Bare root strawberries from Lowes

tropical_thought(San Francisco)January 16, 2010

I was in Lowe's and they had these packages of strawberries in baggies. I selected Ozark beauty, but there was one other kind available. It says 10 plants, but when I opened the bag, there was only one plant. It was like the 10 plants had fused themselves together. I could not separate them so I planted the whole thing. When they come up I have to figure out how to separate them. If that is even possible. I got Lily of the Valley in a baggie like this once, and the worked great. I also tired hostas in a baggie, but they did not live. It was only four dollars, it would have been a good deal for 10 plants. I am in San Francisco and I have never grown vegetables. I would also like some suggestions on what kind to put in the future, and are they easy to start from seeds? Some things are too hard to start from seeds, like tomatoes, I have decided.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

There is a small thin rubber band around the bundle of plants holding them together. It may be hard to see buried in the bundle but it is there. Snip it and the plants will all separate. Sometimes the roots are tangled a bit but just lightly grasp the base of the plants and tug - no harm done to the roots.

They won't survive planted all in a bundle and if any do it will be even more difficult to separate them. ;)

Most vegetables are fairly easy to grow from seed but it does take some practice and some things can be direct seeded in the garden while others can't. Start with lettuce and other leafy greens and then try some different varieties of squash and cucumbers.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 9:38AM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

OMG I have to go separate them, right now.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 9:58AM
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It helps to soak the roots a while before you plant. It will help them separate too.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 1:29PM
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spiced_ham(z5 OH)

I tried them last year, bought two bags and planted them inside in pots to get an early start (soaked them etc). Very few grew (30%?), and most of those were barely alive and didn't put out fruit last year. I ended up buying flats of pre started, healthy plants at the local nursery for a little bit more money.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 8:30PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

Oh well, I wanted to feed my worms anyway.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 9:39PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

tropical thought, the fact that you have bought these plants very early may boost their survival rate, since they haven't had too long to dry out. Separate them, soak them, pot them up and hope for the best. Good luck. :)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 9:12PM
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I bought a bag, Ozark, maybe 6 in the bag with a rubber band. I planted them in a 12 hole pottery pot along with other strawberry plants, last years, that are in bloom on 1/16/10, nights are chilly, low 40's. They get afternoon sun. No new sprouts as of today. I have a feeling they will not due very well.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 8:55PM
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Lowes is very nice about taking returns. I bought two pkgs of strawberries ... just as you describe ... saw no sign of life in any of the roots that I separated. I will put back in bag and return that and unopened pkg. Then I will buy a few potted strawberry plants. I just really want to scatter them around in my garden.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 9:29PM
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tropical thought: strawberries and all other bare root plants should definitely have their roots submerged in water for an hour or so to allow them to soak up some water just prior to planting. They have been out of the ground in storage for months losing moisture, then they have been sitting around in bags at Lowes losing more moisture and possibly warming up enough to decide it's time to come out of dormancy. They are thirsty!

Look through the bundle after it has been separated for spindly plants. If all appear to be close to the same size then you are OK unless they are all spindly. The spindly plants seldom survive when planted in my experience so chuck them, other wise, you'll have one or more holes in your strawberry bed this year.

Trim off any dead leaves and broken roots with pruning shears prior to planting, DO NOT cut off the growing point.

Plant so that the roots of individual plants are not bunched together, you can do this in more ways than one. I make a trench, flair the roots out in a fan shape and place them against trench wall and then back fill the trench. Some people make a small, firmed mound of soil whose top is just below ground level and flair the roots out radially over the mound and then back fill.

With strawberries it is of paramount importance that they be planted to the proper depth when all is said and done. Too shallow (even a small amount of the roots exposed) or too deep (ground level up to where the leaves emerge from the crown) and they will likely die. Ideally, right between the 2 depths. By all means, search the web for some illustrations or pictures showing how deep to plant. Having killed my fare share over the decades and examining the dead ones for how deep they were planted, I assure you, depth is important.

good luck!


    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 9:40PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

Well, I planted them 2 inches deep as the package said, and I do see a tiny leaf coming up on two of the plants, but we had a lot of rain. The soil was very moist. We are have this El Nino thing where it rains two inches everyday. If don't work out, it's not much lost. I had good luck with the lily of valley that I bought in a baggie. In fact, I had planted mail order pips and then whole plants and nothing lived until the baggie. They were growing right in the bag.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 12:46AM
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I'd suggest getting a variety of different strawberries and see which one works well. Sequoia works best for me in sunol (also have quinault). Strawberries breed pretty quickly in the garden, so I view getting them as a multi-year plan towards getting a bed of about 100 of them - enough to produce more than the odd strawberry now and then.

IME, the easiest plants to direct seed are arugula and mustard. Scallions will work too, and they can be intersown with strawberries. We get enough sun to keep both happy.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 1:25AM
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I've had very good luck with strawberries. I purchased two sets of 25 Tri-Star strawberries from Rain Tree Nursery online last year.

