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Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:07 am
Location: South Chicago Suburbs

What did I do wrong with my strawberries? :(

While out buying plants earlier in the season, I picked up a small strawberry plant on a whim and stuck it in the ground, hoping for a few berries at some point in the summer. I do not have much experience with growing edibles, but I figured strawberries couldn't be that hard!

The kind I got was Sequoia, and while the starter was small, it was very healthy, transplanted well and flourished. I'm just south of Chicago (Growing area 5), and even though we had a very chilly spring, the plant filled out nicely in it's planter, and I just kept waiting for it to bloom and fruit. It never did though. :(

Recently the weather finally shot up into "Hey it's summer now, enjoy your 95+ temps!" and for the past week the plant has been sending out runners, but still no berries or blooms, so I can only assume that it's not going to produce this season. So, what did I do wrong? The plant was well fertilized and watered weekly during cooler temps, though I've been watering the planter 2-3 times since the heat started in, and drainage was fine as well. It's had plenty of room - I started it on the end of a 1.5x3.5 rectangular box with some small coleus on the other end just to take up the extra space.

So, help? What did I do wrong, and how should I go about fixing it for next season?

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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I only did a cursory search, but it looks like Sequoia is a June bearer. That means it only flowers and bears fruit during a small window of time -- a couple of weeks -- in late spring/early summer. So let your plant make runners -- 4 or 5 I think -- and spread, and you will have many berries to pick in spring. 8)

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Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:07 am
Location: South Chicago Suburbs

Do I cut the excess runners where they are growing off? There are about 7 or 8 already.

Also, once the new nodes root, so I cut them from the main plant do you know?

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Greener Thumb
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Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:40 am
Location: N. California

root the runners in small pots( just put a small pot under then so they touch the soil, and keep it moist) they will root, then you can cut them off. next year you will have more strawberries to eat. and you turned one plant into 8 or 9.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

There is a possibility that the original plant was immature and didn't set fruit this year. Next year you should be rewarded for your effort. Runners drain a plant of energy, so only allow them to form new plants when you want to renew your bed or add additional plants. Also, if runners are allowed to indiscriminately root, your bed will soon be over crowded and very difficult to manage.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.

Green Thumb
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Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:19 pm
Location: Pacific NW

One other though on the subject. We planted strawberries where the previous owners had had a burnt out, neglected lawn. After letting die back and tilling up that is. The first two years, runners, runners, runners. The neighbor frinally showed me the used bag of lawn fertilzer the old owners had used to 10 years, only nitrogen and nothing else. He said they burnt the lawn out with too much fertilizer the year they sold the property. So, if you planted them in a soil very rich in nitrogen you will get lots of runners.

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