Ecotai
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Growing Organic Strawberries

Hi,
I am growing organic strawberries for the first time, they started OK, but now there looking rather abused as they have had slugs attack them and ants I got rid of the ants by spraying peppermint oil and it worked quite well! but as for the slugs the story isn't quite so good. The strawberries started to grow and I have managed to eat about 3 but there were around 15-20 that I can count which were either eaten by birds (I forgot to say about those) or the slugs! and the ones that weren't picked hardly grew for some reason they just withered or they looked as if the juices had been sucked out of them, all dry and later died off, now none are growing, can anyone help me with a few tips?
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ACW
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Location: London

Re: Growing Organic Strawberries

Looks like need more water,ants don't worry me ,slugs are a major problem with my fruit,encourage wild birds ,,toads and hedgehogs to deal with them .
One tip to keep slugs at bay from fruit is water after dawn,as they don't like day light and o need some moisture to travel from their hiding places.
A gardener with a small shady back garden and a balcony with containers ,
biggest problem not enough sunshine !

JONA
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Re: Growing Organic Strawberries

Hi ACW,
You don't appear to have any straw under your plants.
Strawberries are aptly named as straw will greatly reduce the amount of slugs and snails attacking your plants. Straw up just after first flowers have pollinated and it does two jobs. It keeps the berries off the ground and it protects.
Those berries do look as if they have been grazed by something. Any sign of red spider causing some webbing on your plants anywhere?
What variety?
John

Ecotai
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Re: Growing Organic Strawberries

Hi John

no there's no webbing or spiders and they are the symphony variety! I will try the straw hopefully this helps thanks for taking the time cheers!

Ecotai
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Re: Growing Organic Strawberries

as for the watering i will try doing this at dawn and the birds are also a bit of a problem caught many birds pecking away at other strawberry plants! I will try to encourage toads & hedgehogs!

JONA
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Re: Growing Organic Strawberries

Nice variety but it is prone to Grey Mould and Mildew.
I would suggest that you give your plants a couple of sprays of something like Urea or liquid seaweed. Thus will give the plants a good nitrogen boost to strengthen up the plants against infection.
John

ACW
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Re: Growing Organic Strawberries

True about the straw, work and a wall collapsing onto my prime strawberry bed with a council who cant get there act together to repair this have meant a minimal crop this year ,and not worth getting a bale of straw in for my tiny patch.
The wall collapsed onto the bed in October ,reported almost immediately ,by phone and email ,shifted from department to department ,then no response ,contact the local councilor ,a flurry of contact then nothing ,re contact the councillor and finally ther were two surveyors looking at the problem ,who say some time in the autumn before they can sort out who will do the job and gain access to adjoining gardens .
Apologies for the little rant ,just rather frustrated ,and wishing I was younger and stronger and able to shift the large Lumps of brick work now burying the patch that gets the most sun !
A gardener with a small shady back garden and a balcony with containers ,
biggest problem not enough sunshine !

Ecotai
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Re: Growing Organic Strawberries

ACW if i was close i would come round and help you but im down in Southampton! good luck with it tho!!

ACW
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Location: London

Re: Growing Organic Strawberries

Oh come on up
theres some strawberry runners potted up I would swap!
A gardener with a small shady back garden and a balcony with containers ,
biggest problem not enough sunshine !

Ecotai
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Re: Growing Organic Strawberries

i have quite a few runners growing myself will they be ok in a pot until next year? and if my next festival is near the london area i will let you know!

imafan26
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Re: Growing Organic Strawberries

You are trying to grow strawberries organically in pots. If you have compost in the pot that exceeds 20% you may have problems with the soil being too wet if watering is not managed well. Strawberries die a fungal death, it is what they do. They like compost but need a very well drained and fertile soil. In pots, that means that they will have to be repotted frequently to control the fungus in the soil and that the water in the pots are managed well. I

Slugs, snails, rats, and birds are always problems with strawberries. I keep mine in baskets so I can move them around to get the best light but also to keep the snails and slugs away from them. In summer it is too hot for them to be in full sun so I move them to partial shade but in the cooler months they are fine in full sun. I have to repot them every six months or so because of the runners but also to make sure the roots are o.k.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Nathan Reed
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Re: Growing Organic Strawberries

JONA wrote: Strawberries are aptly named as straw will greatly reduce the amount of slugs and snails attacking your plants...
Oh! This is great! It seems obvious now but I didn't know that. I just transplanted a bunch of strawberry plants into a raised bed, I guess I should put some straw in there (they are all White Soul alpine type strawberries). I'm glad I came across this, thanks! :D
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JONA
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Re: Growing Organic Strawberries

Nathan Reed wrote:
JONA wrote: Strawberries are aptly named as straw will greatly reduce the amount of slugs and snails attacking your plants...
Oh! This is great! It seems obvious now but I didn't know that. I just transplanted a bunch of strawberry plants into a raised bed, I guess I should put some straw in there (they are all White Soul alpine type strawberries). I'm glad I came across this, thanks! :D
Hi Nathan.
Re Strawing.
You straw up strawberries just after flowering ....not before.
If you straw up too early and you get cold mornings...then the straw can insolate the flowers from the warmth of the soil and make them susceptible to frost damage.
So the straw is applied under the trusses as they develope. Once the plants have finished cropping its not a bad idea to remove it as you trim the plants ready for winter as the rotting straw can cause desease spread in the crown of the plants.
John

imafan26
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Re: Growing Organic Strawberries

Also slugs and snails like to hide under mulch and straw so you need to sluggo regularly. If you can get the snails and slugs out of the bed you can put a copper band around the bed to keep more from walking in.

I usually only had to cover the berries in the ground in summer. I used dried grass mulch as I have to go to the other side of the island to get a bale of straw and I had a Honda sedan.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Nathan Reed
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Location: Little Rock, Arkansas (Zone 7b)

Re: Growing Organic Strawberries

JONA wrote: Hi Nathan.
Re Strawing.
You straw up strawberries just after flowering ....
Oh, thank you JONA! This is only my first year gardening so I have much to learn :()

These strawberries were all started this year, and I started seeing flowers on them months ago. I was pinching them off at first because I read it's good to do that so the plants develop their roots. But then I just let them go. They keep trying to make a fruit but they don't get big at all before shriveling up :(

I'm hoping they'll fair better in this big bed, I felt like they were cramped in the containers. That's all I really know, but also it should be awhile before mornings are all that cold here, I'm looking at the weather history and the last few years the lows have stayed pretty well in the 50s until it's close to November. I'm guessing we won't see even a "light frost" until mid-November or so, just based on the history.

Still, do you think it's too late to add straw this year?
imafan26 wrote:Also slugs and snails like to hide under mulch and straw so you need to sluggo regularly...
Thanks! I'm looking into the Sluggo now and the copper band. I think I like the copper band idea better since it doesn't kill them. I don't like to kill anything if I can avoid it :shock:

JONA
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Re: Growing Organic Strawberries

Yes..you can still straw up all the time there are berries to protect.
Once Autumn comes you can clean up the patch of dead leaves and the summer Strawing and remove the large old tired leaves.ready for the winter months.
Strawberries are usually replaced every five years or so...either by producing runners off your own plants or buying new plants.
John

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