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Question About Strawberries

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Question About Strawberries

Post  shargets healthy on 6/19/2017, 1:06 pm

Hi everyone,

I have strawberry plants growing in a box along the back of my house.  I have been growing them there for about 4 years now with no problems.  This year however, they all seem to have a whitish film on them.  Does anyone know what this is and are they still safe to eat?
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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  Judy McConnell on 6/19/2017, 1:11 pm

Sounds like a fungus.  
See: http://www.wikihow.com/Identify-and-Treat-Strawberry-Diseases
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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/19/2017, 2:11 pm

Shar,

Are these the original strawberry plants?  If so, four years generally is about their limit.

You probably need to replace them soon.  Many people cut and dig the "mother" runners (the ones that have started to root), then re-plant them. 

I pulled out my old strawberry bed this spring and am using the debris as a compost ingredient.
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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  Kelejan on 6/21/2017, 12:23 am

My first strawberry bed has not produced much this year and I know I should have cleaned it up. 

I do have another bed that is producing well and this is its second year.  So time to prepared another bed to replace the first one.

Mine are June  bearing.  What do you prefer, ever bearing or June  bearing?
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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/21/2017, 1:12 pm

Ideally, I'd have one bed each of June and everbearing strawberries.  That way, I'd have berries from June until post-frost.  (Boy, do strawberries taste great when lightly frosted!)

Kelejean, your two-year-olds should be good for another year, possibly two.
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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  trolleydriver on 6/21/2017, 1:15 pm

My everbearing strawberry bed has turned into a disaster. There is plenty of new growth and there are lots of flowers. However, every berry gets infected by fungus as it ripens. I expect the problem is grey mold fungus which has been exacerbated by the very wet Spring conditions.  

I'm going to thin out the bed (e.g., remove some foliage) to try to improve air circulation. But I expect the disease is in the plants and they will have to be destroyed.

I told Mrs TD at the beginning of the season that if the strawberries fail us this year then this 4x4 bed will be used for something else next year. Will I need to replace the MM before using the bed to grow other things?

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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/21/2017, 1:35 pm

Aw, TD...that is so sad. I'm still having a foggy cool wet spring here, altho the sun is trying to peek out today...FINALLY. Rolling Eyes

I don't know the answer to your question but I want to insert that my 5 yr old in ground strawberry bed has never had issues other than critters & bugs eating the berries. I use the BTE method, but instead of wood chips, I leave whatever pine needles & leaves fall on it every fall. The only thing I do is throw some compost atop the bed every spring and lay on some critter netting when the berries start to blush. Once I threw on some seaweed, probably early spring.

The new stronger plants pop up thru the mulch and grow, without any help from me, while the old tired plants must just die off I guess, but I've never looked under the mulch to see what's going on. This bed receives lots TLN - tender loving neglect - and it seems to be working fine so far.

Don't give up. Maybe you have a little corner in your yard where you could try again?
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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  trolleydriver on 6/21/2017, 1:59 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:Aw, TD...that is so sad.  I'm still having a foggy cool wet spring here, altho the sun is trying to peek out today...FINALLY.  Rolling Eyes

I don't know the answer to your question but I want to insert that my 5 yr old in ground strawberry bed has never had issues other than critters & bugs eating the berries.  I use the BTE method, but instead of wood chips, I leave whatever pine needles & leaves fall on it every fall.  The only thing I do is throw some compost atop the bed every spring and lay on some critter netting when the berries start to blush.  Once I threw on some seaweed, probably early spring.

The new stronger plants pop up thru the mulch and grow, without any help from me, while the old tired plants must just die off I guess, but I've never looked under the mulch to see what's going on.  This bed receives lots TLN - tender loving neglect - and it seems to be working fine so far.  

Don't give up.  Maybe you have a little corner in your yard where you could try again?
We used to grow strawberries quite well in our regular soil garden. Not sure why we are having trouble in the SFG raised bed.  I'm wondering if the plants we bought last year were already infected and that is what brought in the fungus problem. Mrs TD is not happy about this situation at all. Sadly strawberries are one of the few things she really likes from the garden (in addition to her raspberries, ground cherries and rhubarb that is). 

The following is a good video on how to deal with the mold:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjlA60HtNPo

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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  trolleydriver on 6/21/2017, 3:14 pm

I just took the snippers to the strawberry bed. I left very few plants and even those that are left I thinned out brutally. Most of the other plants have been chopped right down. Almost every bunch of strawberries had one or more fruit that showed signs of fungus. I'll drench the bed with a baking soda solution and see what happens. But it looks to me like it is finished.  Sad

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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/21/2017, 3:38 pm

Good job! I'm rootin' for ya.

I can't listen to the vid while at work. If you have to pull out all the plants, can you soak the MM with the solution to save the MM?
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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  trolleydriver on 6/21/2017, 3:49 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:Good job!  I'm rootin' for ya.

