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ID jit
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

Had it happen last year too, but it wasn't nearly as bad, only 3 or four plants.

Is definitely better than lions and tiger and bears!
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applestar
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

Will you be protecting your strawberries?

I need to put up netting covers. The robins and catbirds are already starting to steal berries that are not quite ripe. :evil:
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

You have berries which are not quiet ripe already!?!?!?! (... , and here I thought I was doing really well.)

Didn't have to do the netting and deer fence last year and I would like to keep things as minimal as possible, and don't really have resource to deal with it either. (Last week I discovered that it wasn't just a minor floor pan issue in my 92 GTI, and it is way beyond my welding and fabrication skill level. Current priority is prepping an 89 jetta to take the entire electrical system, power train and suspension out of my GTI. Good thing these cars are like legos!)
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

Haven't had a chance to take pics nor update much. Plants recovered from the one occurrence of deer snacking surprising well. The containers of unkonws the deer passed up and turned into little jungles. Am really convinced that containers are the way to go. The containers are well out producing the plants I have in the ground.

Berry-wise the albions are not as nasty as most strawberries. Pretty firm and taste like fruit, not that syrup-ie blast of sicky sweet mush. Bare root clusters I planted in early April produced 4-6 nickle to quarter sized berries each in the second week of June. Pretty happy with them.

The Unknowns that I have been propagating the past few years have either crossed with the local wild berries or are de-evolving back to the stains which made the hybrid. Have 24 plants in sips and another 50 in the ground and am getting 3 distinct berry types from them (and miles of runners).

The runners actually make sense to me since the all of the Unknowns were propagated form maybe 6 plants by rooting runners. The more runners those original plants put out, the more they perpetuated themselves forward, so I now have plants that throw out lots of runners.

Berries form the unknowns:
1) half dollar sized, multiple shoulders and tips, mushy and taste like a mix of high fructose corn syrup and pre-sweetened koolaid
2) quarter sized, hints of multiple shoulders and tips but mostly uniform, sort of mushy and too over sweet
3) dime sized, uniform shape, almost round, firm not so sweet and fruity (almost edible).

Would really love to have the time to play with propagating these - looks like a fun puzzle to figure out.

Thinking about another 4 containers with Evie2's for next year.
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applestar
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

I really like the way you have them set up on those really nice stands that no doubt you made yourself. :D
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

Thanks. PT 2x4's and decking screws. Those stands are all about putting berries at about hand height for a 74 year old - no bending required.
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

Am loosing a lot of berries on the albions... going soft before fully ripe. Also have some dark brown / grey fuzzies on the berries and the stems.... Seeing if cinnamon helps.
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applestar
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

I noticed some of my (not Albion) varieties doing this when the berry truss is protected from birds and chipmunks with clear clamshells during heatwave. I think they don't like it too hot./humid. You may be having a flip-side effect of the raised black containers with black plastic mulch.

Maybe put some straw on top of the plastic mulch or put up a shade cloth over the setup? Shading just the containers?

Try putting up some beach/patio umbrellas over one or two planters and see if that helps before launching into an entire project.
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

Seems reasonable enough - simple, easy fix and see what happens.

Don't thing it would be too hard to put a cloth skirt around the group of 4 containers. Straw on top, why not. Can raid the garden for bleached out, clean grass clippings.

It is only an issue with the albions. Not sure if the dark brown / grey fuzzies are the cause of the berries going soft early or the result of something else affecting the berries and plants and the dark brown / grey fuzzies are just there to clean up all the free food.
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

Fist flush was pretty good. Nigh 2 gallons of berries over a couple of weeks, and I have some more blossoms popping.

The 13" x 19" soil surface is just a bit small for 6 one-year-old plants. Have a tangled mess of leaf stalks and runners in the unknowns, even with the catapillar damage. Ended up damaging the leaf stalks trying to pick the berries. The bare root clusters albions haven't crowded themselves up at all yet.

Did some digging around in a few of the containers as I was clearing the dead leaves, damaged leaf stalks and trimming off the runners. Was really happy to find many 2"-3" worms in the containers. They were probably from eggs in the vermicast. Guessing going heavy on the compost which was a little mulchy was a good idea. Was worried about it compacting down too much, but it will feed the worms and they with keep the soil loose enough.

Also confirmed that I need to get some shade around the containers, the soil was surprisingly warm to the touch. Knew I should have hit the containers with a light colored Krylon fusion BEFORE I planted them.

Sorry, no time to do the picture thing.

Next year it will definitely be 4 plants per container
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

Guessing a deer came by last night and topped almost all of the unknowns and half the albions, I have containers with bunches of green stems sticking up in them. Pretty sure I can forget about the second flush on the unknowns and and what would have become of the blossoms on the albions.

