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Strawberry Plants - NE

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Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  lcorm on 4/18/2012, 11:28 am

This is my 2nd year of SFG and I'd like to put strawberry plants in my garden. I bought 3 plants, can I put all 3 in 1 square? any help would be appreciated!!!

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  camprn on 4/19/2012, 7:48 pm

What variety did you buy and what does the box say about spacing?

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  llama momma on 4/20/2012, 8:10 am

This Spring I put in a new 4x4 box of strawberries and planted them according to the directions in Mel's book. There are 4 plants per square. This is the link from Mel:

http://www.squarefootgardening.org/#!__plants-n-herbs-part2/vstc20=strawberries

For more info you can look up strawberries in the white box above too, other people put them in the ground and in pyramid boxes.

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  givvmistamps on 4/20/2012, 1:54 pm

Since you only have 3 you could just get a little strawberry pot to put them in, and set it on your patio/deck, or out somewhere near the garden. If you get a clay pot, make sure it's watered regularly because a porous pot will dry much faster.

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  Unmutual on 4/20/2012, 3:53 pm

Yeah, I wouldn't go with 4 per square as gospel truth. Find out what the recommended spacing is for your cultivar and you may also want to find out about it's ability to spread while you're at it. I staggered mine to give them room to grow and to allow for new plants.

Of course if your strawberries aren't perennials, then giving them room to produce new plants won't really matter much.

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  lcorm on 4/21/2012, 11:40 am

Thank you all, I planted the 3 plants in one square, they are perennials and they are Quinalt strawberries. Thank you!!

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  llama momma on 4/21/2012, 4:21 pm

One of my new squares has 4 Quinalts, they are doing great. Others have told me strawberries love Mel's mix so I think we are in for a treat.

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  quiltbea on 4/21/2012, 6:50 pm

If you are putting 3 or 4 to a square (I think one is better), what happens with the new runners that will be the 'mother' plants the following year? A strawberry is at its peak its 3rd year and then fades and should be removed with one of its 'runner's taking its place the next year. The very first year of a strawberry gives poor results.

For the long term plan, I think it would be better to have a special box or space in the garden for your strawberries so they can replenish themselves every 3rd year, unless you intend to buy new plants every other year.

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  llama momma on 4/21/2012, 9:49 pm

Quiltbea I'm trying to understand this stuff as I go along...
Mel says to cut off all runners to keep the energy in the mother plant, then replace all of them every 3 to 4 years. I respect his concept but I'm still having a hard time with the idea of wasting runners and buying all new plants. I really don't want to purchase more. He cautions that people let too many runners root and it depletes the mother.

Currently have 4 plants per square:
I thought I could cut off and transplant runners immediately as they take root and place them in another box as future mothers. The set up is in a table top and it will be super easy to see and catch the rooted runners right away. If there are a couple boxes dedicated to runners then a steady supply of berries could occur year to year. Am I thinking right?

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Strawberries

Post  tomperrin on 4/21/2012, 11:07 pm

@llama momma wrote:Quiltbea I'm trying to understand this stuff as I go along...
Mel says to cut off all runners to keep the energy in the mother plant, then replace all of them every 3 to 4 years. I respect his concept but I'm still having a hard time with the idea of wasting runners and buying all new plants. I really don't want to purchase more. He cautions that people let too many runners root and it depletes the mother.

Currently have 4 plants per square:
I thought I could cut off and transplant runners immediately as they take root and place them in another box as future mothers. The set up is in a table top and it will be super easy to see and catch the rooted runners right away. If there are a couple boxes dedicated to runners then a steady supply of berries could occur year to year. Am I thinking right?

Last year my strawberries were pitiful. I planted them between the cabbage and the tomatoes in my first try at making Mel's Mix using complicated math, then let the runners run all over. Hardly worth my time. This year I took all the old plants and put them into a new square of their own with MM properly made, then bought a handful of new plants for the squares I have left over.

Well, I'm here to tell you that the old plants are thriving in the new MM, based on the size of the plants and the number of blossoms, whereas the new plants have not yet been established. These do not have the bushiness of last year's plants.

My take is that neglecting the strawberries and not cutting the runners really made a mess of things, but I did have a lot of plants for the new box this year. If my yield is good, I will make a new permanent square next year.

I'm planting 4 store bought or home grown strawberry plants per square foot.

