Healty Strawberry plants, but....

LilyofVallee(3 SK Can.)July 4, 2003


I moved my new baby ever bearing strawberry plants to a different area of my garden last summer and did not allow them to bloom or put out runners.. They developed into beautiful plants by the fall..

My problem is that this year, both with the earlier spring crop and now after a 2 to 3 week rest, they have and are producing lovely green foliage and healthy looking blooms but then they either don't form any fruit or the fruit is mutated (I don't know if there is a proper term for fruit that is malformed).

The plants get full sun, are not over crowded and are kept practically weed free and since we've been getting a lot of hot, dry, and windy weather, I've been watering them well every 3 to 4 days.

The plants don't seem to be suffering from any disease and I haven't seen any sign of a bug infestation..

I'm getting so tired of weeding and watering and getting nothing in return!! My raspberry plants next to them get about 1/2 the care and are just loaded with ripening fruit!!

If anyone out there has the answer to this please, please let me know.. Thanks for your interest.. Lil

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I have seen strawberries do this before and it usually meant a lack of water. If it is that dry and windy I would be watering every day. I have a straw mulch around mine and this helps to retain the moisture.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2003 at 9:37AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

I have everbearing strawberries also and they are doing the same thing...nothing! Mine are heavily mulched and get water nearly everyday.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2003 at 10:21AM
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coco3(Zone 3 Alberta)

Maybe there is too much nitrogen in the soil as that produces top growth. Try fertilizing with larger last numbers or even last and middle but a small first number.Even 20-20-20 would be a good start or try a small berry fertilizer.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2003 at 8:58PM
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In Manitoba berry farmers across the province are having simillar problems. They say it's due to the lack of snow cover and the big range of temperature changes over the winter. I think it was the CBC that did the news piece on this, maybe you could find more info on their website. One farmer said there wasn't much he could do about it and hopes for better luck next year. It's not much of a year for strawberries all around...at least you're not alone in your sorrow.

Here is a link that might be useful: CBC Manitoba

    Bookmark   July 7, 2003 at 10:32AM
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LilyofVallee(3 SK Can.)

Just wanted to pop in and say thanks to all of you for your helpful hints and ideas.. I've been talking to a few local gardeners, and some of them are having the same problems as me, so maybe it is just one of those years..
Kimmypal, I am going to put some mulch down especially since another heat wave is expected to start on Wednesday (we did get a break the last couple of days with some lovely cool weather!).
Coco3, I'll check into the fertilizers for berries. It certainly can't hurt to try..
And Mrs. Tuttlebee, thank you for the link you provided leading me to the CBC site. I checked in their archives and couldn't find anything to do with strawberry problems, but thanks for the idea, cause I'm now going to check out CTV and Global and see if they have anything..
And Penny1947, from what I hear on the news, your state has been getting a lot of cool, wet weather, so hopefully it'll get better. And again,thanks all of you for your help and I'll keep you updated. Lil..

    Bookmark   July 8, 2003 at 12:26AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Yes NY has had more than its share of cold wet weather this spring. In fact we never really had a spring transition. We went right from 60's to the 80's overall. A few 70 degree days came and went but not enough to help in the garden.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2003 at 10:52AM
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    Bookmark   July 12, 2003 at 12:04AM
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LilyofVallee(3 SK Can.)

A quick update.. The weather cooled off a lot for approx. a week and what a difference it made.. The strawberries are now growing and are achieving a very satisfactory size althought they are still mutated..
forman63- I have increased the watering both in frequency and amount, and I'm still checking out fertilizer because coco3 from Alberta mentioned about berry fertilizer, you've mentioned fish fertilizer and I have since been told by a couple of local authorities on strawberries that they feel it's generally not wise to do much fertilizing at all with strawberries during the fruit growing period.. so I'm going to do a little more investigating about what type of fertilizer would be best.. but I do think I'll have to move them to another spot with a little less sunshine. I've kind of come to the conclusion that too much sun and heat here in southern Saskatchewan is just too harsh on the plants.. The spot they were in before was shaded for about half the day, and I got lovely berries all summer long. And again, I want to say thanks for your help.. Lil

    Bookmark   July 13, 2003 at 10:48PM
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Varsovian(4 (Poland))

Every cloud has a silver lining - my parents-in-law produced very little this year in the way of strawberries, but the price they got from wholesalers was much higher than last year, and we didn't have to break our backs in the fields!
Can't wait for EU accession next May - the Germans will be very happy with Polish prices, and I'm looking forward to another harsh winter, dry spring, and rapid onset of summer to ease my back strain ...

