strawberries

nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)December 14, 2012

Yeah, yeah, I know they aren't a vege, but they are grown along side the vege garden!
I was given several divisions last year through a freecycle/type thing, but I didn't get what type strawberries these are.
I've never grown SBs because I'm allergic, so I'm not sure what to do with these plants. They are in a raised bed in our school garden and looking very healthy!
Do I let them grow a couple of years before dividing? divide now during winter? I'm pretty sure this was the time of year I picked them up. The woman was dividing them late winter/early spring.
Thoughts? Happy gardening! Nancy

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ceth_k(11)

I have no experience with growing strawberries. Sorry.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 11:42PM
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ltilton

You might try the fruit forum.

My experience with strawberries probably doesn't transplant to your area. But the first question has to be - what do you want to do with the strawberries? What are your strawberry goals?

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 11:15AM
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zackey(GA 8b)

Keep them well fertilized and watered. Pull any bad looking leaves off of them. I know a lady that fertilizes with Miracle Gro and she gets tons more berries that I do. Here in zone 8b they don't do much the second year. The Ag center recommends planting new plants every year. I was stubborn and I'm trying to keep them going. The berries are puny. I used 6-6-6 on them and Osmocote. Nothing seems to work. See if you have runners growing and use them as your new plants. Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 1:49PM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Runners need to be mostly removed to establish large plants that will produce lots of berries. My understanding is that allowing them to produce as many runners and clones as they want is what keeps them from producing lots of berries. All the energy goes into making new plants, so not much is left for making berries. Allow one to two new plants to be set each year is the going recommendation, I think. I'll be able to tell you what I think about that advice next summer, my patch is pretty new too. So I'm just repeating what I remember having read, and this all presumes you want berries. If you are just going for a ground cover, let 'em rip.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 3:35PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Yes, the plants should have room between the plants...6 to 8 inches apart for a matted or modified matted row system.

I started a new patch last April with 3 rows. I set them 16 inches apart in the row and desired 10 to 12 plants to grow around the mother plant. Boy! It is difficult to be stern enough with plant spacing as the season progresses, but it pays with larger berries.

I plan to take care of the planting well and get maybe 3 years off of it.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 4:16PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

My strawberry goals are to get enough to make a strawberry shortcake or something similar for my 12 Spec Ed students to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
They have made salsa, taken home tomatoes and carrots, bunches of cilantro. We even got first prize at the Harvest Fair for the heaviest zucchini! (We let one go crazy at the end of the season)
This was our first year with a semi successful garden. We are selling cilantro seeds to help defray the cost of new soil for the old boxes outside our classroom.
I have obtained almost everything through donation or freecycle type sites.
Nancy

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 8:43PM
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stuffradio

Strawberries propagate through runners. You either let the runners root, then snip it off from the other plant, or cut the runners right away to keep energy going to the fruit instead of new plants.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 9:04PM
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ltilton

In that case, since you have only a few plants, I'd plant them a foot apart and let the runners grow. This will result in more plants. You don't have to divide them, they'll establish themselves.

It will take longer to get berries this way, but you'll get more in the end.

But a lot will depend on whether the plants you got are everbearing or Junebearing. One way, you get fewer berries over a longer period of time, the other way, you get more berries all at once.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 9:49AM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

I'm not sure what kind they are. They came from freecycle and the lady didn't tell me what they were. Nancy

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 9:14PM
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jolj(7b/8a)

Lewis Hill, in Fruits and Berries for the Home Garden, talks about the "Matted Row & the Hill System".
Ruth Stout, is No-Work Garden Book, used a matted system in which she let runners replace the mother plant which she pulled up after picking the berries.
This is what I have on strawberries.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 2:18PM
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