I can't listen to the vid while at work.  If you have to pull out all the plants, can you soak the MM with the solution to save the MM?  
I'm really hoping I can save the MM for future use. If I can't save the strawberry plants then I will try growing something else in that SFG bed later this summer or next year. I'm leaning toward cut flowers as a possibility but that may have to wait until next year.  I'll try strawberries again but not in the SFG; they will go into a regular soil bed. BTW I am definitely NOT blaming SFG for what has happened to the strawberries.

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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  Mimi2 on 6/21/2017, 10:45 pm

Sorry to hear about your bad luck with the strawberries TD. It must have been the rainy weather that took its toll. Don't give up though. It really does sound like you somehow got infected plants...and the fungus spread. 

This is the third year my kids grow strawberries in the SFGs and their plants are doing fine. The same goes for the plants I have in my front yard SFG. Some of the plants in our back yard did have berries that shrivelled up and died though. I tend to have similar plants growing in several locations- some of which work out...

The strawberries are case in point for this.
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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  trolleydriver on 6/22/2017, 7:22 am

Mimi2 wrote:Sorry to hear about your bad luck with the strawberries TD. It must have been the rainy weather that took its toll. Don't give up though. It really does sound like you somehow got infected plants...and the fungus spread. 

This is the third year my kids grow strawberries in the SFGs and their plants are doing fine. The same goes for the plants I have in my front yard SFG. Some of the plants in our back yard did have berries that shrivelled up and died though. I tend to have similar plants growing in several locations- some of which work out...

The strawberries are case in point for this.
Mimi ... are you growing everbearing or June/July bearing strawberry plants? How many per square?  I have one everbearing plant per square in my 4x4 SFG bed and they were getting very crowded.

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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/22/2017, 8:24 pm

I am planning a 3x7 for berries....1/3 June bearing, 1/3 all year, and 1/3 day neutral.  I have no idea what I am doing, I just love strawberries.

Any input for variety is appreciated!
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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/22/2017, 9:59 pm

Scorpio,

Grab yourself a good catalog--or three!  The best ones feature hardiness, flavor, best uses, etc.
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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  AtlantaMarie on 6/23/2017, 7:37 am

There is also a website dedicated to strawberries. All sorts of interesting information, including what grows best in each state.

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

You might also talk to your local Extension Agent.
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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  Kelejan on 6/24/2017, 12:35 am

Some of my early strawberries were not very nice at all due to what seemed the eternal wet weather and lack of sunshine we have had here in the Interior of British Columbia.

Now the weather has warmed up it seemed that in two days my second year  bed is doing very well, producing two pounds of large, juicy berries with lots more to come.

I find it amazing that from small green berries the one at the top of the clusters grows huge in a day or so.  No doubt that tomorrow I will have a similar yield each day so long as it is warm and dry and all the berries have grown up.

My first bed has had its day with only a few berries priduced this season.  I will make a new bed and this time I am going to try a two-foot wide one as I find it so hard to reach into the midst of a 4 x 4.
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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/24/2017, 7:32 pm

Thanks for the link, AM!

KJ, had no idea they came on so fast!  I cannot wait to do a bed of my own!  I hear you about the depth of beds....just spent hours in a 3x7 full of tomatoes.  Never again!  It was like Welcome to the Jungle in there!
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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  AtlantaMarie on 6/25/2017, 7:37 am

Glad to help, SR. I've found it very helpful for me & I don't even have a dedicated bed yet, lol!
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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  trolleydriver on 8/30/2017, 4:08 pm

Our everbearing strawberries growing in a 4x4 All New SFG bed have been doing great after I cut them back earlier in the summer due to mold. They just keep on producing. Here is what I got today.

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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/30/2017, 4:11 pm

Shocked Unbelievable, TD....it's like cut and come again.
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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  trolleydriver on 8/30/2017, 5:03 pm

CapeCoddess wrote: Shocked Unbelievable, TD....it's like cut and come again.
And the plants are still loaded with ripening strawberries.

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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  Mimi2 on 8/30/2017, 9:40 pm

Glad your strawberry luck has turned around TD. I have several types of strawberries many of which appear to have a second crop. I like the strawberries because they are pretty plants, come back year after year and are very popular with the family. As mentioned in other threads- I alao grow raspberries, blueberries and red currants. For the strawberries I started off with flats of small plants, and hanging baskets ( which I transplant into my SFG). I use the runners in new squares. They appear to do best in year 2 and 3.
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Re: Question About Strawberries

Post  trolleydriver on 8/31/2017, 8:45 am

Mimi2 wrote:Glad your strawberry luck has turned around TD. I have several types of strawberries many of which appear to have a second crop. I like the strawberries because they are pretty plants, come back year after year and are very popular with the family. As mentioned in other threads- I alao grow raspberries, blueberries and red currants. For the strawberries I started off with flats of small plants, and hanging baskets ( which I transplant into my SFG). I use the runners in new squares. They appear to do best in year 2 and 3.
Hi Mimi. Good to hear from you again. I expect you are busy now preparing for your children to go back to school.  Very Happy

When do you remove the runners and move them to new squares? Should it be done now? I did it in the late Spring.

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