Fall Planted Strawberries

plainsman50(7b)February 2, 2012

Buoyed by my recent zone change from deep into 7a to 7b, although 7a lurks only ten miles to the north and a couple of hundred feet higher, and some recent successes in planting onions and spinach in the fall for overwintering and spring harvest. I'm thinking about setting out a few strawberry plants this fall for overwintering and spring harvest. Spring plantings never make it through the summer. In fact, many years ago when I first tried that my grandmother told me I would need an irrigation well (rather than the windmill we had) to keep them going all summer and she was probably right since I never had any success.

Anyway, the Permian Basin Master Gardeners website suggests planting Douglas, Chandler, or Sequoia varieties in late September or early October for a spring harvest and then pulling the plants after harvest and starting over again in the fall. Their only caution was covering the plants with mulch when temperatures drop below 15F. Since most winters we only have a few nights that get that cold, I thought I would try it.

Have any of you in the colder parts of north or west Texas had any luck with this or advice to offer?

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timintexas(z8 E.Tx.)

I am sure it would work just fine- if you could buy Strawberry plants in the fall. I have never seen any except perhaps for those expensive potted up ones at Lowes ect.
The earliest I can usually get them is December (bare root). My order was just delivered from Simmons Plant Farm in Mt. Home AR. on Friday. I will be planting this week (about the time I usually do).
I am planting Chandler and Cardinal. I keep my plants for several years before starting a new bed- weeds finally over run it. Last year heat and drought killed mine out. Time to start over. My plants cost me 24 cents each. I put in about 500 each time (250 per variety).

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 1:09AM
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Thanks for the encouragement. I agree that my biggest problem may be finding plants. I've never seen them in any of the local nurseries at that time of year, so I'll be relying on a mail order source. I'll only have room for a one or two dozen plants.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 1:29PM
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Why do they want you to pull the plants and throw them away? I have grown them in Michigan, Colorado and the Texas coast and have never mulched them. Down this far south we have to keep them watered so they will stay alive. All I have ever grown put out runners, I have never found a need to purchase more plants once they get established. Older plants do stop producing then you can pull them.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 4:01PM
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Yes, it sounds odd to grow them as an annual. However, this is a harsh, semi-desert climate. I've never been able to get them to live from a spring planting, even with regular watering and mulching, through the frequent periods of high heat, very low humidity, and high winds that we can experience anytime from May through early September.

However, in the fall they might develop a strong enough root system to survive the summer. Possibly I was misreading the Permian Basin Master Gardener site. That's sort of why I posed the question for people that might be growing strawberries in this or a similar climate.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 5:50PM
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Here we use raised beds for our gardening. We can always find strawberries bare-rooted in the nurseries every fall. When the berries are done producing, I find it easier to pull the plants and use the bed for a different plant/crop. Then come Oct/Nov, just pick up 20-30 more plants for a couple bucks, and start the cycle over. Here in the Austin area, we also do something similar with tomatoes. You can baby them through July/August or you can kill them off and buy fresh plantings in the fall. I prefer the fresh start myself, but to each his own.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 5:22PM
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Yes, that was my plan. Although I didn't ask the question, it is good to know that 20 or 30 plants produce enough to be worth the effort, since that it is about all the space I will be able to devote to it. I'll give it a shot this fall. I appreciate the information.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 10:08PM
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I just bought 25 earliglow's from Indianna berry two week's ago. they arrived a few days later bare root. I planted them last Wednesday. i sprinkled in the hole some bone meal and some cotton seed meal. The instructions with the berries said not to fertilize, but these are very slow acting fertilizers. SO I did it anyway. So far just a few days after planting, all the plants have new leaf growth. I am optimistic Ill have nice sized plants going into winter. They should have good energy stores in the roots. I look forward to a nice spring harvest even with out runners. If this goes well, I'll order later varieties next fall and start a second raised bed. Coaching two fall youth sports teams leaves little time for building raised beds.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 2:32PM
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I'd love some advice on planting fall strawberries, I just received 50 Chandler plugs in the mail and I'm feeling a little panicky!
Do they need to be covered with something to keep the hoppers off? What? And where can I buy it locally if possible? Would it be beneficial to hoop/cover them for the winter? I have one of my available beds hooped.
What do you recommend for fertilizing strawberries? I hope to baby these through next summer, understanding they might not make it. They cost too much for me to rip up if there's a chance they might pull through with extra water and shade.
I've read that pillbugs can be a problem with strawberries and my raised beds seem to have a LOT of pillbugs--do they eat the fruit or the plant itself? Solutions?
I've read that they need to be mulched for the winter, does one mulch near first frost? Sooner?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 4:31PM
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