Pollinating Strawberry Plants

pollinating strawberry plants

pollinating strawberry plantsPollinating strawberry plants is not all that complicated.  However, if you want to have a heaping helping of delicious strawberries, it must be done.  The good news is that your friendly neighborhood bugs and bees are usually pretty good at pollinating strawberry plants for you.  If your strawberry plants are grown indoors or away from insect access areas, there are a few basics you should know.

Pollinating Strawberry Plants: Anatomical Understanding

The male pollinating structure of a flower is called the “stamen.”  Stamens usually consist of a filament and the pollen-containing anther.  There are typically between twenty and thirty-five stamens of varying lengths in a strawberry flower.  These stamens (collectively called the androecium) are arranged in a circle and are usually surrounded by five (or more) petals.  Initially, the anthers are a yellow color while they hold the pollen, but they quickly pale after the pollen is released.  The flower stem (pedicel) extends up into the flower and forms the cone-shaped area in the middle of the stamens.  This stem extension is called the “receptacle” and will eventually turn into the strawberry after the pollinating strawberry plants has been completed.  The receptacle is covered with the female part of the flower called “pistils.”  Up to 500 pistils cover the receptacle in a spiral pattern.  Each pistil has an ovary at its base, and an ovule is present within.

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Strawberry Roots

strawberry roots

strawberry rootsWhat is the key to a heaping harvest of mouth-watering, juicy, delightful strawberries?  Simply put: the strawberry roots.  Healthy strawberry roots are the key to a healthy strawberry plant.  Roots are just roots, right?  Well, the fine filaments that absorb the needed nutrients from the soil that help each plant set a heavy crop of strawberries are a bit more sophisticated than you might imagine.  This article will help you understand the nature and importance of strawberry root systems.

Types of Strawberry Roots

There are two types of strawberry roots: primary roots and secondary roots.  Primary roots are the main roots of each strawberry plant.  Primary strawberry roots carry absorbed water and nutrients from the soil into the crown of the strawberry plant.  These roots are perennial in nature and survive for multiple years.

Secondary strawberry roots are also called “feeder” roots.  They are short-lived.  A normal lifespan for feeder roots is days to weeks.  The secondary strawberry roots are much finer than the primary roots.  Consequently, they are damaged very easily.  The actual water and nutrient absorption is performed by these roots.

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Strawberry Plants Information

strawberry plants information

strawberry plants informationStrawberry plants information is plentiful on the internet.  Lots of useful nuggets are already prominent and readily available on this site.  I get many questions, however, about the strawberry plant itself.  So, it may be helpful to revisit some of the general characteristics about the strawberry plant.

Basic Strawberry Plants Information

Habit: Strawberry plants are non-woody.  They are classified as forbs.  Since they have no woody tissue to support tall growth, they are short. The four major anatomical features of strawberry plants include the crown, leaves, roots, and runners.  The plants typically reach a maximum height of around one foot (12 inches) in height, but can be a bit taller or a bit smaller.

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How Fast Do Strawberry Plants Grow?

how fast do strawberry plants grow

how fast do strawberry plants growQ: How Fast Do Strawberry Plants Grow?

On January 26, 2017, Mostafa, asked: How fast do strawberry plants grow in km/h?

Answer to: How Quickly D0 Strawberry Plants Grow?

Mostafa,
No one has ever asked me before how fast in km/h a strawberry plant grows! An average modern strawberry plant can be expected to reach towering heights of about 12 inches at its highest point (it is, after all, a forb). It usually takes an established strawberry plant about 2 months from the break of dormancy to get there. A new seedling will typically take around 6 months to reach that milestone after germination, depending on its environment.

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Ancient Strawberry Plants Genetic Sequencing

ancient strawberry plants

ancient strawberry plantsStrawberry plants are quite complex to be such small plants.  The production and yield from plants that size are normally fairly small, but the modern strawberry varieties have been bred extensively to produce huge yields from relatively small plants.  Since almost everyone loves strawberries, growing them has become big business.  In 2012, over 3 billion pounds of strawberries were produced in the United States, and the value of that haul was about $2,400,000,000 (according to the USDA).  That is some serious coinage by any standard.  And, that is why there is constantly research and scientific endeavors to increase strawberry production.  The more available, the more that will be purchased and eaten (or so the reasoning goes).  Literally hundreds of varieties have been developed and released over the years by different research stations in the US and across the globe.  The modern strawberry plants that give us the huge and delectable fruits of today weren't always such prolific producers.  In fact, ancient strawberry plants are quite a bit different.

