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jal_ut
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How to Grow Decent Size Strawberries?

How do you get a strawberry of any decent size? Mine are all small. Thimble size is the largest.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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applestar
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Re: Strawberries?

I think variety and renewing the beds with fresh disease-free plants are important.

...but big isn't everything. I planted a variety called "Giant" and sure enough they produced the biggest berries ... But they were also the least flavorful, often with hollow cores. They were always the bottom-of-the-bowl fruits.

This year's biggest berries in my patch are Seascape.
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Dillbert
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Re: Strawberries?

as mentioned, the variety is the key. and next to that (generalization, not absolute) the June bearing tend to be larger than everbearing

JONA878
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Re: Strawberries?

Also if you let your plants expend energy producing runners ..that can take the goodness away from fruit size and fruit production.
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RogueRose
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Re: Strawberries?

I find that each year mine get bigger. The first year they were tiny. This is my 3rd year and I'm finally getting some that are bigger than thumb sized.

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jal_ut
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Re: Strawberries?

Thanks for the tips.

Looks like it is time to make a new bed. Maybe I could run the tiller through the old one and thin it drastically?
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Dillbert
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Re: Strawberries?

I had a bed that thrived for 15 years, then I moved.

I would use a metal garden rake every fall to pull out the oldest / biggest plants.
I never encouraged or discouraged or pruned off the suckering.

a rake, some fresh peat moss in the bare spots, berry on . . .

JONA878
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Re: Strawberries?

The big problem is that strawberries are very prone to virus infections.
Once they get into a plantation they will reduce the crop levels quite significantly.
That's why growers replace their plants every five years or so with fresh runners that have been grown by nurseries that have been tested for virus free stock.

You can get away with much older plantings if you are lucky....but plants aren't that expensive ...so why not start with clean stock.
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Re: Strawberries?

I've recently read that you mulch the bed with straw before the fruit forms (hence the name Straw-Berry)

once you have picked the last strawberry, you light the straw, which in turn burns the strawberry leaves and kills any leaf diseases ...

new leaves then form the following season .... I've never grown strawberries and am only quoting what I have read
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RogueRose
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Re: How to Grow Decent Size Strawberries?

These are getting pretty nice and big! I'm surprised considering they're container strawberries and I never had much luck with container strawberries.

Image

These are some from my in-ground ones:
Image

Dillbert
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Re: How to Grow Decent Size Strawberries?

>>I've recently read that you mulch the bed with straw before the fruit forms (hence the name Straw-Berry)
oops.
https://www.snopes.com/language/notthink/strawberry.asp

frankly I would not be one in pursuit of gigantic berries. in my experience the bigger they are, the more frequent they are hollow, and the less taste they contain. . . .

we see these "imported" early CA berries - size of bowling balls - taste like bowling balls....

large is good, taste is better.

Northernfox
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Re: How to Grow Decent Size Strawberries?

There are a number of issues that can happen with strawberries. Renewing the bed is probably the best course of action to do next spring. they will recover much better if done in early spring. when you do I recommend you include a high nitrogen compost in the soil.

this year I recommend encouraging nitrogen to enter the ground. if you use worm castings, compost, NPK fertilizer or what ever a nice even does a couple times over the summer should help you get recovery your harvest.

I am doing a series of videos with strawberries in my garden this summer. if your interested take a look below ;)
Stephen

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ReptileAddiction
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Re: How to Grow Decent Size Strawberries?

I am having the same problem but mine are first year's fruit so I expect next year will be larger. I do trim back some suckers when they are fruiting so that more energy goes into fruit.

lily51
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Re: How to Grow Decent Size Strawberries?

We grew strawberries to sell for many years.
The first year of a patch plants are planted, blossoms picked and runners trained. We did use straw for bedding but never set it on fire.
The next three years were production, with the peak the second year. Then the plants were removed, a nd the plot replanted. Obviously plots were rotated to have constant production.

I agree that a medium sized berry is often better in taste and other qualities.
We did not use everbearing, but seasonal varieties.

ruggr10
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Re: How to Grow Decent Size Strawberries?

Everybody who mentioned variety being the key to large strawberries is correct. Also, I feel that most smaller varieties are much tastier. Seascape, a day-neutral, is midsized and with great flavor.

Northernfox
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Re: How to Grow Decent Size Strawberries?

Good to know I am growing them in my main bed !!
Stephen

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