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Strawberries and Mel's Mix

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Strawberries and Mel's Mix

Post  Khrishna on 4/11/2011, 9:36 pm

This is my first year trying SFG. I bought some everbearing strawberry plants and planted four of them in one square, in Mel's Mix. They aren't doing well. My husband insists that strawberries like and need sandy soil. Has anyone else planted strawberries? How are they doing? Do you have any tips?

For additional info, they are planted on the south side of my house in full sun. At first I watered them sparingly, but one day I found them wilted by the sun/heat, and it hasn't even gotten really hot yet (we frequently have straight weeks of temps over 100 degrees in the summer). I gave them more water and they perked up, so I started watering them more. Now they still are getting a wilted look, but because of my husband's insistence that they like sand/well drained soil, I'm concerned that I might be overwatering. Also, we've had some very windy days recently--even more windy than normal for our area--so maybe they're just looking a little beat up from the wind?? I'm too new to gardening to know what the telltale signs are. Any ideas? I have eight more plants waiting to be planted but I don't want to plant them until I've got a better idea how to keep them healthy.
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Re: Strawberries and Mel's Mix

Post  WardinWake on 4/11/2011, 10:00 pm

Khrishna wrote:This is my first year trying SFG. I bought some everbearing strawberry plants and planted four of them in one square, in Mel's Mix. They aren't doing well. My husband insists that strawberries like and need sandy soil. Has anyone else planted strawberries? How are they doing? Do you have any tips?

For additional info, they are planted on the south side of my house in full sun. At first I watered them sparingly, but one day I found them wilted by the sun/heat, and it hasn't even gotten really hot yet (we frequently have straight weeks of temps over 100 degrees in the summer). I gave them more water and they perked up, so I started watering them more. Now they still are getting a wilted look, but because of my husband's insistence that they like sand/well drained soil, I'm concerned that I might be overwatering. Also, we've had some very windy days recently--even more windy than normal for our area--so maybe they're just looking a little beat up from the wind?? I'm too new to gardening to know what the telltale signs are. Any ideas? I have eight more plants waiting to be planted but I don't want to plant them until I've got a better idea how to keep them healthy.

Howdy Khrishna:

Currently Mary and I have over 200 ever-bearing strawberry plants of 5 different varieties growing in Mel's Mix. All are healthy and doing well. We started with 60 plants last year and used the runners to start new plants. We got a wonderful harvest from them the first year and are expecting a banner crop this year. This spring has been wetter than normal and the strawberry plants are loving the extra rain. So from what I read of your problems it sounds like you need to water more, not less. Remember you cannot over water Mel's Mix.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.
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Re: Strawberries and Mel's Mix

Post  Chopped Liver MM on 4/11/2011, 10:44 pm

Khrishna,

WardenWake is spot on. Strawberries love MM and will grow very well in it. Did you use 5 types of compost? Is the soil staying damp? As for sandy, the vermiculite does a great job of simulating that, but I have to say the strawberry farmers here seem to do very well in our red clay soil, so maybe you need another variety or something else is wrong.

Best of luck,

CL

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Re: Strawberries and Mel's Mix

Post  walshevak on 4/12/2011, 8:50 am

High winds and heat will dry things out faster than you might think. I say water.


Kay

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Re: Strawberries and Mel's Mix

Post  martha on 4/12/2011, 12:31 pm

Krishna, welcome!


Ward, I am some kinda jealous! But first, back to the question at hand - my strawberries are also very happy in MM. The reason I am jealous of Ward is I lack the discipline (so far) to pinch off the runners and make more strawberry beds. But this is a new year, so I won't throw in the towel ahead of time.
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Re: Strawberries and Mel's Mix

Post  Khrishna on 4/12/2011, 9:58 pm

Okay, thanks for the tips! I did water them more today and yesterday and they look a little happier. I'm not giving up on them! Thanks again.
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Re: Strawberries and Mel's Mix

Post  nancy on 4/13/2011, 8:51 am

Khrishna - strawberries are very hardy. Don't fret over them too much. Mine endured a flood this year and I saw my first blossom yesterday. They amaze me. A few weeks ago they were so covered in river soot that they looked as if they had been cast in concrete and now they are that bright lovely new-green color. Be patient and they will be just fine.
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How to prune?

Post  yosoypanadero on 4/13/2011, 2:10 pm

I have a second year 4x4 of strawberries coming back this year and I was wondering: What is the proper way to prune these things to get the most amount of berries off each plant? I have 12, one in each square...
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Re: Strawberries and Mel's Mix

Post  pattipan on 4/13/2011, 3:12 pm

yosoypanadero wrote:I have a second year 4x4 of strawberries coming back this year and I was wondering: What is the proper way to prune these things to get the most amount of berries off each plant? I have 12, one in each square...

I learned a new term last year when researching about strawberries. It's called "renovating." After the berries are done bearing, you clip off the old fruit stems and remove any dead leaves or vines, then you fertilize.

I'm growing ever-bearing type strawberries in planters (in Mel's Mix) and I did the renovating last fall, plus we divided them + planted new ones started from the runner-babies. This spring after removing the straw we had buried them in for the winter, there were a few more dead leaves, but not much. I am seeing lots of new growth and a few buds now, but I'm not sure if all this increased fruit yield yet. Will know more when I see bloom and fruit!

