Strawberry plants not blooming

gtippittJune 23, 2010

At the end of March, I planted 12 dwarf fruit trees of different types. They are in 18 gallon Rubbermaid plastic tote containers filled with compost. Since the trees are all small 1 year olds, I decided to plant strawberries in the pots with the trees. I have Ozark Beauty and Gem Everbearing strawberries. The compost was made last year from grass clipping and chopped leaves and is fairly rich, so I have not fertilized them yet. I planted 4 strawberry plants in the container with each tree, with the berries in the corners.

My strawberry plants are growing like kudzu for more than 2 months, but I have only had 2 bloom on 1 of the 48 plants. The plants are about 18 inches high with leaves that are nearly 12 inches across. The leaves are dark and lush, but no blooms. I am trying to keep the runners clipped off to concentrate energy to the mother plants. In 2 days every plant will have 1 or 2 new runners that are almost 12 inches long.

One of the Ozark's did have 2 blooms and made 2 very nice strawberries. I know that over fertilizing with nitrogen can make plants grow too much foliage and not bloom, but I have not put anything on these except the compost they were planted in.

The trees are all leafing out nicely, and I've given them their first pruning to set up a nice scaffolding. None of the plants have the thin pale green leaves I would normally expect from excess nitrogen. The strawberry plants leaves are thick, tough, and dark green.

I had bought some water soluble Super Bloom Flower Food 12-55-6 to put on them after they set fruit to encourage reblooming. I have not used it yet, because I don't know if the soil is already too rich with nutrients.

It has been very hot here in Knoxville for the past month with daytime 90s and 70s at night. The plants get full sun all day.

Anyone have any ideas?

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