Removing strawberry flowers

queuetue(5a)April 23, 2008

I've got 25 Veestar strawberry plants coming in a few weeks, and I've been reading up on how to take care of them. They are early berries, and everything I run into online suggests removing the flowers from the plants the first year.

Am I right in thinking that this means I'll have no crop at all the first year? I'm a renter, and I may not even be here next year - what would happen if I ignored the advice and just let them be? Would I get fruit, but less runners to propagate the next year, or would I just get no fruit either way?

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flatlander(z6KS)

I've shared strawberries with raccons for many years. In my experience, if you pinch off the blossoms, you'll get no fruit the first year but lots of runners with daughter plants. if you allow the fruit to set, you'll get fewer and smaller berries the first year, and fewer daughter plants. i guess it's a tradeoff.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 7:42PM
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paulc_gardener

At one time I had 1/2 acre of berries. The next year I planted 3 1/2 acres. The biggest key to a big harvest is the fertility of your soil. Strawberries require 4 times as much Nitrogen as corn. Corn requires 125# of Nitrogen per acre. Picking off the blooms is not worth the effort. If you must, then go for it. The only way you will know is to have 2 patches. Do one and leave the other allown.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 6:25AM
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momamamo

The point of removing the flowers in the first year is to strengthen the plant - and develop runners - for the second year and beyond. Since you're renting, though, let the flowers develop into fruit. Feed the plants as they go into the ground, then again as flowering begins.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 8:46AM
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anney(Georgia 8)

queuetue

I posted EXACTLY the same question a couple of weeks ago. This is my first year of strawberry-growing, too.

I decided to let the berries come as they will and eat them this year. Who wants to wait a year to harvest strawberries! Apparently the only difference may be that you get somewhat smaller berries if you harvest them the first year. Seems like a small price to pay!

So I got my strawberries planted when they arrived, and almost immediately they took off, produced green leaves, and are now blooming, maybe six out of the 26 so far. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a reasonable harvest.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 9:45AM
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lilgardenjon72(5 SuburbanChicago)

The advice I have read (1st time strawberry gardener here too) suggested removing blooms through June on the everbearing type for the first year. The spring bearing were supposed to just not bear I thought, but obviously not since they are flowering. I have my berries in grow bags and am worrying about their survival, so I plan on letting all flowers go in a couple weeks. Interested in hearing how others are doing...

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 8:06PM
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susaneden(5)

I got everbearing berries last year, and they produced about 10 berries total lol.

I let them do their thing.

This year, every one of those plants has at least 3 daughter plants and all are covered with flowers.

I have a laissez-faire approach to perrenial plants like strawberries. They grow like crazy here, and if they see fit to bloom and fruit a little the first year, I let them. My 10 new June bearing plants are also covered with flowers, and I will let them set fruit too, if they feel like it.

anything else is too work intensive for me. :D

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 9:28PM
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buck1173

paulc, what is an ideal source of N for strawberries?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 10:42AM
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