    Bookmark   July 14, 2003 at 7:44AM
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Bonsaika(z8 CA)

I hope someone out there might know the answer to this. Today I put my strawberries out to get their normal full day of sun, it was a little hotter today than usual but not too much more than normal - I think it got to a high of almost 80(f). Now, I have been keeping my plants inside because the nights have been very chilly and I didn't think it was good for them to be outside when the temps dipped into the lower 40s. So I have been watering them and putting them out in the morning. The inside temps are consistently between 65-70 and the humidity is between 43 and 59%. But here is the thing, today when I went to bring them in, after the sun had set - all the leaves were flacid and limp (wilted for the most part), but after 20 mins. inside the house they firmed right up and now they look as good as ever.
I am baffled.
Please help?

    Bookmark   January 12, 2004 at 3:16AM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

I am not sure, especially since you keep them watered regularly. I do know certain plants such as impatien plants can droop in the sun even if they are well watered. Apparently what happens in that case is because the plant is in such intense sun and heat, it is losing moisture through the leaves quicker than the roots can replenish it and bring it to the leaves.

You mention, however, that it was dark and the plants were still droopy, so not sure what's going on there. Unless they were recovering after sunset. If it hasn't happened on other days, maybe it was due to the heat, or even a combination of heat, sun and wind?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2004 at 12:57PM
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dcwik(z4 CO)

I hope someone can help. I am about 8700 ft. elevation in zone 4-5. I have beautiful strawberry plants covered with strawberries but the berries are soft. Does this mean a lack of something in soil or too much of something or a disease? Thank You for any help.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2004 at 1:52PM
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mytime(3/4 Alaska)

Possibly waiting a bit too long to pick? Some types of strawberries ripen a paler color than others. Or do you mean they're soft while still green?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2004 at 2:56PM
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dcwik(z4 CO)

Iam picking when they turn red, I'll try picking them earlier. Thanks for your response.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2004 at 11:29AM
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annaneaves(Canada (NS))

How do you guys keep the ants from eating your berries before you get them?? I find I have to pick mine before they are fully ripe otherwise they get holes in them (which I'm pretty sure is from ants because I've seen lots of ants on the holy berries)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2004 at 11:50AM
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mytime(3/4 Alaska)

We have ants, but I've never seen them on the strawberries. How about slugs?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2004 at 2:04PM
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annaneaves(Canada (NS))

Yeah it could be slugs too I guess... (I have both) It's just that I've seen ants gathered in the holes sometimes, so it seemed to me that ants are probably the cause... I havn't seen slugs *on* the strawberries, But they love to snooze under my creeping phlox which is near the berries, so I wont rule that out as a possibility.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2004 at 9:55AM
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i am not sure of ever bearing berries but with commercial berries we never fertilize in the spring (maybe 7 pounds N per acre)..but after the season is over (august) we use 100 pounds actual per acre...spring fertilizing produces plant growth that turns eccessive and this leads to heavy foilage and in damp conditions...mildew and fruit rot... i would guess ever bearing would require some fertilizer on an ongoing basis but i would be careful about overdoing it...it will cause soft ..easily crushed fruit...i dont know much about the everbearing varieties as i said..but soft fruit would be an indication of too much fertilizer...and chunks missing from your fruit is more than likely slugs..you may try sevin mixed with cornmeal as a bait for slugs...position it where you know they are in high numbers

    Bookmark   November 4, 2004 at 8:13PM
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olasdirt(z7 NC)

This is my first time doing strawberrys and I'm afraid I didn't keep-up on removing runners,so now I have a 'sea' of strawberry plants..need to know just what to do with them with winter coming up..how do I protect them and how much should I weed them out...any help would be appreicated...

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 7:25AM
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