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Strawberries Not Blooming


By Ellen Brown

Question:

My strawberry patch won't bloom very much this year. It is well established. Should I cut off the runners?

Hardiness Zone: 5a

WesternGal from Western South Dakota

Answer:

Westerngal,

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.

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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.

Ellen

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

Answers:

Everbearing Strawberries Only Blooming Once

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)

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