Strawberry Plants and Cold Injury

strawberry plants and cold injuryOne of the benefits of growing strawberry plants is that they don’t die off every year.  With appropriate care, they can live for many years, and they can survive very cold winter temperatures.  These traits make strawberry plants hardy perennials.

As the temperatures drop in the fall or winter, strawberry plants undergo a transformation.  They slow their cellular processes, move into a state of plant “hibernation,” and are dormant until warmer temperatures return in the late winter or early spring of the next year.

When temperatures increase, strawberry plants revive and begin increasing their plant metabolism.  But, a brief period of warmer temperatures can happen before the warmer weather is consistent.  And, unfortunately, strawberry plants are susceptible to being damaged by cold temperatures if they are not prepared for them.  When temperatures rise and revive dormant strawberry plants and then precipitously fall again, strawberry plants can suffer cold injury or “frost damage.”  This post will guide you through the process of determining the degree and significance of cold damage on strawberry plants in your garden.

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Strawberry Plants Producing Runners but no Strawberries?

Strawberry Plants Producing Runners but no StrawberriesA common complaint of new strawberry growers is that their strawberry plants aren’t producing strawberries.  They have planted them, provided them tender loving care, and waited expectantly for them to return the “love” by setting a harvest of nice, plump, juicy strawberries.

And then no strawberries come.  You may have lots of leafy greens and too many strawberry runners shooting out to count, but the strawberries themselves are sadly absent.

Here are the top 10 reasons your strawberry plants aren’t producing strawberries.  It is likely that your situation will fall into one of these:

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Strawberry Plants & Borage

Strawberry plants and borage have a special relationship. Many books have been written on companion planting; and strawberry plants, like most other plants, can benefit from being planted in close proximity to other flora.  The most beneficial plant to plant in close proximity to strawberry plants is likely the culinary herb borage.  But before delving into the relationship between strawberry plants and borage, a brief bit of background information may be helpful.

Do Strawberry Plants Need Companion Plants?

At its heart, all companion planting is based on the theory (backed by significant evidence) that planting different plant species in close proximity can, in the right combinations, produce mutually beneficial and even synergistic results.  Many combinations have been discovered and shown to positively influence nutrient uptake, aid in controlling harmful pests, and increase pollination (among others).  Each synergistic improvement tends to yield benefits in the health and productivity of the crop.

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Grow Your Own Strawberry Plants: 10 Reasons Why

grow your own strawberry plantsThis site is focused on helping people develop an interest in growing strawberry plants, understanding the strawberry plant itself, and enjoying both the taste and health benefits of strawberries.  The Reference Pages to the left will help anyone successfully grow strawberry plants in a garden, container, or pretty much anywhere else there is dirt and water.

So, why should you want to grow your own strawberry plants?  I’m glad you asked!  This short post reviews the top 10 reasons you should grow your own strawberry plants.

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Strawberry Flowers

strawberry flowersStrawberry flowers are the means by which strawberry plants ultimately produce fruit.  But, they are tremendously intricate.  The basics of strawberry flowers will be briefly discussed here, including how they grow from strawberry plants and what to do with them (and when).

Origins of Strawberry Flowers

Strawberry flowers have an interesting life.  Different types of strawberry plants produce them at different times.  But, since the June-bearing strawberry has captured the hearts and minds of most gardeners who plant strawberry plants, its flowers will be the focus of this post.

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Monthly Growing Strawberries Guide

GROWING STRAWBERRIES OVERVIEW: INTRODUCTION

There is a tremendous amount of detailed information on our Growing Strawberries page.  For anyone just starting out, it is recommended that the starting point be that page.  However, it can also be useful to step back and look at the big picture when it comes to growing strawberries.

Since strawberry plants are perennial in nature, they will produce good harvests for multiple years if taken care of properly.  This guide is intended to give you a general idea of what it takes to properly care for growing strawberries and dormant strawberries all year long.

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Mowing Strawberry Plants

mowing strawberry plantsStrawberry plants are perennials.  The fact that you can reap the benefits of your labor over the span of multiple years is a great benefit.  However, to ensure that the strawberry plants survive the harsh conditions of the winter months, a little extra tender loving care is required.  As discussed on the Growing Strawberries page, June-bearing strawberries need to be renovated each year.  One aspect of the renovation process that confuses some people is the mowing strawberries part.

“Mowing strawberries!  You must be kidding, right?  You surely don’t mean running over your strawberry bed with a lawn mower?!!”  Actually, that is exactly what it means.  And, hopefully, this post will help you understand how to mow strawberry plants and give you the confidence you need to begin mowing strawberry plants in your own garden.

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Strawberry Plant Propagation

strawberry propagationThere are three main ways to propagate strawberry plants.  The plants can be divided and transplanted once multiple crowns have been grown (or division of rhizomes), new plants can be grown from strawberry seeds, or the runners that strawberry plants put out can be controlled, guided, and caused to root where clone plants can be utilized most efficiently.

There are positives and negatives about propagating strawberries with each method, all of which will be briefly discussed.  However, to offer the bottom line up front, most gardeners will find that the easiest way is to propagate strawberry plants by runner.

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How a New Variety of Strawberry Plants is Developed

How a New Variety of Strawberry Plants is DevelopedHave you ever wondered how a new variety of strawberry plants is developed?  The big, luscious strawberries that we all know and love haven’t always existed.  In fact, they are a relatively new phenomenon.  The original wild-type strawberry species produced (and still produce) tasty strawberries.  But, those strawberry plants cranked out tiny (relatively speaking) fruits.  When the first Garden Strawberry was successfully bred (see the Strawberry Plant page for more of the development history of today’s strawberry plants), the path was paved for the creation of the strawberry cultivars we grow today.

While the most successful breeding programs are funded by the state, individuals or non-governmental groups can endeavor to breed better strawberry plants as well.  This post describes some of the thoughts and targets that should guide any strawberry plant breeding program.

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What Are Strawberry Runners? (Stolons)

Most of the commonly cultivated varieties of strawberry plants (Fragaria x ananassa) will produce “runners” as a means of propagating themselves.  Anyone who grows strawberries is probably familiar with the term and, at some point, probably experienced at least a twinge of curiosity regarding them.  You may have even asked yourself, “Exactly what are strawberry runners ?”  Be curious no longer, for you are about to find out!
strawberry plant runners

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