I planted 500 strawberry plants last year, they did not bloom the first year. Do I need to clip off this year's blooms? I heard if they have runners it is OK to harvest the crop.
Hardiness Zone: 6b
By Mandy from Clay, WV
No! Every bloom is a strawberry, do not pick the blossoms. Train the runners to cover the bed as they grow. Keep the bed weeded and moist, not wet.
Strawberries only need one year to establish a good root system. Removing blossoms is advised for the year you plant, so the plant puts all its energy into roots and leaves. You're good to go for this year. (And with 500 plants, I'd be thankful they didn't try to bear last year! Deadheading would have been quite a chore.).
I'd recommend getting a straw or pine needle mulch around the plants as soon as the weather starts to warm. It'll keep the moisture levels good, reduce weeding, and help keep the berries clean, not to mention you, as you crawl along picking them. Runners can be removed if you want narrow rows (the plant will put a little more energy into fruit) or left for a wide patch.
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Q: I have everbearing strawberries yet they only bloom once. I thought they are supposed to bloom twice a year. I really don't know what I'm doing wrong with them.
You should definitely see two crops per season with everbearing strawberries-one in the spring and a second, smaller crop in the fall. You should expect about 1 quart of berries per plant per year starting midsummer. You need to manage your strawberries to get maximum yields; otherwise they will simply grow thick and choke themselves out. This includes removing the flowers of new plantings once a week for the first three months to establish good root growth, removing runners every few days and making sure they have a consistent supply of water. Strawberries do best when planted in full sun in soil that is well drained and high in organic matter. They prefer a soil pH of 5.5-6.5. Because most of the plant's roots are located in the top three inches of the soil, care needs to be taken to properly prepare beds with the right nutrients before planting. High temperatures during the mid part of summer can also sometimes seriously reduce the yields of everbearing varieties. Generally, strawberry plants will reach their peak yields during the second season and may produce a successful crop the third year. After that, they tend to peter out.
Hardiness Zone: 5a
WesternGal from Western South Dakota
If your patch is well-established, you usually want to encourage the strawberries to send out runners. There are a couple of things that could be going on here. Do the plants look healthy otherwise? Check for insects first. If this isn't the problem, then it's possible that your bed needs to be invigorated or that your soil is lacking phosphate. You didn't mention whether or not you use any type of fertilizer or whether or not you renovate (mow) your beds in the fall. Within a week or so of the last harvest in the fall, the beds should be mowed down (not so that you hurt the crowns). Then you can apply some well-rotted manure or super-phosphate to the patch. If this doesn't bring your strawberry patch back to life next spring, it's probably time to replant. If you're growing Junebearing strawberries, avoid fertilizing them in the spring. This can lead to dense foliage and inhibit flowering.
How was your weather this spring? Late spring frosts and cooler than normal temperatures can also damage flowering. Other problems specific to growing strawberries in South Dakota include soils with a high pH level and soil or irrigation containing high levels of salts. Both of these problems can be diagnosed with a soil test.
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Do you know the name of your strawberries? Maybe you have a Junebearing strawberry, not an everbearing. I have both kinds and find that without fail the everbearing always bears twice. Whereas, the Junebearing is done in mid July, just overlapping the start of the raspberries. I'd check with the company or person you got the plants from as to the name of the strawberries. (08/10/2005)
I have planted strawberries in a terracotta strawberry planter (with all the planting holes). It started out great and is still growing. There were about 10 strawberries approaching ripeness when 2 puppies ate them off the plant! The plant is still thriving, but has stopped blooming! Is that the end for the season? Thank you.
Hardiness Zone: 10b
By Nancy from Santa Monica, CA
My dog loves homegrown strawberries too. :) It depends on the variety of strawberry plant as to whether it will bloom again. There are ever bearing varieties than bloom more than once, but most plants bloom once a season. Sorry! (07/20/2010)
You may have June bearing strawberries that stop producing at the end of June or beginning of July. Your roots need room to travel. If you want to keep them in a pot you may need to transplant. Or put some holes in the soil and put new soil down in the holes for the roots to have room to travel and produce new growth.
Rabbit droppings mixed with water is what produces fruit. But if they're June bearing they usually start mid to the end of May and end in July. (02/01/2011)