Welcome to Strawberry Plants .org!

welcome to strawberry plants .orgWelcome to the last source you will ever need for information about strawberry plants!  You have likely eaten your fair share of those delightful red berries, and we hope to encourage you to learn as much as you can about the flavorful fruits and the strawberry plants that produce them.  We exist to spread excitement about strawberries and hope that you will benefit from the information contained here.

Whether you want information on growing strawberries, eating strawberries, scientific information on the actual strawberry plants or strawberry varieties, or even information about where you can purchase strawberry plants or strawberry seeds, you will find help on Strawberry Plants .org.  This entire site is dedicated exclusively to all things related to the strawberry plant.

Be sure to browse the Reference Pages to the left (or just below this paragraph).  They are a wealth of information on topics related to learning about strawberry plants.  Be sure to come back often as we regularly update this site with new information and details about strawberries and strawberry plants!  And, of course, remember that this site is best read with a bowl of fresh strawberries in hand…

This list is of the most-used pages on StrawberryPlants.org.  Click the links below to go to the appropriate pages:

Growing Strawberries – a comprehensive guide to growing your own strawberries.
Buy Strawberry Plants (by variety) – a near-comprehensive directory of online retailers for strawberries, organized by variety.
Strawberry Plants for Sale (by nursery) – a near-comprehensive directory of nurseries offering mail-order plants, with their offerings listed.
Buy Strawberry Seeds (by variety) – a near-comprehensive directory of online retailers for strawberry seeds, organized by variety.
Strawberry Plant – an encyclopedic resource for scientific and historical information about the humble strawberry plant.
Strawberry Seeds – information about saving seeds, germinating seeds, and general strawberry seed information.
Strawberry Plants Library – a listing of other helpful strawberry resources for learning about all aspects of strawberries and care.
Pick Your Own Strawberries – a directory of pick-your-own strawberry locations in all 50 states.
Strawberry Picking – a guide for picking strawberries, including etiquette and other considerations.
Strawberry Varieties – a detailed discussion of the different types of strawberries, as well as a sortable list of cultivars.
Strawberry Recipes – an amazing cookbook full of sumptuous recipes calling for strawberries across the edible spectrum.
Strawberry News – a listing of events and news pertaining to the strawberry plant or growing strawberries.
Strawberry FAQ – a question and answer series containing actual user-submitted questions and their answers.
Strawberry Festivals – a directory of happy-time strawberry festivals across the country.

Pollinating Strawberry Plants

pollinating strawberry plantsPollinating strawberry plants is not all that complicated.  However, if you want to have a heaping helping of delicious strawberries, it must be done.  The good news is that your friendly neighborhood bugs and bees are usually pretty good at pollinating strawberry plants for you.  If your strawberry plants are grown indoors or away from insect access areas, there are a few basics you should know.

Pollinating Strawberry Plants: Anatomical Understanding

The male pollinating structure of a flower is called the “stamen.”  Stamens usually consist of a filament and the pollen-containing anther.  There are typically between twenty and thirty-five stamens of varying lengths in a strawberry flower.  These stamens (collectively called the androecium) are arranged in a circle and are usually surrounded by five (or more) petals.  Initially, the anthers are a yellow color while they hold the pollen, but they quickly pale after the pollen is released.  The flower stem (pedicel) extends up into the flower and forms the cone-shaped area in the middle of the stamens.  This stem extension is called the “receptacle” and will eventually turn into the strawberry after the pollinating strawberry plants has been completed.  The receptacle is covered with the female part of the flower called “pistils.”  Up to 500 pistils cover the receptacle in a spiral pattern.  Each pistil has an ovary at its base, and an ovule is present within.

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How to Keep Strawberries Clean

keep strawberries cleanIf you want to grow strawberries successfully, it is imperative that you keep strawberries clean throughout the growing process.  Soil, while full of beneficial nutrients, is also full of pathogenic fungi and other creepy-crawlies.  Soil-borne microorganisms can wreak havoc on a strawberry planting.  So, it is vital to protect the vegetative parts of the strawberry plant (leaves, stems) and the fruit from coming into contact with soil as much as possible.

How to Keep Strawberries Clean

Historically, strawberries were kept clean with a healthy layer of straw to serve as mulch and to keep the vulnerable parts of the plant from getting coated with contaminants.  The layers of clean straw provided a barrier between the dirt and fruit, and also served to dissipate rain droplets from above.  As rain falls, the drops form puddles in gardens without mulch.  when enough water collects, the droplets hurtling toward the ground hit the puddles and cause dirt-permeated water to fly every which way.  This contaminated water is spread up and out from the impact.  Consequently, fruit and leaves that need to stay clean are often coated with the pathogenic fungi that will end up infecting and damaging both fruit and plants.

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Contaminated Strawberries Still a Problem

contaminated strawberriesThe familiar taste and wonderful aroma may not be all you are getting from your local supermarket when you buy a clam shell carton of your favorite spring and summer fruit.  According to the annual list compiled by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), contaminated strawberries are still a problem.  Each year, the EWG analyzes data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration.  The then compile their lists: the Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen.  The Dirty Dozen are the top 12 fruits and vegetables that contain the highest and most numerous residual amounts of pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals on/in the foods we consume.

Are Contaminated Strawberries Necessary?

Due to the fragility of strawberries, many pesticides and other chemicals are often used in the conventional production of the crops.  The chemicals and technologies have allowed the strawberry industry to be a multi-billion dollar industry.  However, what price do we pay over the long haul by consuming trace amounts of the chemicals used in their cultivation?  The verdict is out, but it is generally accepted that eating contaminated strawberries is less desirable than eating uncontaminated ones.

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Growing Strawberries in Gutters

growing strawberries in guttersQ: Growing Strawberries in Gutters?

