When Should Strawberry Plants Be Mulched?

when should strawberry plants be mulched for winter

when should strawberry plants be mulched for winterQ: When Should Strawberry Plants Be Mulched for Winter?

On November 20, 2015, Danny Abbuscome asked:

I have a few raised beds with strawberry plants planted in them.  I got them as potted plants and had a decent crop and got several gallons of strawberries from all my plants combined.  I planted them this spring, instead of last fall like you recommended (I hadn't found this site yet).  I followed all the instructions for renovation and mowed them and limited the runners so they didn't overgrow everything.  It may have been mentioned somewhere else, but when exactly do I mulch the plants for winter?  I seem to get different information on a quick google of mulching strawberries.  Exactly when should strawberry plants be mulched for the winter months?  I don't want to smother them or cause any harm if the plants aren't ready.  I still have some green living-looking leaves on my plants, although most of the big leaves have turned mostly brown and look dead.  Can you give me some advice as to how to go about mulching?  Any help would be much appreciated!

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Growing Strawberries in Containers

growing strawberries in containers

growing strawberries in containersQ: Problems Growing Strawberries in Containers?

On September 23, 2015, Bob asked:

I have a large container on my patio with strawberry plants in it. This was the 2nd summer for these strawberries. Unfortunately, the plants only put out a handful of strawberries back in early June. I was very disappointed to say the least. I had stopped by a local nursery to pick their brains about the lack of yield I had this summer. The lady there told me that strawberries grown in containers don’t typically produce a lot of fruit compared to those growing in the ground. She also asked me if I had fertilized my strawberry plants last fall before winter set in. I had never heard of doing this. Why would you fertilize a plant that is about to die from the coming cold months? If this is true, when do I fertilize? Now, that the plant is still green and alive, or do I wait for it to curl up and die after winter hits? It should be noted that I leave this container outside on my patio uncovered and exposed to the snow and elements all winter long. It survived fine this way last winter and grew back really nice this past spring, so I really didn’t have to baby it at all to keep it alive. It survived! Also, what fertilizer, if any, do I use for this fall fertilization?

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What Causes Small Strawberries?

small strawberries

small strawberriesQ: Why Are My Strawberries Small?

On July 18, 2015, Michael Johnson asked:

Hi, I was hoping you could help me with a problem I have.  I need to know what causes small strawberries.  I planted my strawberries last year during September, and they put out some greenery before dying back for the winter months.  This spring they came up and looked to be doing pretty well.  They put out flowers on stalks that started to grow, but the size of the fruits that are produced are all tiny.  They are only about half an inch big, give or take a little.

I've done my best to water them, and follow the instructions for what should give a good crop, but I'm still stuck wondering what causes small strawberries after doing everything I can to make them big.  Can you tell me why are my strawberries small instead of big and plump like they are in the store?  Any help would be appreciated! Thank you.

Answer to: What Causes Small Strawberries?

Michael Johnson,
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what causes small strawberries without being able to visualize your setup and without knowing all that has gone into their care up until this point.  There are a number of things that can cause your strawberries to smaller than the ones you may be used to buying at the store or from farmers markets.  So, let me point out some of the most common causes of small strawberries:

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Strawberry Pollination

strawberry pollination

strawberry pollinationStrawberries are relatively simple little plants.  Their genomes have been completely mapped, and their life cycles are fully understood.  But, as simple as strawberry plants may seem, they are still complex enough to warrant study; and, the study that goes into them continues to reveal much fascinating information.  This post is dedicated to that topic of plant fertilization that sometimes can induce somnambulism in all but the most ardent botanists: strawberry pollination.  But, once you've reviewed this information, you'll be ready to tackle hand pollination of strawberries or be better able to situate your strawberry bed in the most ideal location for growing gargantuan berries!

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The Strawberry Growing Master Manual

The Strawberry Growing Master Manual
The Strawberry Growing Master Manual

 

* Manual Format: Digital Download

Strawberries. Everyone loves them. The small red fruits meld their aroma and taste together perfectly for what many food connoisseurs describe as a truly sublime gustatory experience. So delightful is the fruit that literally billions of dollars are made each year from the sale of the savory succulents. The enormous Californian strawberry companies that produce tons upon tons of strawberries don’t want you to know something, however. In fact, they don’t want you to know several things…

They don’t want you to know that you can easily grow your own strawberries at home in as little as one half of a cubic foot of dirt! You don’t need acres upon acres of land.

They don’t want you to know how much money you can save by growing your own strawberries instead of buying berries from them! Strawberry plants are one of the most productive garden plants based on size-to-harvest ratio.

They don’t want you to know how enjoyable it is to see little plants produce heaps of strawberries that you can immediately eat! There is no need to fight the crowds at the supermarket or grocery store to enjoy ultra-fresh berries.

And, my friend, those are just a few of the myriads of benefits you’ll realize by growing your own strawberries. Let me tell you briefly about the value you will be able to realize by using The Strawberry Growing Master Manual to produce your own strawberries. To best understand this value, let’s start with some of what makes strawberry plants so amazing…

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Mulching Strawberry Plants in the Summer

mulching strawberry plants in the summer

mulching strawberry plants in the summerQ: Should I Mulch Strawberry Plants?

