Matted Row System

matted row systemIntroduction to the Matted Row System

The matted row system of growing strawberries is decades old.  It was developed after the modern Garden Strawberry became the dominant strawberry grown (see the Strawberry Plant reference page for more details).  Growing strawberries in the matted row system has multiple benefits.  Chief among them is increased yields over all but the modern commercial methods.

By using the matted row, gardeners and some commercial growers can take advantage of the unique characteristics of strawberry plants in order to get the most out of their land, out of their effort, and for their taste buds.  This post is an introductory article to the matted row system.

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Southeastern Plasticulture Strawberries

southeastern plasticulture strawberriesThe biggest strawberry producer in the world is the state of California.  But, as dominantly productive as the strawberry growers in that state are, other regions of the United States are quite productive as well.  Florida is also known as a big-time strawberry state.  The standard method used in each of those two states is the typical commercial plasticulture method.

What many people do not know is that North Carolina, and particularly the coastal regions, also has a booming strawberry industry.  And, the methods used in that state are spreading to the surrounding regions.  In the mid-1980s, NC strawberry growers and NC State University partnered to develop a better way to grow strawberries in the state.  The work of this pairing led to slight adaptations of the California and Florida plasticulture practices which resulted in the Southeastern plasticulture method.  Southeastern Plasticulture strawberries can be lucrative venture.  This post is a brief introduction.

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Deformed Strawberries

deformed strawberriesHave you ever seen those hideous, misshaped strawberries?  If so, you might have wondered what causes deformed strawberries to be that way.  Well, Strawberry Plants .org is dedicated to bringing light to all things related to the strawberry plant.  And, unfortunately, deformed strawberries are a fact of life.

Hopefully, with the information contained within this post, you will never have to deal with your own mutant strawberries.  Who wants to eat hideous fruit when nice, red, symmetrical fruit can be had?  But, if you find yourself out in the strawberry bed picking your own deformed strawberries, here is what you need to know:

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Storing Bare-Root Strawberry Plants

storing bare-root strawberry plantsHow Do You Store Bare-Root Strawberry Plants?

People love their gardens.  Great care and devotion are given to raising fruits and vegetables by thousands of people every single day.  But, what happens if unforeseen circumstances arise?  What if a move is required, for whatever reason?  Well, when it comes to the garden, it gets left behind.  Strawberry growers, however, can take their strawberries with them since they are perennial.  Special storage is required when transporting your strawberry plants from one patch to another.  Here is what you need to know about storing bare-root strawberry plants…

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Strawberry Renovation

strawberry renovationIn order to maximize the production of June-bearing strawberry plants grown in the traditional matted row system, a process called “strawberry renovation” should be undertaken after the strawberries have been harvested.  By beginning strawberry renovation immediately after harvest is complete, multiple strawberry pests are more effectively controlled, other pathogens like leaf spot are contained or eliminated, and more strawberry runners will be formed and established causing the harvest for the next season to be larger.

The entire process of renovating strawberries should be completed by late July in most areas.  It should be noted that most commercial strawberry producers have moved away from traditional matted row production, now use plasticulture, and grow strawberries as annuals instead of perennials.  So, this guide to renovating strawberry plants will most likely be of benefit to home gardeners or small-scale strawberry growers.  Additionally, the traditional methods used during the renovation of strawberry plants are not organic.

With that said, here are the 10 traditional steps used in strawberry renovating:

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Strawberry Plants Per Acre

strawberry plants per acreFor anyone seriously considering starting a commercial strawberry farm, cost calculations are critical.  Most strawberry farms fail due to the farmer's lack of economic knowledge, not their lack of farming knowledge.  One of the basic questions that must be answered when considering the numbers is how many strawberry plants per acre should be planted.

Generally, a new strawberry farm should start small.  Calculating the number of strawberry plants per acre is much easier and less risky when the farmer doesn't jump in with both boots.  The first planting for a newbie berry farmer should be around 1/2 acre to 1 acre of planted strawberries.  This allows the budding strawberry business to grow as the farmer learns (without suffering a bankrupting loss if the learning is through the school of hard knocks).

Regardless, this chart will help satisfy the curious or give the prospective commercial grower a place to start:

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Growing Strawberry Plants Commercially

growing strawberry plants commerciallyGrowing strawberry plants can be an income-producing alternative to traditional crop farming.  There are an abundance of pick-your-own strawberry farms scattered across the USA.  Unfortunately, however, numerous farmers each year decide to take the plunge into commercial strawberry growing each year…and go bust.  If you are interested in growing strawberries commercially, you should read entry 0006 in the Strawberry Plants Library before reading further.  Then, with that information as background, continue reading this post to get an idea of the sequential steps involved in growing strawberry plants commercially.

This sequence is followed by most commercial strawberry farmers.  Of course, there is some variation between farms, but this overview will give a general idea of what is involved.

Prepare the Land for the Strawberry Plants

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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: Introduction

Strawberry 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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Growing Strawberries

Introduction to the Growing Strawberries Page

Do you want to begin growing strawberries? Or, have you been growing strawberries for a long time and simply want to get fresh ideas or helpful suggestions? You’ve landed in the right spot! This site will teach you how to grow strawberries and get you growing strawberry plants in places you would have never dreamed possible.

We are passionate about everything related to strawberries here. We hope that passion shines through. Since the little and beautiful red berries are nutritious and delicious, we want to see more people develop a love for growing strawberry plants and eating the delicious and sweet strawberries they produce! In each garden strawberries have a place, and we want to help more gardeners find successful ways to incorporate them.

To help you navigate to the information that is most helpful for your present situation, use this handy-dandy table of contents to go directly to the information you need.  If you want to start at the very beginning and work your way through, just scroll down!

1. Why Grow Strawberries?2. Choosing How to Grow:
a. From Seed (new page)
b. From Plants
3. Picking the Best Strawberry Variety4. Site Selection
5. Choosing Your Growing Method6. Garden Preparation
7. How to Plant Strawberry Plants
a. What to Plant with Strawberries (new page)
8. Caring for Your Strawberries
a. Watering Strawberries
b. Fertilizing Strawberries
9. Multiplying Your Strawberry Plants...
a. Propagating Strawberry Plants (new page)
b. Transplanting Strawberry Plants (new page)
10. When to Harvest
11. Renovating Strawberries12. Protecting Strawberry Plants
a. Mulching (new page)
b. Overwintering Strawberries (new page)
13. Dealing with Common Problems...
a. Plants Not Producing Strawberries (new page)
b. Strawberry Plants Wilting (new page)
c. Late Frosts/Cold Weather (new page)
d. Upside-down Hanging Planters (new page)
e. Pests & Pathogens (new page)
14. More Articles & Information on Growing Strawberries
15. Frequently Asked Questions (new page)

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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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