On May 27, 2017, Marlene asked:

I have seen pictures of strawberries grown in gutters. I think people are growing strawberries in gutters so they are off the ground so the rain and soil don’t rot them. They are cleaner and look beautiful. Do you have any information on this method? I want to transplant my strawberries into this system. They don’t do as good when they are on the ground. My old raised beds, the wood has rotted and I need to move them soon. Plus, I have the strawberries with the runners. If I do it in an “A” structure I would cut the runners off. Put one gutter on the top of the “A” and two gutters down the sides of the “A” and so forth. Have you seen this done? I would really like to try it for this summer. How would I deal with the plants through the winter. Take the structure apart and store the plants in my basement? I would want to save them some how for the next year.

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Strawberry Roots

strawberry rootsWhat is the key to a heaping harvest of mouth-watering, juicy, delightful strawberries?  Simply put: the strawberry roots.  Healthy strawberry roots are the key to a healthy strawberry plant.  Roots are just roots, right?  Well, the fine filaments that absorb the needed nutrients from the soil that help each plant set a heavy crop of strawberries are a bit more sophisticated than you might imagine.  This article will help you understand the nature and importance of strawberry root systems.

Types of Strawberry Roots

There are two types of strawberry roots: primary roots and secondary roots.  Primary roots are the main roots of each strawberry plant.  Primary strawberry roots carry absorbed water and nutrients from the soil into the crown of the strawberry plant.  These roots are perennial in nature and survive for multiple years.

Secondary strawberry roots are also called “feeder” roots.  They are short-lived.  A normal lifespan for feeder roots is days to weeks.  The secondary strawberry roots are much finer than the primary roots.  Consequently, they are damaged very easily.  The actual water and nutrient absorption is performed by these roots.

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Strawberry Plants Information

strawberry plants informationStrawberry plants information is plentiful on the internet.  Lots of useful nuggets are already prominent and readily available on this site.  I get many questions, however, about the strawberry plant itself.  So, it may be helpful to revisit some of the general characteristics about the strawberry plant.

Basic Strawberry Plants Information

Habit: Strawberry plants are non-woody.  They are classified as forbs.  Since they have no woody tissue to support tall growth, they are short. The four major anatomical features of strawberry plants include the crown, leaves, roots, and runners.  The plants typically reach a maximum height of around one foot (12 inches) in height, but can be a bit taller or a bit smaller.

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How Fast Do Strawberry Plants Grow?

how fast do strawberry plants growQ: How Fast Do Strawberry Plants Grow?

On January 26, 2017, Mostafa, asked: How fast do strawberry plants grow in km/h?

Answer to: How Quickly D0 Strawberry Plants Grow?

Mostafa,
No one has ever asked me before how fast in km/h a strawberry plant grows! An average modern strawberry plant can be expected to reach towering heights of about 12 inches at its highest point (it is, after all, a forb). It usually takes an established strawberry plant about 2 months from the break of dormancy to get there. A new seedling will typically take around 6 months to reach that milestone after germination, depending on its environment.

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What Causes Brown Spots on Strawberries?

brown spots on strawberriesQ: What Causes Brown Spots on Strawberries?

On January 3rd, 2017, Jim asked:

I made an incredible raised bed garden just for strawberry plants. The plants have bloomed and now the berrys are turning brown. What is the likely cause and is there a remendy for this situation? I have planted strawberry plants in a raised bed planter using organic soil … I'm in central Florida and the plants are doing splendid, however, the berry turns brown and it appears as if the seeds on the berry fall off. I have found no reference to this situation in any websites I have perused. I’m hoping you can clue me in to whats happening, or at least give me the proper words for the obituary.

Answer to: What Causes Brown Spots on Strawberries?

Jim,
It can be extremely frustrating to spend as much time and effort making a great strawberry bed only to have your strawberries turn brown or rot on the plants before you get to enjoy the sweet fruits of your labor.  There are several things that can cause brown spots on strawberries, but the most common two are rot caused by partial animal or insect feeding and a fungal organism.  The first (pests) is likely self-explanatory.  The second, however, can be more insidious.  This post will deal with the second major cause of brown spots on strawberries: leather rot.

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Strawberries and Esophageal Cancer

strawberries and esophageal cancer mechanismsEveryone loves to eat strawberries.  The signature aroma and exquisite taste are known throughout the whole world.  And, while strawberries are universally loved, there exists a fiend that is universally known and despised: cancer.  While I have written in the past about some of the health benefits of strawberries, recent research is showing that strawberries and esophageal cancer may be linked as well.

Primarily, research done on esophageal cancer is revealing that the oral consumption of freeze-dried strawberries in powdered form can prevent precancerous esophageal changes from progressing to full-blown esophageal cancer.  In fact, while the effect in rats was significant, the randomized, blinded, phase II trial performed in China over 6 months was very promising for the future of strawberries and esophageal cancer.

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Winterizing Strawberry Plants

winterizing strawberry plantsWinterizing strawberry plants is necessary for gardeners in many areas.  As the temperatures drop each year, people write in asking when and how to winterize strawberry plants.  This post will cover the basics and help you determine how and when to protect your strawberry plants as the weather cools.

Why Winterize Strawberries?

Strawberry plants are perennial.  They produce for many years after the initial planting, and they can thrive for very long periods if a rotation is used to keep plants fresh.  But, there is a problem with perennial plants.  How do they survive the freezing temperatures of the winter months?  Well, strawberries are classified as forbs.  Consequently, they don't have the thick bark that protects many other perennials like most trees.  If they don't get extra protection (at least in the colder Zones), they will either die or suffer cold injury.  Both death and injury can significantly hamper your plants' ability to grow strawberries for you!

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