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Strawberries next year

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Strawberries next year

Post  cyclonegardener on 12/8/2011, 2:24 pm

I am planning on planting strawberries in a 3x6 bed. I think I will have the ones that bear in June. Need some advice on growing, when to plant, how close together, fertilizer needs, pest control, etc..

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Re: Strawberries next year

Post  fiddleman on 12/8/2011, 6:15 pm

According to Mel's All New Square Foot Gardening, pp. 226 - 227, Location: Full Sun, Transplant as soon as the soil is not frozen. Be sure soil is not wet.

Check out the rest of what he has to say for the details, it covers quite a bit. Basically though, it will work great if you use his Mel's Mix formula, plant the strawberry plants 4 per square, cut off the runners, and keep 'em watered properly. The scourge of strawberries are birds, squirrels, and slugs. Birds and squirrels are easy enough to prevent by using bird netting or chicken wire over the top of the beds... slugs... are persistently difficult to eradicate. Beer will attract some, but you'll not attract them all. Occasionally there are insects which create a foam which will attack strawberry plants, but catching the hatch early with an insecticidal soap will mitigate the damage. No need for special fertilizers when you use Mel's Mix.

You can also try to grow strawberries from seed, especially some of the more uncommon varieties...especially the Alpine varieties. In order to have fruiting size Alpine strawberry plants in May, the seeds need to be sown indoors in December. You can sprout them in Vermiculite then transplant into individual 3 inch pots after they've sprouted. Depending on your location they can go into a cold frame in Early April to harden off, and plant them outside later in the month. Beginning in late May the plants have an abundance of white flowers followed by the first fruit in early June.

I wish now I had done the strawberry bed as a table top to prevent some of the damage from the slugs... I may let a few runners grow into a table top, and then restart the bed in a new square...

Strawberries...yum.

Mark

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Re: Strawberries next year

Post  Squat_Johnson on 12/8/2011, 7:38 pm

I will share what I did last year. I bought some june bearing first, then later added some everbearing when I realized I had room. Here in this photo are transplants from last June, after they were first established.

This idea is not new, and I'm not sure who to credit on this forum (if you know, tell me. If it's you, THANKS!)

It's a 4x4, a 3x3, 2x2, and a pot in mine, I think whoever I swiped this idea from had a 1x1 on top. I put 1" nylon netting over the whole thing because the birds will eat a bunch of them.

As to cutting the runners, No, I passed and actually let them spread to other holes in the top pot.

Pruning, I did not cut anything except blossoms the first year. This stimulates rooting growth the first year.

I probably only ate 5 strawberries this year. I didn't pick all the blossoms. At the end of the year, I threw a quarter bale of straw on the plants, and I'm waiting for the second year. I started a bed once before, and it's the second year harvest that pays off. I maxed out picking a gallon a week during June and July. If I get a fraction of that I will be very happy.


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Thanks!

Post  cyclonegardener on 12/8/2011, 8:52 pm

Appreciate the advice!

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Re: Strawberries next year

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 12/8/2011, 10:36 pm

Do you by chance have the book? You will see it referenced so often that it's worth the time savings alone. This forum compliments the book so well.

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Re: Strawberries next year

Post  sfg4uKim on 12/9/2011, 10:05 am

I'm hoping my hubby can modify the vertical wall planter below to make it 2x4 with casters. Wondering if putting some PVC with perforations will be good to help water. Thoughts?



Last edited by ksroman on 12/9/2011, 10:07 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added a question)

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Re: Strawberries next year

Post  walshevak on 12/9/2011, 10:38 am

Love the wall unit. How big are the plant openings. And yes on the perforated PVC. Makes watering easier and more even.



Kay

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Re: Strawberries next year

Post  janezee on 12/9/2011, 10:48 am

If you were meaning only 2' wide, I'd guess that pvc with holes would work, perhaps 2 of them, 6" from the sides.

If you mean 4' wide, I'd use a soaker hose snaked through, perhaps zip tied to a sheet of hardware cloth, or just added as the soil goes in. I don't know if it would sink down or not over time without support, but I doubt it. I'd do it on a really sunny day or use a hair dryer/heat gun to get the hose to bend easily without breaking. I use quick-connect hose thingies for this kind of set-up.

I was just reading about making a vertical planter like that out of a pallet. They stapled landscape cloth to the back, filled it with soil and the plants as it was lying down, watered it in and let it "set" for a week or too, and then stood it up and fastened to the wall. Looked cool, but they were really wishing that they had put the soaker hose in for easier watering. I'm thinking of making a TT this way, to avoid slugs in my alpine strawberries. Because I was thinking horizontally, I don't remember how they kept the soil from slumping down to the bottom. Perhaps landscape "shelves" stapled on inside?
Yours would look much more elegant! Nice to have a carpenter around. 8-)

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Re: Strawberries next year

Post  sfg4uKim on 12/9/2011, 11:15 am

LOL deleted my last post.

Oooo great ideas, especially tho soaker hose. I like the zip tie idea.

Yes, 2' wide and 4' high. LOL I could see it in my head. Very Happy

Not sure how big the plant openings are on that drawing, but I'll be able to customize it to my needs.

Hubby's not a carpenter, but he does try. Smile

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Re: Strawberries next year

Post  janezee on 12/9/2011, 11:35 am

Yowsa! I just looked again, and saw the prices they want for those! Maybe I should go to carpentry school!

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The book

Post  cyclonegardener on 12/9/2011, 12:00 pm

I don't have the book, but I will check it out at the Library.

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Re: Strawberries next year

Post  stripesmom on 12/9/2011, 3:49 pm

Hi cyclonegardner! I'm in SE Iowa too. Thought I'd say welcome to this wonderful, informative forum! Hope to see you around often.

The book is almost a must have. I've lost my copy and that was the only thing on my Christmas wish list. If I don't get another copy, I'll just order it, I think from Amazon, they are under $13, but so worth having it in your hands when it come time to get the garden going again.

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Re: Strawberries next year

Post  sfg4uKim on 12/9/2011, 6:29 pm

@janezee wrote:Yowsa! I just looked again, and saw the prices they want for those! Maybe I should go to carpentry school!

You mean you don't have a spare $1700 (plus S&H) to spend on that?

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Mel's book

Post  cyclonegardener on 12/9/2011, 10:14 pm

Thanks Stripesmom! noticed you too were from SE Iowa. You're right, the book is a must have. Will have to get it.
FYI: right now it's 10 above and my cold frame is 34. I love fall and winter gardening!

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Re: Strawberries next year

Post  stripesmom on 12/10/2011, 9:11 am

My hoops haven't faired as well. I have plastic over them, but no ground cover as it was such a pain to cover and uncover all the time. I think they are done for after last night, but not sure. This weekend when it's closer to 40, I plan on cleaning them off, but might change my mind if it looks like they are still ok. Kind of fun to keep going with them. I'd like to eat fresh swiss chard for Christmas from the garden.

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Re: Strawberries next year

Post  cyclonegardener on 12/10/2011, 1:02 pm

sounds fun stripes mom!

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To stripesmom

Post  cyclonegardener on 12/12/2011, 11:09 pm

One of the best things I did in my cold frame was leave the lettuce, which was planted to late anyway and then watch them grow in March. Had some pretty good lettuce late March, early April.

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Re: Strawberries next year

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