Just thought I'd mention why we divided them -- that step wasn't part of the renovating! We had 3/4 of the plants in wooden crates and the crates started falling apart, so now we have 7 cedar planters of berries. :-)

pattipan
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Re: Strawberries and Mel's Mix

Post  dixie on 4/13/2011, 3:47 pm

Another thing to check would be are they planted too deeply. The crown cannot be covered or they will rot.
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question about strawberry runners

Post  Tiredmamaof5 on 6/11/2011, 5:44 pm

I have a strawberry plant which has several runners. Can someone tell me exactly how I can use them to start new plants???

What will happen to the runners if I don't clip them for a few weeks?

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question about strawberry runners

Post  happycamper on 6/11/2011, 7:33 pm

Tiredmamaof5, in time the runners will start to sprout roots at a little node/joint. When I see the beginnings of roots (like pointy little bumps), I cut the runner and plant the node in soil. You now have a new little strawberry plant and will probably never have to buy new plants again using this method. Enjoy those berries!
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Re: Strawberries and Mel's Mix

Post  Kelejan on 6/11/2011, 10:10 pm

From memory and not paying attention at the time, I think I saw runners coming from runners from parent plants.

I know one would take the first runner, root it and then snip when it takes, but if there is a runner from that runner, do you stop that runner, or continue to root it?
In other words, do you only use a runner from the first plant? Does a plant send out more than one runner so that both runners are the same?

Gosh! I have used the word runner/s eleven times now. cyclops
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Re: Strawberries and Mel's Mix

Post  1airdoc on 1/13/2012, 3:35 pm

Just curious....Mel said that the runners diminish the mother plant, and he recommends trimming them all off and just replacing the plants every 3-4 years. Does anyone have experience with this? Seems that all the posts about strawberries suggest that the runners are just too tempting to leave in place for most SFG'ers.
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Re: Strawberries and Mel's Mix

Post  littlejo on 1/13/2012, 3:52 pm

I trim off the runners until they bloom and get the berries, then let the runner go to make more plants. They usually won't put out runners til after they bear.
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Re: Strawberries and Mel's Mix

Post  1airdoc on 1/17/2012, 9:27 am

What about runners on ever-bearing varieties?
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Re: Strawberries and Mel's Mix

Post  littlejo on 1/17/2012, 9:40 am

I alway's let them root, then cut from parent plant. I had so many extra plantlets last spring, I gave away plants to all that wanted them.

Jo
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Re: Strawberries and Mel's Mix

Post  madnicmom on 1/19/2012, 10:30 am

I let the runners that stayed in the box - stay and root, but the ones that came over the edge of the box were cut off and transplanted into my parents box.
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Strawberries

Post  sngrant on 4/6/2012, 9:23 pm

It must be an OK issue. We planted runners last weekend and they are looking really wilted and bad. How many times a day should I be watering?
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Re: Strawberries and Mel's Mix

Post  madnicmom on 4/9/2012, 8:31 am

I give mine a deep watering once a day.
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Re: Strawberries and Mel's Mix

Post  bwaynef on 4/9/2012, 11:12 am

yosoypanadero wrote:I have a second year 4x4 of strawberries coming back this year and I was wondering: What is the proper way to prune these things to get the most amount of berries off each plant? I have 12, one in each square...

Either your counter or your measurer is wrong. 4x4 != 12

I've heard that to increase the size of the berries you trim off the runners leaving the central "leader" to send all its energy into berries rather than runners. I'm not sure if it increases yield as well as size though.
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Re: Strawberries and Mel's Mix

Post  Hoggar on 4/9/2012, 12:45 pm

We only got one harvest off of ours last year I thought we had purchased
Ever bearing but I'm not sure now. The only thing I did to winterize them was
cut it all back to the pot, its coming up on its own this year and already has
blossoms so hopefully we will get a better harvest this year. There in a large
planter full of Mel's mix and growing fine, I water them for 10 min twice a day.
I can't stand the things but the wife and kids love them.
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Re: Strawberries and Mel's Mix

Post  AvaDGardner on 4/9/2012, 12:48 pm

Did you mean in a 4x4 he should have 16?

Do you get MM's to form a mound and plant them in that? Mounding is very popular around here. Mine are not mounded and doing quite well.

When I have new plants (even those given to me by renovators that may have shoots), I remove the shoots the first year the plants are in my garden, giving the plants a chance to become established. When planting, I remove anything dead. As the season progresses, when I remove a strawberry, I pinch off the stem that it grew on close to the crown. When a leaf dies, I remove it, too.

Anytime a plant has a part that has life in it, the plant will feed it, even there is nothing on the end to support. The plant will support the start, it will support the stem. Stems take a while to die back themselves. Remove the unnecessary parts and let the plant support the growing parts (and new fruits!).

Honestly, I may remove all the shoots, because my box is kinda full. I won't know until things progress. I do interplant the strawberries with bush beans and peas (nitrogen adders). If I keep the shoots, I won't have room to interplant!

I think of strawberries like spider plants. They put out new plants and you can keep them or not!

Ava
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Everbearing Strawberrys

Post  Danny on 4/18/2012, 3:07 pm

It is best with everbearing varieties to just replant every 3 or 4 years. June bearing strawberries should be trimmed back after they are done bearing each year.
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Re: Strawberries and Mel's Mix

Post  AvaDGardner on 5/1/2012, 4:57 pm

Has anyone grown Antilla strawberries? One of my neighbors has a few plants.
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Re: Strawberries and Mel's Mix

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