Tom

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  Turan on 4/21/2012, 11:09 pm

It sounds good idea to me. A very orderly way to propagate a bed. I do something similar except for the orderly part, I let them all grow together thick.
I just dug up my 3 yo bed and took all the plants out. This is actually my closest to a straight ANSFG bed.... but the quack grass had managed to tunnel, pierce weed mat, and invade. So I dug out everything, screened for roots, added some bonemeal and kelp. The old mother plants had died and I threw out their roots. There are lots of young plants of various sizes. I planted all but the smallest. The bed has been producing nicely every year. I had not noticed any depletion but am curious how this year it will behave. These are Ft Laramie variety I think.

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  llama momma on 4/22/2012, 12:49 am

Ok strawberry experts please tell me if I am thinking straight as my last post was wrong... (I think!)

To endlessly propagate berries:
Bare root strawberry mothers are planted in 2012. Assume removal of runners, plants will be at peak production or 3 yrs old in 2015. In 2014 save rooted runners and transplant them, come 2016 they will be 2 yrs old. And the original 3 yr. old mothers will have been ripped out the end of 2015's production. Is this the formula for eternal strawberry production? :scratch: It's really a late night for me, hope this made sense...

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  AvaDGardner on 4/22/2012, 1:29 am

@llama momma wrote:Ok strawberry experts please tell me if I am thinking straight as my last post was wrong... (I think!)

To endlessly propagate berries:
Bare root strawberry mothers are planted in 2012. Assume removal of runners, plants will be at peak production or 3 yrs old in 2015. In 2014 save rooted runners and transplant them, come 2016 they will be 2 yrs old. And the original 3 yr. old mothers will have been ripped out the end of 2015's production. Is this the formula for eternal strawberry production? :scratch: It's really a late night for me, hope this made sense...

LM...think of a strawberry plant like a spider plant...always putting off babies on a strand that you can keep attached, or detach, and plant. It will in turn, put off babies on a strand. (And strawberries are perennials. They can survive all kinds of crazy conditions, including drying out and being very cold.)

The first year, IF YOU WANT BERRIES, is to remove all runners and dead material. It takes energy to grow and any attachment takes energy to maintain...even if part of the plant is dying, like leaves or old fruit (all plants do this). Remove the things that would sap the energy of the mother plant. Let it get firmly established in its spot. Let it flower, and develop berries. Enjoy!

Year 2 you can start working with the babies. You can plant them where they sprawl, or you can cut them and plant them where you want (you'll see tiny roots on them, just like spider plant babies). If you don't plant them, or they don't root where they land, they will still produce flower and fruit, just not much. The more you remove unneeded materials from the mother plant, the more it will produce berries.

Do the same year 3. Now you have the main plant, and gen 1 (year 2) plants, and gen 2 (year 3) babies. You will also have the 'children' of gen 1 (in year 3) plants... grandbabies of the original plant!

Year 4: if your mother plant dies, so be it. You've got gobs of replacements. If it continues, you continue.

PLANTING: recommended is 12" between each, rows 12" apart, in mounds. If you can put plastic on the mounds, and the plants into the dirt through the plastic, do it. Water the plants via the trough. this keeps water off the berries, which can speed spoilage.

(Because I LOVE berries, I staggered my plants 6" in two rows, like a zig-zag. They have their own rectangular box.)

If you DO NOT remove the babies, you'll soon discover the "MATTED ROW" 'system.' This is where you let the berries grow where they land, and soon they are very close together in deed. Lots of people grow them this way. Close quartes and few weeds. It will need to be thinned in a few years.

Someone gave me all my plants this year from thinning their matted rows (a small 2 yo bed). To help the plants get established, I separated them, and planted them individually in the zig-zag. I removed all the babies and dead leaves, and put the little ones in a strawberry pot on my patio. The parents have been in a few berries since March (big ones are coming now), and the babies are developing berries as we speak (growing conditions are not as sunny on my patio). I've lost one mother plant, and replaced it with a fruiting baby (that also had dead leaves!). My guess it is 2 years old. It's getting established now in the rectangle bed.

If you want pics, go to my thread...linked in the sig.

Hope that helps,

Ava

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  AvaDGardner on 4/22/2012, 12:58 pm

Here's one for you...a baby and a grandbaby.

Granted, they are dead, but you can see what is possible.

This is from a neighbor's strawberry tower this morning. It's a very cool high-rise.

