Wilting Strawberry Plants

wilting strawberry plantsMore and more people are growing their own strawberries as a hobby or as ornamentals or for production in their home gardens.  Few things are as frustrating as eagerly anticipating years of bountiful strawberry harvests and then watching the plants go from apparently healthy to wilted.  Wilting strawberry plants can make even the most stolid gardener attempt to forcibly remove his own follicles in a fit of perplexity.  This post is a review of what causes strawberries to wilt.

Sometimes wilting strawberries can be salvaged if the underlying cause is discovered and remedied.  Oftentimes, however, once the wilt sets in, there is little that can be done if it is caused by a pathogen.

For the sake of accuracy, it is good to distinguish between non-infectious wilting and blight.  Both look similar and can be easily confused, but they are actually different.  Blights can lead to wilting strawberry plants, but wilting is a symptom only.  Wilting is evidence of a problem, not necessarily a disease (blight).

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Nitrogen Deficiency in Strawberry Plants

strawberry plants with yellow leavesNitrogen deficiency in strawberry plants can cause rather significant problems for the longevity and vitality of strawberry patch.  If your soil is low in nitrogen, you can expect consequences.  This post will cover the basics of what to look for to determine whether or not your strawberries lack sufficient nitrogen-containing soil for optimal health and vigor.

What Indicates Nitrogen Deficiency in Strawberries?

In order to confirm nitrogen deficiency in strawberry plants, one ultimately must take a few tissue samples from affected leaflets that are “middle aged.”  The leaflets that must be sampled cannot be the old ones toward the bottom of the plant or the new, bright green ones emerging from the crown.

Once samples are collected, they must be tested for average composition.  The baseline measurement for nitrogen sufficiency is 2.6% to 2.8%.  Should the measured percent composition of nitrogen be below 2.6% for the tested sample, it is very likely that the soil is nitrogen deficient, resulting in less-than-acceptable levels of nitrogen in the foliage tissue of the strawberry plants.

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Strawberry Compound Fisetin Could Help Diabetics

strawberry compound fisetin could help diabeticsNew research is being done that could merge forever the delightful and humble strawberry with the diets of individuals beset by diabetes.  Studies are being done on mice at the Salk Institute which are examining the effects of fisetin, a naturally-occuring flavonoid in strawberries, on diabetes and other conditions.  Investigators at the Salk Institute’s Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory (CNL) are discovering that this compound can protect the organs most commonly damaged by diabetes.  Additionally, early data show that neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s might also be positively affected by fisetin.

For the entire story, see this article.  To learn more about the amazing strawberry plant, simply search this site for the specific area that interests you (here’s how).  There are quite a few Medicinal Uses of the Strawberry Plant, many useful Compounds in Strawberry Plants, and promising evidence that strawberries may help prevent cancer.  It is no wonder that the strawberry compound fisetin could help diabetics!

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Strawberry Plant Genome Sequenced

strawberry plant genome sequencedStrawberry plants have now joined an elite group of plants that include grapes, rice, and soy.  What do these plants have in common?  They have all had their genome completely mapped. The strawberry species that has been sequenced is Fragaria vesca, the woodland strawberry (also known as the Alpine Strawberry, one of the “wild” strawberry varieties).  The strawberry plant genome is what determines the life cycle of the strawberry plant, how many strawberries it will produce, and everything else about it.  It is the life code that is passed from generation to generation of strawberries through either the strawberry runners or the strawberry seeds.

With the Strawberry Plant Genome Sequenced…

With the strawberry plant genome sequenced in a collaborative effort involving 75 researchers from 38 research institutes, new research is expected to yield breakthroughs in multiple areas.  Through more detailed study of strawberry genetics, it is hoped that the metabolic pathways of ripening will now be better understood.  Also, enzymatic activity in the production of aromatic compounds in strawberries and other related species will be better understood.

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Healthy Strawberry Plants, No Strawberries

healthy strawberry plants no strawberriesPeople love strawberries.  Gardeners who are new to growing strawberries often start out with dreams of bushels of berries and end up with virtually no harvest at all.  One of the common causes of this undesirable phenomenon is overzealous fertilization by well-intentioned budding horticulturalists!

