How to care for strawberry plants


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Hi all. I have a half a dozen strawberry plants and there are berries growing on them now. They are very small and green but they are there nonetheless. I'm curious how I should tend to the plants. When I water them, the leaves just lay there in the water. Do these creep or should I tie these off somehow? I've never tried strawberries before. I also planted blackberries and raspberries.

I also noticed little holes in the leaves so there are critters going after the plants. What can I do about them?

Thanks!

Mike
 
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I don't know much about growing strawberries but I do know a little about insects and plant pests. Pictures are essential to diagnose who or what is damaging your plants.
 
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Sorry for the lack of a photo. I took several last night on my phone and then they got lost in cyberspace when I emailed them to myself. LOL I'll try again later today when I get home.
 
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Sorry for the lack of a photo. I took several last night on my phone and then they got lost in cyberspace when I emailed them to myself. LOL I'll try again later today when I get home.
just make sure they are some close ups
 
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The convention wisdom is to plant them ~18" apart in matted rows and discard last year's mothers each spring. They are biennials, but will fool you into believing they can last longer. Don't be fooled! They will put out more daughter plants than you need. If not this year, PDQ. The matted row needs to be narrow enough for you to pick from both sides without stepping into it. Choose a space for your patch, -a row, then divide the space into your six plants and center them equally in the patch. It might look silly to you, but do it. They produce very little the first year, are plentiful the second year, and take up space from then on.

After disappointing production this year, your six plants will put out some runners. Make "U" shaped anchors out of something like copper wire. They should be 2 to 3" long; long enough to hold a runner in-place. The runners (stolons) will go out in several directions. You need to pin them to the ground spaced where you want them. After that daughter puts down roots another will spring from her, ad infinitum. By the time there are 3 or so daughters in a row, mother will have put out others. The six plants this year will have 7,493 daughter plants by September. If that's more than you wanted, too bad. If you like to plan your garden, you should make a decision on how many plants you want, the exact location where these prospective plants should be planted, guide the daughters to these locations, and stop the madness when the goal is reached. As each is firmly rooted, cut the umbilical. Mom won't take the hint. Be persistent. No plants should enter winter with stolons still attached. Lastly for the year: save your Popsicle sticks for use as markers for Mother plants. As soon as the productive season is over (in 2020), you will reach in and rip the six 2nd year plants out and throw them away. If the stolons are still connected, it's a big deal because of entanglements.

Each spring, mark each plant with Popsicle sticks which will be 2nd year, high production plants. Repeat, ad infinitum. If you didn't buy a good named variety, you will understand why that's a good idea and worth the expense.
 
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Hi all. I have a half a dozen strawberry plants and there are berries growing on them now. They are very small and green but they are there nonetheless. I'm curious how I should tend to the plants. When I water them, the leaves just lay there in the water. Do these creep or should I tie these off somehow? I've never tried strawberries before. I also planted blackberries and raspberries.

I also noticed little holes in the leaves so there are critters going after the plants. What can I do about them?

Thanks!

Mike
First u need mulching under strawberry plants. Fruit not touch the soil directly.
Second. U should planted on farrow
 
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The holes probably are critters eating them. The the whole plant doesn't seem impacted you can just leave it alone. If you have slugs try laying down some Sluggo (iron phosphate) or Deadline (metaldehyde-VERY TOXIC to pets and other critters that eat it). If you have insects you could try some general purpose insecticides like neem oil, spinosad, or pyrethrins. Just please don't spray those when honey bees are around because these insecticides will kill the honeybees as well.

Treeguy is right about the runners. Strawberries (especially the typical June bearing type) will toss out zillions of runners. This is both a blessing and a curse. It gets you lots of new strawberry plants for free. But the runners will quickly cause the strawberries to get too thick and requires you to remove plants to restore proper spacing. You could put the excess plants that you remove into pots or somewhere else. You can quickly go from a couple of plants to fifty plants in the same year.

There is also a process called "renovation" with strawberries. You probably don't need to do it the first year. But afterwards you want to cut everything off of the plant that is more than an inch or two above the crown. Often done with a lawnmower. It sounds insane but if the plants are healthy they will have all summer to grow new leaves before they shut down for winter. My strawberries are in their second year and I am going to renovate them with a weed whacker once they are done producing fruit.

And definitely mulch. As was said: You don't want the fruit touching the soil. Also, mulch helps retain moisture.

One last caveat: There are roughly three "types" of strawberries: June bearing, everbearing, and day neutral. June bearing (which is the most common) put out lots of runners and bear all their fruit in the early summer. Everbearing have two crops: One in the early summer and one in the late summer. Day neutrals bear continuously from late spring until winter. If your plant cultivar wasn't specified it is probably a June bearing type.
 
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I have June bearing strawberries and also alpine strawberries. My June strawberries have thrown out their runners for the year and I will be nurturing those for next year's harvest. My alpine strawberries I give no attention to whatsoever and have yet to be a year without them.

Love freshly picked strawberries!
 
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I got a packet of alpine strawberry seed. I figured it would need stratification so I just dumped the seed in a four inch pot and let it go. To my amazement I got pretty good germination. Now I have a bunch of (very, very tiny) alpine strawberry plants. I'll need to separate them and grow them out in a cell tray or something. Once they've gotten bigger I have to find some place to put them. I've read that the amount of fruit you get off of alpine strawberries is miniscule.

How drought tolerant are they? I'd like to plant them somewhere and kind of forget about them. If they need summer irrigation that could be a pain.

By far the biggest problem I have had with strawberries is slugs. They have devoured the majority of my strawberries. I tried beer traps, Sluggo by the truckload, copper tape, and diatomaceous earth. Nothing stopped them. We recently had a heat wave and I put out Deadline bait (metaldehyde) and the pressure seems to have abated. I don't know whether it's the heat or the metaldehyde. I know the stuff is toxic to mammals so I didn't want to use it. But I was getting desperate. I would guess alpine strawberries would be equally delicious to slugs.
 

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