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  llama momma on 4/22/2012, 1:29 pm

Great Ava! Now I've got it. Thank you!

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  NHGardener on 4/27/2012, 7:01 am

Ooh. A strawberry thread in my region. I should have looked here before I posted my question in the seeds part. But now I have a new question.

I just planted my SFG box with 64 strawberry plants, like Mel recommends - 4 per square. I imagine they won't do a lot this year, just grow.

So when they put out runners, where do I clip that runner - at the base of the mother plant? And then I can take that one root of the runner and transplant it somewhere else?

I'm seeing fields and fields of strawberry plants in the future, created from clipped runners - ha. (You can never have too many strawberries...)

The other question I posted elsewhere, but that's that it's getting into the 20s the next few nights and I'm afraid for my new strawberry transplants. Do I need to cover them? I'm surprised they don't mention that on Johnnys Seeds site, which is where I got mine - sparkles.

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  walshevak on 4/27/2012, 2:13 pm

I have 1st year strawberries and have been clipping the runners and taking off the blooms. I'll continue both for the June bearers but will start letting the everbearing blossom and bear a late crop. My question is, will the clipped runners root in a nursery bed if clipped from the mother plant before rooting? My tad of thrifty Scots just hates to waste them.

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  Turan on 4/27/2012, 5:04 pm

@walshevak wrote:I have 1st year strawberries and have been clipping the runners and taking off the blooms. I'll continue both for the June bearers but will start letting the everbearing blossom and bear a late crop. My question is, will the clipped runners root in a nursery bed if clipped from the mother plant before rooting? My tad of thrifty Scots just hates to waste them.

Kay
I thought if you clip the runners you don't need to clip the flowers. I thought that was the point of clipping runners the first year.

No reason not to try rooting them. Make sure the medium you root them in stays uniformly damp.
Good luck!

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  AvaDGardner on 5/1/2012, 11:15 pm

@ NHG...if a plant will support with vital plant energy any living thing on it (even if is dying), then where would you want to remove growth? As close to the mother crown as possible.

I don't get wiggy about it...I just take the stem in hand, reach in towards the center of the plant and pinch it off with a slight twist (just my thumb & forefinger). Runners, dead leaves, ripe berries, roly eaten berries...what ever.


@Kay, I agree...if you have a runner, plant it! If it doesn't take, you haven't lost anything.

Not even seeds. Razz

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  GWN on 5/1/2012, 11:42 pm

avaDgardener
I love your posts, you always take a subject and bring it down to common sense. Lets face it this berry stuff is complicated. June bearing, fall bearing, overbearing day neutral etc.
I am trying to sort out strawberries and raspberries and my head feels like it is spinning after awhile.

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  GWN on 5/1/2012, 11:44 pm

DID I actually say OVERBEARING or was that a Freudian typo error blush

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"

Post  AvaDGardner on 5/2/2012, 12:39 am

@GWN wrote:DID I actually say OVERBEARING or was that a Freudian typo error



You always crack me up!

Get this..."On its side, Antilla is a medium-cycle strawberry, "with very good quality and production and a very little deformation,"

Does that mean you lay it over? Not dangle it by the stem? What's a medium cycle? The little deformation...that I understand! I get some really weird shaped Sequoias.

I'm sure they mean it as a possessive...as in compared to the other berry introduce in Spain in 2010. http://www.freshplaza.com/news_detail.asp?id=72146#SlideFrame_1

I read somewhere that Driscoll has their own berry. I buy theirs whenever I need to buy berries. I wish I could grow their 'regular' cultivar! How do they produce them year round? Big, perfect shape, delicous flavor.

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  GWN on 5/2/2012, 12:46 am

How do they produce them year round? Big, perfect shape, delicous flavor.
All I can say is that ANYTHING that is better than the grocery store should be great.
I bought a few bundles of store strawberries the other day and they were big and very colourful. however they really lacked any flavour.
So I am really looking forward to my own, and they are all "gifts" I have been given, OR "pilfered" from my mothers garden, and so I have NO idea as to their names..... basically ...?? heinz 57s

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

Post  GWN on 5/2/2012, 12:58 am

Get this..."On its side, Antilla is a medium-cycle strawberry, "with very good quality and production and a very little deformation,"
on its side.... go figure... what the heck does that mean?

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Re: Strawberry Plants - NE

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