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Strawberry Plant Disease Diagnosis

strawberry plant disease diagnosisFew things are more frustrating for a farmer or gardener than to toil for hours in heat and rain while nurturing his growing plants with tender loving care only to see some infernal sign that a microscopic invader has set up shop among the plants.  After working for hours preparing the earth, planting the plants, and weeding out the uninvited party crashers, it can provoke feelings of desperation, despair, and disillusionment to watch once-healthy plants wilt and die.

The wilting of future dreams and enjoyment as the plants become marred and disfigured with bacterial blemishes and fungal flaws is enough to make a budding gardener hang up the trowel and garden gloves for good.  Be ye irked no longer!  You don't have to wave the white flag of final surrender if the unseen organisms wage war upon your growing goodies.  In fact, you can identify and slay such scurrilous offenders with a little help from qualified specialists.

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If You Plant a Strawberry Top, Will It Grow a Strawberry?

if you plant a strawberry top, will it grow a strawberry

if you plant a strawberry top, will it grow a strawberryIf You Plant a Strawberry Top, Will It Grow a Strawberry?

Over the course of the years, I have had several people ask me this question, or a version of it: “If you plant a strawberry top, will it grow a strawberry?”  This year, however, I have received a noticeable increase in the number of curious questioners hoping to make good on the part of the strawberry most commonly used as a grip while the rest of the fruit is gnawed in happy contentment.  After all, the little bit of white flesh left under the calyx and stem isn't good for much other than, perhaps, making a bit of strawberry water.  I don't know why the curiosity has spiked, but it is a valid question.  Since curious minds want to know…

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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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Strawberry Plants Benefit from Fungus

strawberry plants benefit from fungusIf you mention fungal infections to strawberry farmers, you will likely watch as faces either go pasty white with fear or purple with rage.  Fungi can wipe out whole fields of strawberries leaving the farmers with nary an avenue of recourse but to treat and replant with a more hardy variety of strawberry.  With the phase out of methyl iodide (and the banning of other fumigants that were used to wipe out fungus spores) due to public concerns and possible health impacts, strawberry farmers are looking for other ways to control or eliminate losses due to pathogenic fungal infection.  Using coconut coir as a growth medium and anaerobic soil disinfestation both may be used more widely in the future.  Another option may become viable at a time yet future as well.

When most people think of companion planting, they think of planting synergistic plant species in proximity to one another to maximize the beneficial interactions.  But, as it turns out, the mycologists may have a new reason to celebrate.  While many people have been using mycorrhizal fungi for many years to grow large garden plants, strawberry farmers have often tried to completely eliminate all types of fungi from interacting with strawberry plants because of the aforementioned detrimental effects that many of the microorganisms inflict on Fragaria species.  The University of California has fired the first salvo in changing that preconceived notion, however.  A recent study has shown that certain entomopathogenic fungi can be used with strawberry plants to kill mites and other strawberry pests while leaving the strawberries unharmed.

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Strawberry Plants with Yellow Flowers

strawberry plants with yellow flowersFew things are more exciting to a green thumb than strolling about outside and discovering a native fruit-producing plant growing wild.  I’ve had several such occurrences in just the last few years.  I was as giddy as a kid in a candy shop a while back when I noticed a mulberry tree laden with dark, almost black fruit tempting me with its heavy branch hanging over my head and almost brushing my hair on a sidewalk in the middle of a suburban setting.  I guess no one ever thought to cut down the tree growing near the runoff drain, but I harvested as many fresh mulberries as I could before I had to leave the area.  I’ve often stumbled into wild blackberry thickets in my wanderings, and just last year I discovered four wild American persimmon trees not a mile from my dwelling place.

While blackberries are generally loved and known by everyone, mulberries are less known, and knowledge of persimmons is confined to a fairly small group within the general population.  Strawberries, however, are the A-List celebrities of the fruit world.  Virtually everyone loves them.  So, many people who find what they believe to be wild strawberries in their yard often ask me, “Why aren’t my wild strawberries with yellow flowers producing any strawberries?!”  Well, here’s why:

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