Everbearing Strawberries Not Producing Fruit

Q: I have a question about everbearing strawberries. I have tried everything, but they do not produce strawberries all year long. Once they start too throw there chutes they quit producing. I get 1 batch from them and that is it. I have put pine needles around them and water them just about every day. Some of them are in sand with dirt mixed in, but I do have some in just dirt and they do the same. Do I let the chutes go or cut them off. What else can I do?

Hardiness Zone: 5a

Thank You,
Joyce wis from Janesville, WI

A: Joyce,

Everbearing strawberries usually produce two to three crops each season-one in the spring and another one or two smaller crops toward fall. Since you have already pinpointed that your plants stop producing when they start throwing out runners, I would definitely reel them in by cutting at least some of them off.

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Also make sure that you renovate your beds in the fall (set the lawn mower to 1 1/2 to 2 inches and mow down the leaves and stems) and add some compost over the entire bed. Try applying a fertilizer specially designed for fruit crops. It could be that your plants just don't have enough steam to produce a second crop.

Did you train them the first season-forgoing berries for the first few months in favor of developing strong roots)? If not, maybe they didn't get a strong enough start to produce multiple crops. Depending on the age of your plants, not renovating the beds will result in a loss of productivity also. The University of Wisconsin Extension Office has a great publication entitled "Growing Strawberries in Wisconsin."

Ellen

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert, and is an environmental writer and photographer.

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June 9, 20060 found this helpful

I would take the pine needles off of them. Alot of plants don't like the pine needles and it kills the plants or distorts their growth. Wish I could remember more about them. Hope this helps. Good Luck

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June 9, 20060 found this helpful

I'm far from knowing alot about how to grow these, but I was given 11 plants 6 years ago - were nice and "contained" for the first year & of course no berries, the 2nd year was wonderful, berries & very pleased to see runners growing...4th year after surviving a hard winter in Nova Scotia (which I did not cover them either!) they started to take over into the flower garden as well as producing great berries. I did get quite aggressive in pulling out the new runners and did again this spring. The orginial & 2nd year plants are growing & lots of blooms, with at least 6 berries ripening now, which is quite early for Nova Scotia. I'm just going to continue to give "rough gardening treatment" to the runners that grow out of control or at least not where I want them.

My reasoning is that the plant that sent it out will be using less engery to healthen up the runners it is sprouting.

I fertilize only with Miricle Grow once early in the spring and then only water every other day.

For what it's worth...:-)

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