Growing Strawberries with New Techniques

growing strawberries with new techniques29 percent of the world's strawberries come from one single place: the state of California in the United States.  Almost a third or every succulent red sweet fruit is grown in the vast acres of strawberry plants in the fertile land out west.  A major problem with strawberries, however, is that they succumb to all manner of pests and pathogens.  Diseases are of particular nuisance to farmers.  To eliminate pathogens and fungi that affect strawberries and are almost ubiquitous, strawberry farmers have been sterilizing soil that is subsequently used to grow strawberries for almost half a century.

But, the major fumigants uses are methylated halogens.  Methyl bromide, a particular popular one, was found to be a contributor to ozone depletion and was banned in 2005.  Due to the difficulty in finding alternatives, the strawberry farmers have been able to get waivers to continue using the powerful chemical fumigant.  However, the waivers are set to end altogether in 2016.  So, growing strawberries with new techniques is going to be necessary.  And, there just may be a viable option coming to fruition soon.

Researchers are continuing to try to find disease resistant strains and breed them into a super-strain able to withstand the vast majority of pathogens currently dispatched by fumigation techniques.  That process is a slow one, unfortunately.

Another option is a technique called anaerobic soil disinfestation.  Anaerobic soil disinfestation is a method using anaerobic bacteria.  The method is not a one-shot-kills-all like soil fumigation is, but it does have potential.  And, the great aspect of the new anaerobic soil disinfestation techniques is that they are organic.  Eschewing the chemicals in favor of “healthier” options is growing in popularity with many Americans.  As such, any techniques that allow for resistance of disease and continuation of massive strawberry harvests will be a boon to farmers in California and elsewhere.  Growing strawberries with new techniques is discussed in this article, for those interested.

6 comments to Growing Strawberries with New Techniques

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Marlene Wisner,
    Thanks for the questions! I have actually turned the response to your question into a full article, which will be available to read on the homepage at the end of this month (June 2017). Sorry for the delay, but check back then for a detailed response! And, good luck!

  • Marlene Wisner

    I have seen pictures of strawberries grown in gutters. 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.

    Thank you for any advice or articles you can send me on the subject. Also, I have seen grapes grown over an old dog kennel. It worked very slick. The grapes grew on top and were in the kennel where the birds couldn’t get them. It looked great. I am trying to get more strawberries, and with all the rain we got last year through the summer. They didn’t do so good.

    Thank you again,
    Sincerely,
    Marlene Wisner 5/23/2017

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Tuna,
    You should be able to move them now. September is the ideal time for transplanting. Good luck!

  • Tuna

    I want to transfer my strawberry plants from raised beds in my green house to my front garden bed -it’s mid September and I don’t want to loose them,
    But my greenhouse is tiny and I need to move them. They have grown beautifully- though not much fruit. I’m hoping to do better next year.
    Any suggestions would be great.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Daniel,
    Your plants look ok. I’d keep watering them appropriately and see if they grow larger. Sometimes it takes small seedlings a bit of time to really kick in and start growing well. Good luck!

  • Daniel

    Hi, thank you for your excellent article! I requested your help few weeks ago in other post and your reply was helpful, now, I have others questions. I am trying to get strawberry plants in the caribbean, in dominican republic to be specific. Now my tiny strawberry plants has about 3+ months old since sprouted, but they are still so tiny (it size isnt even an inch high). I have two photos: fresas1.jpg and fresas2.jpg can you take an look and tell me if they look healthy? It is normal that they are so tiny even with 3 months? Also, when they will growth its crown? Should they be transplanted now?? Hope you can answer, thanks, God bless

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