Should strawberry blossoms be removed the first year?

fernwoodsMay 9, 2009

The Square Foot Garden book doesn't mention picking the blosoms, but it also says to cut off all the runners.

Another online site said, "Pinch off all flowers during the first year in the garden, on June bearing varieties, and all flowers that form until July 1st on ever-bearing and day neutral varieties. This will encourage both plant vigor and production of runners to fill in the mat."

So should I do as Mel says & just replace the plants after 3 years or should I remove blossoms, plant runners & try to get them to last longer?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.


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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)



    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 1:04PM
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eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)

THere are a lot of different theories on the "best" way to grow strawberries. I ultimately comes down to what your goals are.

If you want a lot of strawberries THIS year, then don't take the blossoms off, and prune all the runners.

If you want some strawberries this year, and more next year, prune all but ONE runner. Next year, each plant will become TWO. Do this every year, and you will never have to buy more strawberries again. The trick is to remove each plant after it's third season. That means a lot of work on your part to remember it all.

There are many other options out there as well, but these are the two I use. If you aren't good at keeping track of things, prune everything, get more fruit from the plants you have and replace it all after 3 years. If you have more space than strawberries currently, let one runner go to produce a new generation for you, and replace only the 3 year old strawberries. 2 and 3 year old plants will produce more than the first year plants, but 4 year old plants start to decline, so that's when you want to replace them.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 9:26AM
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If you have good soil I would neither remove the blooms nor the runners. Yes you will get less berries this year but you will have many more plants next year which may need to be transplanted but your bed will just about triple so unless you planted a very large amount of plants you will be way ahead by just letting them do their thing and reproduce. In a few years you will have to give plants to your friends and neighbors. I use to pick at a do-it-yourself farm. They would let the plants run out of the rows and in a couple years just till under the old hills and use the new runners. As for me I never found them to get too old without providing new plants.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 12:22PM
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