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Too late to thin strawberries?

Posted by ajsmama 5b (NW CT) (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 8, 14 at 6:21

The plants I transplanted last fall (very widely spaced) when I thinned have huge berries just starting to show color and haven't runnered. The ones I left in the old bed and thought I'd thinned sufficiently (I also went back through a couple of months ago when I took the mulch off and pulled out any that looked diseased) have filled in again, I can't believe how much, and starting to get small berries none tunring yet and lots of flowers. Is it too late to thin for size, will I lose more in production than I make up in size? I was going to thin again if necessary checking for disease just to let in some air and light but don't know how many to take out.

Once the first berry on a plant has formed, will it grow bigger if I remove neighboring plants, or not? I have to check to see how many plants even have berries but I did see some.

How often and how severely are you supposed to thin strawberries? I planted these in 2012, very sparsely, was glad to see they were vigorous in 2013 and got berries though they seemed small compared to storebought (they were about a foot apart), thinned them in the fall as they spread after harvest but OMG they spread over winter, thinned again but once they got new leaves these past 2 months they seem to have spread again and i know I'm going to have to be brutal thinning them next month. But are you supposed to thin 2-3 times per year? I thought it was once!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Too late to thin strawberries?

have you done a soil test or fertilized them? have you irrigated them? berry size is greatly effected by insufficient water.i get the biggest berries at the beginning of the harvest.

RE: Too late to thin strawberries?

Well, the king berries (the first ones to set) are always the largest. Haven't watered since it's been rainy. Fertilize after harvest.

But these things are just growing like crazy! Do they send out runners continuosly? I thought it was just in the fall?

Anyway, heading out to thin a little before I put the netting on. Since the original plants have been there since 2012, I'll probably pull all of them out of that bed after harvest next month, they've spread into the veggie beds to the north and I *think* I've managed to keep them out of the lawn below but they are spreading to the east too. Just not to the new bed to the west...

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