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Strawberries not producing

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Strawberries not producing

Post  Cincinnati on 4/23/2012, 6:38 am

Two years ago was my first attempt to grow strawberries. I had 6 plants in an earthbox and I got severals bowls of berries throughout the spring.

Last year I transplanted 52 plants (some two years old, some new runners — from a friend's garden) into a traditional row garden and got 1 berry. I attributed the failure to his care of the plants. I learned he over-fertilized them. I dug them up and put them in the compost pile,

This year I put 96 plants in a SQFT garden. I have dozens of blooms, but we have harvested maybe 12 berries. Only 6 were edible. The loss was due to not putting down a mulch or week blocker cloth so the fruit doesn't contact MM. They are rotting b/c I believe the MM gets into the little nooks and crannies and holds moisture.

Yesterday I noticed I'm getting a second wave of blossoms. Is there something I may be doing wrong or can do to salvage a crop out of the remaining season. I have quite a bit invested in these plants and the SQFT boxes I built to grow them.

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Re: Strawberries not producing

Post  camprn on 4/23/2012, 6:52 am

Strawberries are very prone to fungus, I don't know it that is one of the problems. The other thing is that strawberries need pollination help. Are you seeing bees?

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Re: Strawberries not producing

Post  llama momma on 4/23/2012, 7:00 am

@Cincinnati wrote:
The loss was due to not putting down a mulch or week blocker cloth so the fruit doesn't contact MM. They are rotting b/c I believe the MM gets into the little nooks and crannies and holds moisture.

So sorry for your loss of fruit. Wish I could help you but I'm new with berry starts this Spring. I'm very interested to see what others say but agree it's from lack of mulch/weed blocker.

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Re: Strawberries not producing

Post  Cincinnati on 4/23/2012, 8:20 am

I'm seeing a few bees and butterflies. I put netting over them to keep the birds from eating them. It's about 1/2 in square mesh. I can't imaging the bees would stay out too. I have lemon, lime, grapefruit plus tomatoes, and peppers nearby. They are all bearing fruit but are not under the net.

I see no signs of fungus. It appears to me the fruit is turning dark around the MM specks that are embedding in the unripened berry and rotting from there.

Someone who grew up in England in the post WWII era said he remembered strawberries were not allowed to produce year 1 and then year 2 would be a bumper crop. I see strawberry fields here, that I know produce year 1. The farmers can't afford to tie up their fields for two years.

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Re: Strawberries not producing

Post  walshevak on 4/23/2012, 8:27 am

I planted strawberries for the first time this year too. I'm still at the removing all blossoms and runners stage. I put tulle over the plants to prevent bug damage since I don't want pollination this year. However, should I also mulch under the leaves with straw at this time? They are 1/2 June bearing and 1/2 Everbearing. I understand I can allow a few berries on the Everbearing later in the season.



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Re: Strawberries not producing

Post  furryfeathers on 4/23/2012, 9:10 am

OK, Now I am worried...

I grew everbearing strawberries for several years in a tractor tire with topsoil and peat mixed.
We ate a few berries every day for months!

This year, we built a new above ground box, which I filled with my MM yesterday.
I transplanted the surviving strawberries (the fire ants and slugs had taken over the tire) and added a few more plants.
Was looking forward to a big harvest this year, but I didn't use any mulch or cloth, since I hadn't with my tire garden.
Is this something I need to do?

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Re: Strawberries not producing

Post  Unmutual on 4/23/2012, 10:05 am

All I can comment on this being my first year with strawberries also, is that I used pine bark mulch and my strawberry plants are doing wonderfully. The insects might be eating more than I am, but I'm not preventing them from running or fruiting this year...I want my strawberries now.

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Re: Strawberries not producing

Post  littlejo on 4/23/2012, 10:59 am

I absolutely don't pull off the blooms. I spoke to one of the strawberry farmers and they hadn't heard of it.

Mine are doing great. We've been eating fresh and have over 2 qts in the freezer ready to make jam later.

Slugs and sow bugs have been getting some of mine. The slugs, very tiny ones, less than 1/8 inch long, come along and make a small divet in the berry, then the sow bugs come along, and will eat out the hole that the slug made. Sow bugs will not eat a berry that is perfect.

Pine straw makes a good mulch. Fall mulch for winter cover should be put over the top of the plants to protect for winter, but should be removed very early in the spring so the plants can grow and bloom, they can stand spring frosts and snow. Year round mulch should be put around the plants on the ground, to keep the berries off the ground. They are prone to rot if the soil is damp.

I use MM and have found no problem with using it. I put some de earth around the plants for the bugs/slugs, but am a little bit worried about pollination, if the bees will be hurt with the de. I tried to get it on the dirt and put the mulch over the top.

Any other hints to get rid of bugs? I have some beer ready to put out, but, it has been raining almost every day, so?

Jo

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Re: Strawberries not producing

Post  Cincinnati on 4/23/2012, 1:05 pm

@littlejo wrote:...
Any other hints to get rid of bugs? I have some beer ready to put out, but, it has been raining almost every day, so?

Jo

I use Sluggo on the ground outside the raised beds.

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Re: Strawberries not producing

Post  littlesapphire on 4/23/2012, 1:11 pm

I had strawberries in MM one year and got a good crop. The next year I moved the berries to their own box with top soil, and they did just fine there too. I used straw as a mulch and really had no problems. The only issues I had were with ants attacking the berries before I could get to them.

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