Strawberry patch post-harvest

ilovecucumbersJune 17, 2014

Hi again,

Well, I got a bumper crop of Jewel berries. This was their second year, and they were amazing! A few stragglers are still turning red, but mostly the season is done.

I've been reading a lot about how to care for a strawberry patch post-fruiting, but it's kind of confusing. This is what I've retained: Remove foliage, fertilize, and keep them watered until first frost.

But what should I fertilize with? I don't have any homemade compost yet. It's still cooking.

Also, should I keep the runners, or remove them? I am seeing new growth at the crowns.

Anything else I should know?

Thank you, as always.

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I use 10-10-10 on my patch ,I use the runners to increase the size of my patch and also to replace older plants

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 7:15PM
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I ususally just run over the patch with my mower, I set the deck p.high to leave about 6" of stems or so, I thin the plants so nothing is closer than 10-12", moving runners to fill in empty spots, transplant or remove any older unproductive plants.

Got a big bag of Plant-tone, i think it is 5-3-3, that works for me, in the past I have used 10-10-10 also or any other things I've had lying around. The important part in summer care is to mow em down and bag the foliage, and re/apply more mulch. Mowing triggers next years berries.

In years where I have forgotten to mow, my yield was decreased on average by 25-40% overall.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 12:34PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Many of my June bearing are mixed in with everbearing. So I don't really cut them back till fall. Currently both are still producing. I just cut them all back in the fall.
I use organic products and fertilize them all after the Junes finish. Currently using MicroLife Vegetable and Floral 8-4-6. Junes are still producing for me.
Todays' Harvest (The white are pineberries and some alpines)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 3:09PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

My patch has Jewel and Earlyglow [the best] and has finished its second year. Last year I mowed them off, fertilized with Plantone and 12-12-12, an watered. I grow a solid and wide mat. I had to pull off hundreds of runners three times because I needed no more interior runners. It worked extremely well and produced very, very well this year. I plan to repeat the procedure this year, but till out a strip in the middle to take out the oldest plants...probably not necessary but the 'experts' who know not my healthy patch ...

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 7:38PM
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This is news to me. I have only owned my house since the fall. What do I do? Just snip all the foliage off? How do I know if I have june bearing or ever bearing?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 8:06PM
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Thanks for the replies, and the fertilizer ideas! I can't mow the patch--I actually have a huge raised bed. So I had to cut the foliage with shears--very long, punishing work.

I have seen very few runners. Is that a concern? This is their second year.

Also, what is the difference between seeing new, tender "buds" (are they the crowns?) and runners?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 8:10PM
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Runners look like leaf stems anywhere from 12-24" long, running parallel to the ground. At the end of the runner will be a node that will root and form an identical plant, sometimes that node will will then form its own runner.

Some varieties run more than others.

June bearing Vs Ever bearing/ Day Neutral, not sure if there is a surefire way to differentiate them, other than if you get strawberries in July, August or September, you don't have June bearing ;p

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 4:44AM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

The first year I had my small patch, I cut it back right after harvest and almost killed everything because we had a heat wave and there wasn't enough foliage to protect the plants. Now I wait a while until the summer heat breaks before trimming it back. Like was mentioned above I direct runners to fill in the blank spots, and use some 5-10-5, or 10-10-10 in the fall.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 6:17AM
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I don't believe compost works well for fertilizing an established strawberry bed. The plants are heavy feeders, and they need more P & K, not too much N.

You can't dig compost into the soil, or you harm the roots. If you just dump a lot of it on top, you risk burying the crowns.

I think one reason for moving the bed from time to time is because the soil gets depleted, not because the plants get exhausted, as is often said. Establishing a new bed is the best opportunity to work in a lot of compost.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 9:20AM
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