I chose the Tri-Star strawberries because they are an "everbearing" kind of strawberry that continues to put on strawberries throughout the growing season. "Everbearing" are not like the other two varieties of strawberries - where one only puts on fruit once and the other puts on fruit twice a year.

I have them planted in "strawberry pyramids" that I built. All of them did very well and gave us over 10 pounds of strawberries in the first year.

Strawberries do require a lot of maintenance. They put out "runners" that are basically an extension of the mother plant and the runner starts to grow leaves of its own followed by roots. It will then root itself and start another plant. With the strawberry pyramids, it is very easy to keep these under control because the runners will usually run over the side of the container - then it is just taking scissors and cutting the runner off.

Here is some pages on my strawberry plants.

Just after being built
Just after the strawberries arrived and were planted
Strawberries in bloom (About 35 days after the prior post)
Strawberry pyramids being thinned

Here is a link that might be useful: BsnTech Gardening Blog

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 10:02AM
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The Ozark strawberries from Lowes have sprouted new leaves on 2 out of the 6 plants. So far a 33% germination rate. Not too bad.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 8:48AM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

I got two out of 5 plant on the strawberries, but overall I would not buy them in a baggie again. I bought cannas in a baggie at home depot. I selected five in a bag and 4 were rotten. I should have gotten 10 in a bag to improve the odds, but I was thinking I don't have room for 10 cannas. I would use Brent and Becky's next time, but you have to order large scale from mail order places and I have a small garden. Burpee won't ship vegetables to CA including strawberries. I think I only end up buying in a baggie because it's too early for the potted ones, and I am in a hurry to get started. It's a impulse buy.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 8:59AM
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Two more Ozark strawberries have sprouted. A total of 4 out of 6. Up to a 66% germination rate. Now I will just wait on some flowers and maybe a berry or two. Here in Jacksonville, FL - zone 9, its been lows in the 60's during the day and low 40's during the nights.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 7:38AM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

I am not having good luck. One of them went away, so now I have like one leaf out of 10 plants. I would buy these again, but I was trying to establish a colony of earthworms, and they like to eat the roots of dying plants, so I am leaving them all in there. I put some tulips sprouts on top of them.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 10:08AM
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Two more new leaf sprouts, 100% growth. I guess you get lucky every now and then. Let see if I get any berries. Nights high 30's and days mid 60's.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 9:21PM
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I got an almost identical deal from walmart. They alredy had sprouts. I new that those pale sprouts are not going to make it. I was (an still am) hoping that the roots will push new growth. I did get that rubber band off and soaked them in water a day or so and then potted them in 4' pots. I think I got about 8 of them.
Now they are aclimating in the cold outside.If they have any resemblance to wild straberries, cold and freez should not bother them.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 9:41PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

I lost one, and I am now down to one plant with one leaf, but it looks like a good leaf. LOL

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 11:00PM
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tropical ,
Do not throw away those roots . Go ahead plant them anyway.
Chances are they will grow back. Strawberries are tough.
If the root bulb is intact it can grow.
Today I am going to plant all mine and forger about it. I may report back later.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 3:33AM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

They are planted, I was referring to the one leaf that has sprouted from 10 plants.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 10:16AM
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I bought a bag from Lowe's as well. I purchased mine in a box kit in March. They are everbearing and when I opened the bag half of them were sprouting. I wasn't sure what to do so I called Lowe's. The gal I got on the phone said go ahead and plant them outside they should be fine, and if not we have a return policy. I planted half in pots in my 3 season room, and half outside. After several weeks only one of the dozen has any foliage. The foliage on the others turned brown and mushy before dieing. I keep hoping they will bounce back, but now I wonder if they are a lost cause.
Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 12:03PM
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my berries are doing very well, bout 3 hours south of Jacksonville on the coast, abit warmer - 85 days and 70 nights. The fruits are about half the size of the grocery store monsters, is there a particular size that grows bigger than these "sequoia" which are everbearing. I will try to keep em going through the summer, maybe under grow lights in my garage to beat the heat!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 7:17AM
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Berries planted last fall bloom, but no berries yet? What's wrong? These should be Everberring type!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 4:08PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

I have two alive from my batch and no flowers or berries either.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 5:01PM
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for strawberries I strongly prefer Honeoye June bearing.

I buy certified virus free plants and they all grow. I plant them in the early spring and remove any berry buds that might show the first year. The plants are kept very weed free and allowed to multiply.

In the second year the strawberries come on great.

Honeoye freeze very well. Out of 100 plants I expect to get over 500 quarts of strawberries in a few weeks. I freeze most of the whole. I chop them lose from each other when I want to use them. They will stay in tip top shape for years in the freezer with no work to freeze them whole. Except I like a vary large 5 gallon bags of thick food grade plastic bags.

You better have lots of room in the freezer.

I hate ever bearing strawberries because the total crop is tiny compared to June bearing types. Also the berries on ever bearing are not as good tasting and are small. Waste of time and effort to grow everbearing in my opinion.

Here is a link that might be useful: Where I get virus free strawberries the best

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 10:57PM
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If anyone need tips on growing strawberries, here is a good site.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Strawberries

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 11:57AM
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