing vs plucking

aqh88 wrote:I just planted strawberries this year. I did 24 plants in a rectangle. My plan was to pull all the runners they send out this year which has already been 3 but otherwise let them flower and do their thing. We've already had some flower and start producing berries. Then next year let the runners develop, collect them, and plant them in an identical sized rectangle that is already setup next to the current strawberry patch. Once those new plants are established after a year or 2 we'll dig up the old plants and repeat the same process with the new patch. Wait a year, harvest the runners, replant, and continue. I'm hoping that keeps the strawberries from making a thick patch full of runners and keeps healthy plants with plenty of large berries. It also means I can till in compost to each patch every few years when we dig up the old plants. Currently the empty section of strawberry patch is being used to grow melons and lettuce.
I have taken the time to use popsicle sticks and numbered each plant, and logged & tracked like a genealogy. Thus after 1/2 year in 2006 and the first half of 2007. I now have full knowledge of plants who do the runners and/or berries. Thus I am moving the slow movers into pots and using that space for new ones.

My berry production has increased 300% and i gone from at the start with 62 ot 145. Purchased 50 more and I also have 60 runners so far this year.

Not sure if this is my quirk but I have an issue destroying any plant, so the slow movers are kept but in a pot, expect to flush out the best if any and I might get the motivation to just chuck them by the fall.

I don't mow them because they are in a raised garden so i pluck the lower leaves throughout the season, they are usually already brown, or have turned the red/orange. The only color I want is the flower and a red berry.

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