Don’t Over-Fertilize Healthy Strawberry Plants

When strawberry plants have access to seemingly unlimited resources, they tend to get fat and happy.  Just like a 500 pound behemoth of a sloth who has millions of calories within reach of his armchair won’t go out of his way to be productive, strawberry plants who sit in an environment saturated with high concentrations nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus think good times are here to stay.  So, they don’t produce much of harvest.  They will devote their production to vegetative output.  While it is true that strawberry plants have many medicinal uses and useful compounds, most people would prefer the simple delight of the strawberries themselves.

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Strawberry Seedlings

strawberry seedlingsMost people who raise strawberries do not start them from seed.  They buy strawberry plants from a local nursery or a mail-order nursery.  They then receive, most often, dormant strawberry crowns that they quickly plant in their prepared beds, water them, and watch as the dormant strawberries spring forth into new life.

However, there are brave souls out there that want to begin the life cycle of their strawberries by germinating strawberry seeds and then coaxing the tiny seedlings to grow until they are ready to transplant.  With all the TLC given to the tiny plants, it would be a shame to make a mortal mistake for them when they are finally sturdy enough to make the transition to the outside.

This post will help you successfully transplant strawberry plants that you have germinated.  It is best to know what TO do and what NOT to do before risking potential damage or death to your fledgling shoots!

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Topsy Turvy Strawberry Planter

topsy turvy strawberry planterWith the number of chemicals, pesticides, and other unnatural residues found on and in our food these days, many people are turning to growing their own edibles. Since there are often significant quality improvements gained from home-growing food, this is often a great thing for both sustainability and the health of the growers (see this link for 10 Reasons You Should Grow Your Own Strawberries).  With the trend being toward more gardening, even those with less space are beginning to venture into the realm of produce production.

One of the challenges of growing food for the freshly-minted green thumb is deciding on space.  Most rural or semi-rural folks simply dig a hole, put seeds or strawberry plants into the hole, and let the plants do their thing.  Even city slickers often will have a usable section of their yard or space to build a raised-bed garden.  Urban dwellers can often find an area for a community garden.  But, particularly for those living in urban areas, space-utilizing tools are often employed to grow food in areas of contained soil.  Usually, pots on a window sill or porch are used.

However, there is a new kid in town: the Topsy Turvy.  There is also the Topsy Turvy Strawberry Planter, which is slightly better suited for strawberries.  This post is a discussion of the pros and cons of growing topsy turvy strawberries.

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Thrips & Strawberry Plants

thrips strawberry plantsThrips and strawberry plants simply don’t go well together.  Thrips are one of the devastating strawberry pests that afflict strawberry plantings and enrage gardeners.  If you are having difficulties with “something” damaging your strawberries, it just might be this common pest.

To most clearly communicate the nature of strawberry thrips and information regarding these insects, a question and answer format will be used.  For additional information on both strawberry pests and strawberry diseases, use the search function at the top right of Strawberry Plants .org.

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Strawberry Nutrition Facts

strawberry nutrition factsStrawberries are jam-packed (no pun intended) with wholesome nutrients.  A serving of whole strawberries is generally considered to be one cup (see here for strawberry conversions).  A cup of fresh strawberries will vary by weight depending on the size and specific variety of strawberry that is consumed.  Also, strawberry nutrition can be affected by the quality of the soil and care given to the plants as they produced.  In general, however, the following table will provide an accurate representation of the vitamins, minerals, and other components within a serving of strawberries.  These strawberry nutrition facts will help you realize just how beneficial strawberries are in one’s diet!

Strawberry Nutrition Facts

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Say Hello to Mr. Pineberry

It’s STRAWBERRY ORDERING TIME!  People all over are in full strawberry-buying mode.  Strawberries are the first crop to come in after a long, cold winter.  They are planted as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring, and the following year they burst forth and produce a blessed harvest, often while […]