Seriously thinking about just swapping the plants out since I have more than enough younger plants in the ground for the unknowns. Not so lucky with the albions. Only have 3 in the ground from the bare root clusters I purchased and anouther 6 in 2 liter sips I started from runners.
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applestar
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

Can't you do what rainbowgardener has described in the past? Put up 4 fence posts, wrap with deer fencing/netting, the twist tie the top closed. She said raccoons would unite the twist tie, but deer have no opposable thumbs. :wink:
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

I think it just might be a wee bit too late for preventive measures!

Think I will dissect one of the completely leafless boxes to see what is going on in there.
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

Managed to start nearly a dozen Albions form runners and into 2 liter SIPs. Those are now blossoming, 3 or 4 blossoms each. Pretty surprising to me.

Over all, the Albions did okay but seem to be sort of fragile plants. Ended up with a lot of "zombie berries" and stems dying off for no apparent reason. My GUESS is the stems are fragile, especially the runner stems.

On the "zombie berries" .... could have been from lack of water, but as far as I know, my SIPs never went dry. Don't think is was from lack of food either. I had too much new growth going on. Next most likely culprit would be soil temp, I guess.

Overall, the Albions were not the perpetual stream of strawberries I was hoping for, but they were not a failure either. Will be replanting some next year. Will probably be looking at another day neutral strain as well.

Deer liked the the Unknowns I had and the Japanese beetles stayed way from them. Conversely, the deer left the Albions alone, but I had Japanese beetles problems I could not devote enough time to all the time. The beetle problem was not just placement, but the deer could have given up on the strawberries before they got to the Albions, The last SIP of the Unknowns before the Albions was barely touched by the deer.
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

Have another round of blossoms on the Albions which surprised me. With less heat and me paying more attention to refilling the SIPs, they may turn into something.
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

Round 2 of the Albions are now prodcuing berries.... sort of makes me laugh.

Albions put out very few runners and they were hard to get to take roots in little pots. Did manage to get some though and transplanted them into 2 liters SIPs. Now they are growing berries and still pushing a few blossoms.

Foliage on the plants looks a bit big for 2 litter SIPs, and I am sure they will eventually get root bound, but it is clear that you could start with bare root plants and get at least one round of berries from healthy in 2 liter SIPs. This might be a way of speeding things up in the spring with new bare root plants.
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

I tried to keep some kind of running update on this because it was the kind of thing I would have like to have found BEFORE I started the project...

End Result : Deer-vastaion.

Pretty much no significant harvest after the first early summer flush.

Things I am sure of:
  • Deer fence will be manditory for next year.
  • Japanese Beetle defense with be needed next year.
  • 6 plants isn't too crouded for containers I built.
  • The fertilizer strip, mix etc for the SIP's worked out well, to the point that it allow the plants to regrow after losing all their leaves several times. They Rebounded well enough to push both some blossoms and runner during each regrowth period.
Things I am not so sure of:
  • Screening the containers from direct sunlight may help out with the mid season halting I saw. Am assuming the soil temps became too high for the plants to be comfortable productive. This may also help out with decreasing the amount of zombie strawberries I ended up with on the albions mid season
  • Not sure if albions were the right choice for my location. The berries were good though, firm, solid and not sickly sweet. (I don't really like strawberries)
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applestar
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

Hmm... deer is one I don't have to worry about, so I didn't know that. Useful to know!
I hope you keep up with the progress. It will be interesting to find out what happens when you keep out the deer. I'm almost wondering if they would grow too much....?

I just saw a craigslist ad for used hoophouse hoops 14'wide x 7.5'high in ground, with 2 ground stakes per hoop, set for $15, free delivery for 50 hoop sets. Most of the time, this sort of ad wants you to take $1000 worth. Unusual to see the hoops sold individually within my budget.

I would only need/have room for 4 hoops if I were to get them... I really wanted to think about getting them, but I don't think any of the family vehicles can carry them. I always think I could carry things like that if I had a horse trailer... haha.

I could see using them as hoophouse/mostly passive greenhouse/coldframe/and netted bird excluder for the berries in the summer.
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

Home depot flat bed trucks.... $20 an hour + fuel and no mileage charge. Buy a 8' 2x4 and tell them it won't fit in your prius. Return the 2x4 after you drop off the truck.
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applestar
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

Ooh gonna keep that in mind 8)
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Re: 48 Strawberries in 8 SIPs

You don't have to buy anything to rent a truck. However, if you want it on a weekend, you may have to reserve it.
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