On April 9, 2015, Kim Ruby asked:

Hello – I live in North Central Florida. My growing season is different than the northern climates. My strawberry season is ended by June. This past year I planted 40 Sweet Charlie bare root plants in November and they are doing great. I have been pinching the berries this year giving the plant a chance to establish. Should I use straw mulch to protect my strawberry plants from the summer heat? If not, what do you suggest? Thank You.

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Novelty Strawberries

pineberries

novelty strawberriesNovelty Strawberries for the Home Garden

It is finally that time of year again! The winter freeze is in the process of giving way to the spring thaw, and that means it is time to start planning your garden. The sooner you start planning, the sooner you will be ready to plant, and the sooner you will be ready to harvest delicious earth-grown produce.  Novelty strawberries could be an option for the adventurous gardener this year.

Since strawberry plants often find their way into many gardeners' plots each year, I thought it might be beneficial to review some of the lesser-known options. If you have a square foot garden or a few extra rows (or even a partial row) of space to use, you may want to consider branching out into some of these novelty strawberry varieties.

Everyone knows the traditional red and juicy strawberry. Many don't know that there are other, less-common options available as well. This post will familiarize you with you options. If you are a bit adventurous and willing to branch out, try planting one or more of these novelty strawberries. You'll find them unique and well-suited as attraction-getters, whether you use them in salads, enter them in contests, or find other amazing uses for them!

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Recommended Strawberry Varieties for Canada

Recommended Strawberry Varieties for CanadaStrawberry plants are, in my humble opinion, a truly fascinating marvel of nature.  They are amazingly adaptable; they propagate themselves in a plurality of ways; and they produce a fleshy red, white, yellow, or purple fruit that is universally prized by the intelligent and instinctive creatures that live all around us (including us human folk!).  They have developed and adapted means of surviving sub-zero temperatures, and, consequently, can be grown from the warmer temperate regions of our great planet all the way north or south to the frigid regions.

But, their adaptability and genetic flexibility have allowed for selective breeding.  Researchers have been able to breed for desired characteristics.  And, while such breeding programs have allowed for improved disease resistance, bigger strawberries, different colors, and more commercially-viable cultivars, the breeding has also culled some of the hardiness from some of the varieties as specificity has narrowed by region.  Today, not just any strawberry variety will do well in just any ol' location.  The more extreme the weather, the more specific one should be when selecting a specialized variety for planting in order to obtain the best harvest from your efforts.

That, my strawberry-loving friends, is where this post can help!  If you live in the frigid environs of Canada (at least in winter), you need to know how to pick an appropriately hardy strain of strawberry plants so that you end up happy with your final yield of fruit.  If you are from the United States, go here for your state-by-state recommended varieties.  This page is a compilation of each of the recommend strawberry variety lists for each of the Canadian provinces and territories.

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How to Grow Certified Organic Strawberries

How to Grow Certified Organic StrawberriesAlthough strawberries have been at the pinnacle of the produce pyramid for decades, their popularity continues to grow.  Unless a strawberry allergy forces a saddened consumer away from these bright red edibles, they are usually the first to vanish from fruit trays across the globe.  Strawberries are delicious, there’s no doubt about that, but they have gotten a bad reputation of late.  Conventional growing methods use fumigants, chemicals, and other methods to maximize production and profits.  But, more and more people are becoming disillusioned and distrustful of conventional methods and are increasingly concerned over potential deleterious consequences of consuming the trace amounts of those chemicals when the fruits are consumed.  This trend toward natural and organic produce has opened a door for new growers to eschew chemical-based practices for potentially safer methods of growing strawberries.  The market for organic strawberries is growing, and the interest in growing them is increasing among potential strawberry farmers as well due to the premium price that organic strawberries bring over their conventionally-grown counterparts.

If you are interested in learning how to grow certified organic strawberries, this guide will help you get started.

This post will focus on the requirements a potential grower must meet in order to legally use such terms as “organic,” “100% organic,” or “made with organic ingredients.”  If you desire to sell your organic produce at a farmer’s market or any other public or private venue, you need to know the requirements so that you don’t run into trouble with the law.

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4 Secrets to Growing Loads of Organic Strawberries

4 secrets to growing loads of organic strawberriesI have been growing and helping others grow organic strawberries for many years.  While the segment of the population that is concerned about how their food is grown is still a minority, more and more people are discovering the benefits of sustainable agriculture.  And, as more and more gardeners test out their green thumbs, gardens all around the world are finding strawberry plants inhabiting space next to herbs and other garden plants.  Going green and growing healthy food go well together; and since virtually everyone loves strawberries, this post will help those who want to eschew the conventional methods (which are somewhat notorious for producing dirty strawberries) for potentially safer ones.  Plus, since no one wants to trade a basket full of bright, plump strawberries for just a hand full, the four secrets I'll fill you in on momentarily will help you get started on your journey of successfully growing organic strawberries!

First Things First!

Before getting to the secrets, a few preliminaries are in order.  There are some key decisions that have to be made prior to planting strawberry plants.  You need to know which of the main types of strawberries you want to plant…

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