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strawberries SFG

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strawberries SFG

Post  GWN on 3/5/2012, 3:58 pm

I would like to grow strawberries in my SFG this year, I have many many plants from last year.
I see that you can grow 4 per square foot.
Any tips of growing them? Would you suggest straw between plants. I have just never done them very well.

thanx
janet
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Re: strawberries SFG

Post  lisaphoto on 3/5/2012, 4:32 pm

Have you seen the strawberry pyramids that some of the people on here have built. You can get a lot more in there than just a flat bed. I really want to build one.
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Re: strawberries SFG

Post  quiltbea on 3/5/2012, 4:55 pm

I've never tried the pyramid because strawberries don't produce many fruits until their second year and those small holes don't look big enough to hold a full-grown strawberry plant (2nd year). In fact, the 1st year you should pull off any new blossoms so the energy can go into building its root system.

I do mine in a berm (long raised bed without lumber) but a few tips would be, tuck straw around them for a mulch which keeps the berries off the soil which can cause them to rot. Also, in the winter, you want to cover the bed with straw about 6" deep. They'll sleep under that straw and any snow covering and do just fine by spring. Every 3rd year you need to dig out the old 'mother' plant and allow her 'daughters' to take over production in her place. The 'daughters' are runners that have grown out from their 'mother' plant. You never have to buy new plants again. That bed will give you plenty of 'daughters'. In fact, this year when I thin out my bed, my extra runners are going around the dwarf fruit trees.



Above: On 6/7/11 when blossoms were just starting. When the little fruits begin growing, you need to cover them with netting or light row cover against the grasshoppers and the birds. In one morning the birds practically cleaned out my whole 16' long bed in 2010, the same day I bought the row cover, but too late.

I know its been done successfully in a SFG but I want lots more than a 4 x 4 will provide, hence my berm. I'm sure fellow growers will chime in with more info for you.
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Re: strawberries SFG

Post  GWN on 3/5/2012, 5:11 pm

thanks so much quiltbea
Your strawberry "berm" appears to be the one I have been trying for for years. (I have always moved too soon)
It seems as though I might have done the best thing last year.
I had an 11x3 foot raised bed that I filled with strawberries and I got SOOOO many runners, PLUS I did not keep up on the weeding.
SO I dug up the whole thing last fall and saved all the runners in a compost pile (overwinter)
I am trying to remember whether I actually dug up the mother plants and replanted them, OR whether I left the mother plants.
I can see that leaving the main plants to establish roots is what it takes to really get them producing.
I did cover them all up with straw in the fall though.
I am just hoping for tons of strawberries this year.

Your picture is great, thanks
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Re: strawberries SFG

Post  Icemaiden on 7/23/2012, 8:06 am

My strawberries are four to a square - in theory at least. I have about 12 sq feet of them, some are established and some are plants from last year's runners. We have had about 200g/day for the last month. I don't bother with straw as the plants are so close together. Any berries which are hitting the ground I just try and hook the branch over a leaf to give it some support.
We have cold winters here and I think it works best to leave the plants uncovered until the new year (kills off the bugs I think) then cover them with a sort of coldframe top with wooden sides and plastic top. That seems to bring the crop forward about two weeks. Though the plants will survive without it they don't crop so well. It means watering a few times in very early summer, then when there is no risk of frost you can take it away.

(I hope that by now you have had a brilliant strawberry crop!)

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Re: strawberries SFG

Post  HillbillyBob on 3/15/2013, 11:50 am

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Re: strawberries SFG

Post  H_TX_2 on 3/15/2013, 12:15 pm

I like that pyramid. You could build that to fit right over the top of an existing SFG box.
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Re: strawberries SFG

Post  HillbillyBob on 3/15/2013, 12:51 pm

yep I built one a couple of days ago,if you add 16" to the base & each end rail you'll have a SF Strawberry garden,them add a few small rails for your grid Shocked I'm working up another just a little bigger cheers sunny


Last edited by HillbillyBob on 3/15/2013, 12:51 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fat fingers)
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Re: strawberries SFG

Post  NightMist on 3/15/2013, 1:47 pm

When we built our pyramid we devoted 6 square feet to it. We built the 6 foot base, set a four foot tier inside it, and a 2 foot tier inside that. We didn't do anything fancy with it, just built a ziggurat framed in wood and built up the center with sand and dirt as we placed the tiers, and filled the growing areas with compost. I based the thing on those ones you see in the nursery catalogs. Then we threw 50 Ozark Beauties into it and we have had strawberries ever since.
The only problems I have ever had with it are theft, and an errant grapevine that keeps trying to grow in there.
Last spring somebody came into my yard and stole about two feet of plants, dirt and all.
I am to the point with the grape where I am tempted to guy a line from the pyramid to the house and train the stupid thing since it just keeps coming back!
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Re: strawberries SFG

Post  walshevak on 3/15/2013, 3:21 pm

I am to the point with the grape where I am tempted to guy a line from the pyramid to the house and train the stupid thing since it just keeps coming back!

I love that idea. Even if it is a wild grape and a bit tart for just eating, you can have some awesome jam/jelly.

Kay

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Re: strawberries SFG

Post  quiltbea on 3/15/2013, 3:35 pm

Point of interest: Its the 3rd year when the Mother gives her best and most berries. Its downhill after that so its best to remove the Mother after that harvest and allow a 2-yr old runner to be Mother next year.
Its a matter of cutting out the old plants and letting the new ones take their place for continuous year after year berries.
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Re: strawberries SFG

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/29/2017, 8:16 pm

I am getting ready to build my 3x7 SFG for strawberries:  Here is a State specific guide for folks if you are thinking about putting in some berries!

http://strawberryplants.org/2010/10/strawberry-varieties-by-state/

Also check your local extension agency, they have tons of info.  I want a variety, day neutral, June bearing and early!
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