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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Transplanting Strawberries

Why Should You Transplant Strawberry Plants?

Most strawberry plants will produce many runners over the course of its life.  For the home gardener, this is great!  You get to buy (or otherwise obtain) a few strawberry plants and watch them multiply themselves exponentially.  However, the little fellas don’t know when to stop producing runners when the maximum productive capacity of a confined strawberry bed is reached.

So, a gardener who desires lots of high quality strawberries will have to remedy this overcrowding.  It can be done either by thinning the plants or transplanting the plants to a new area.  Also, if the soil isn’t particularly well-suited for growing strawberries, transplanting strawberry plants to a rich, sandy loam with good drainage can make all the difference in the world.

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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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Hop on the Strawberry Bandwagon

hop on the strawberry bandwagon with strawberry plantsIf you haven't decided to traipse on down to your local nursery and purchase strawberry plants to plant in your garden, now is a great time to give it some more thought!  Strawberries are packed with vitamins and beneficial nutrients your body needs (most notably Vitamin C and flavonoids).  Eating them may even help stave off some the negative effects of aging!

Of course, eating strawberries won't keep you alive until you are 200 years old, but they may just keep you young-at-heart.  A recent national survey conducted by the USDA (in conjunction with other researchers and funded by the California Strawberry Commission) polled 1,751 kids between the ages of 5 and 18 about their fruit preferences.  The results magnified a trend and cemented the little red fruit from the strawberry plant as the king of the fruit mountain.

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