How to maintain Strawberry plant?

mosesong(z5 KS)June 28, 2007

Hi all,

This is my strawberry tower:

This is my first year planting them. I have pinched all the flowers and cut off all the funner so the energy can go to the plant itself. They are mix of everbearing and junebearing. I will leave the everbearing to go to fruit in the fall.

At the mean time, what should I do with the plant? the leaves are getting larger and seems create some shade to the neighbour plant. Should I let those big leave die down or should I cut them?

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When you are growing strawberries in tight space containers like that, there is not much to be gained by removing blossoms. They don't have any room to runner anyway. Might as well enjoy whatever strawberries they might give you.

You must be pretty tight for space to be growing strawberries vertically like that. It looks like a good gust of wind could take the whole thing down.

For all the trouble you have gone to with your towers, you won't get even close to the production you would by planting the strawberries in the ground, if you have a 10x10 area or so. There is not much point in taking off large, healthy leaves. They are what make food for the plant. Containers like this are always going to be crowded, which is one reason they are not very productive, although they are somewhat decorative, even without much in the way of strawberries.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 1:03PM
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mosesong(z5 KS)

Thanks Don, I was told these pots were designed for strawberry planting, and even for commecial space like this:

Space is any issue for me, and rotten control is one of the thing I don't want to deal with, by building it up, rabbits can't get to the top. I can also bring the pots in door to the garage when it get extremly cold in the winter.

As for tipping over, well, I got that taken care of. I have a metal bar running in the middle all the way into the pot, which is top with gravel. We has 40 mph wind a few weeks ago, it's not going anywhere.

How deep does strawberry root get? These pots is pretty deep and 22" diameter, so it actually bigger than it looks.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 1:33PM
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Well, I hope I am wrong here, and that does happen, but I think you were snookered by the AgroTower people. I went to their website and read all the claims, and it looks like hokum to me. There are a lot of these small companies making things intended to lighten the gardener's wallet. Any other benefits are secondary. Don't expect a big rush by commercial growers to use this expensive technique.

My guess is that by the 2nd year, you will be disgusted with these things and throw them out in the trash. I will be very surprised if you ever get much more than cereal garnish from these twin towers. Each pot shades over 70% of the pot below it, and, while berries will produce some when hanging out of a pot, they bear a lot more when the runners are allowed to root.

As an experiment, why don't you transplant some of the runners to a patch in the ground next spring of about 10x10 or even larger if you can. Plant Junebearers, not neverbearers. I hope you have kept them separate. I think you will see the difference in the first producing season of the berries in the ground.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 8:59PM
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would someone out there helpme I am a new gardenernot knowing what I was doing Iplanted my Stawberries to close I have now taken them upand split them and replanted.
will they grow?

this is my first time using the forum

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 8:12AM
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Well, first tell us how close you had them planted initially, and how close they are now. A good spacing for an in-ground planting is about 12-16 inches in the row, with at least 2 1/2 feet between the rows. This spacing allows the plants to runner freely, producing more plants that will greatly increase your production the following season. Did you plant bareroot strawberries, or potted plants? And are you growing in the ground or are you another container grower?

Whether your transplants will be successful depends on the stage of growth when you moved the plants, weather conditions, and how skillfully you moved them with minimum root disturbance. If the plants were fully leafed out and actively growing, you may lose a few. But if you managed to move them without removing all the soil from the roots, the new spot is moist, and the weather cool, you may have a high survival rate.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 9:17AM
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mosesong(z5 KS)


Thanks for the advise, I will try to move a few plants off the tower to the raise bed garden that I happen to have room for. For the in ground strawberry, how would I over winter them? Let the leave die and mulch thick?

Also, I'm getting confuse by the runner rooting you mention. I read somewhere (I think it's one of those Miracle Grow vegetable gardening book) that for every 5 strawberry plants, let one to runner and grow more plants for next years. Cut the runner off the other plants because the runner take energy away form the mother plant.

I will grow more Junebearing if I can start over again. When I buy those bareroot, I didn't know the difference, I thought more frequent yield means better because you get more fruits. Well at least have some Junebearing around for this batch.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 10:23AM
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