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Follow This Tip & Get A Ton of Organic Strawberries | WholeLifestyleNutrition.com For many years now, I have been growing my own strawberries.  The first year that I attempted to grow strawberries, I was so overwhelmed and very disappointed.  I didn’t know which varieties to buy, how to grow them, why my strawberries weren’t producing a lot of strawberries, and what a “runner” was and how it dramatically could effect my harvest!  Today we are going to learn about strawberries and how to get the best yield out of your strawberry plants.

So lets talk about the different varieties of strawberries and strawberry types.  There are hundreds of different varieties but there are only three strawberry types.  The three types of strawberries are June-bearing strawberry varieties, ever-bearing strawberry varieties and day neutral strawberry varieties.  Here are descriptions of the 3 strawberry types provided by strawberry plants .org 

Strawberry Types & Varieties 

 

June-bearing strawberry varieties:

Any list of strawberry varieties will probably contain more June-bearing strawberry varieties than any other. June bearers are tremendously popular and common. They typically produce the largest strawberries, and do so over a period of two to three weeks, on average. Most June bearing strawberry varieties produce a harvest around the month of June, hence the name. However, strawberry varieties are further classified into Early Season, Midseason, and Late Season. By selecting strawberry plant varieties that produce during different parts of the season, you can prolong your harvest and enjoy fresh strawberries for an extended period of time. June bearing strawberries are most often of the Garden Strawberry variety (Fragaria x ananassa). June bearing strawberry varieties are often planted using the matted row system.

Everbearing strawberry varieties:

Everbearing strawberry varieties aren’t really “everbearing.” They generally produce two harvests per year: one in the spring and another in the late summer or fall. Under ideal conditions, it is possible for some everbearing strawberry varieties to produce three berry harvests. Most everbearing strawberry types are of the species Fragaria vesca. In general, everbearing strawberry varieties put out less runners (or no runners at all) than the June bearing varieties, as most of the plants productive energy is directed toward producing multiple strawberry harvests. Everbearing strawberry varieties are often planted using the hill system or in locations where space is limited.

Day-neutral strawberry varieties:

Day neutral strawberry varieties are unique. Unlike June bearing varieties, day neutral strawberries will produce a good yield in the first year they are planted. They flower and set strawberries whenever the temperature is between 35 and 85 degrees. They will still be producing fruit in October during milder years. The drawback to day neutral strawberry plants is that they produce smaller strawberries than do the June bearing and everbearing strawberry varieties. Their fruit is usually small to medium in size, rarely exceeding one inch. Day neutral strawberry varieties are often planted using the hill system or in locations where space is limited.

Here is a great chart that will help you find the right strawberry type and variety for your region as well as the desired flavor you are looking for. Keep in mind, oftentimes strawberries are much sweeter the smaller they are.  If they are larger, they often times have a lot of water in them making them not as sweet.

 

Strawberry type and varieties chart

 

Follow This One Tip In Your Garden & Get A Ton Of Organic Strawberries!

 

Follow This One Tip and Get A Ton of Organic Strawberries | WholeLifestyleNutrition.com 

So now that you are a bit more educated about the different types and varieties of strawberries, lets talk about how to get the most out of your strawberry plants!  In my garden, I have the ever-bearing strawberries and June-bearing strawberries.  We eat strawberries all season long on these plants and they produce enough strawberries for our family that I have no need to even buy them at the farmers markets.  

My everbearing strawberry plants are pretty much maintenance free, just plant and pick.  My June-bearing take a little more work, but it is well worth it.  June-bearing is one of the most planted strawberry types in todays gardens.  My first year, I got very few strawberries.  What was I doing wrong?  I wasn’t pinching off my runners!  “Runners”??  Let me explain.

When you purchase your strawberry plant, you have a central plant.  As it grows it produces runners.  Runners are long stems that run off the central plant and create baby strawberry plants.  These baby strawberry plants suck the nutrients out of the central plant and the central plant will lose its ability to produce fruit.

Follow This One Tip & Get A Ton Of Organic Strawberries | WholeLifestyleNutrition.com

This might sound great, you automatically get more strawberry plants for free, but it is not a good thing!  Again, these “runners” strip the central plant of its nutrients and the central plant will produce only a very little amount of strawberries.

So if you want to have a ton of strawberries, You must remove the runners!

Follow This One Tip & Get A Ton Of Organic Strawberries | WholeLifestyleNutrition.com #gardening

To remove the runners, follow the runner to the central plants base.

Follow This One Tip & Get A Ton Of Organic Strawberries | WholeLifestyleNutrition.com #gardening

Notice that the my runners have red stems.  Not all red stems are runners though so make sure it is a runner before removing.  Also depending on the variety, the stem might not be red.  A runner is always longer (or running) from the central plant.  Now simply remove the runner at the base of the plant.

Follow This One Tip & Get A Ton Of Organic Strawberries | WholeLifestyleNutrition.com #gardening

By removing the runner you are allowing the central plant to get all the nutrients it needs to produce a lot of wonderful and delicious strawberries!  This simple step of removing runners will allow your garden to flourish with strawberries.  Strawberries are one of the easiest fruits to grow.  So why not give it a try?  Once you have home grown strawberries out of your garden, it is hard to go back to store bought.  They really are that good!  Happy gardening everyone!

Interested In Getting More Organic Tomatoes Out Of Your Garden?

 

If you like this post, then be sure to check out this post:

 

Follow This One Tip And Get A Ton Of Organic Tomatoes

 
You may not be getting all the tomatoes that you could be from your tomato plants.  I implemented this tip in my garden this year and had to give away my tomatoes, I had so many! :)
 
Follow This One Tip & Get A Ton of Tomatoes | WholeLifestyleNutrition.com #gardening

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Join the Conversation

108 thoughts on “Follow This One Tip In Your Garden & Get A Ton Of Organic Strawberries!”

  1. mutti66 says:

    The U. of MO has found that strawberry beds covered with Remay in the winter produce up to 40% more berries…we found this true and last year was first time we had lots to put in freezer. Straw doesn’t protect as well.

    1. hallecottis says:

       @mutti66 Great tip!  I will try that this winter, thanks so much!

    2. LynnCrone says:

       @mutti66 What is Remay ???

      1. hallecottis says:

         @LynnCrone  @mutti66 It is a lightweight cloth that helps protect the plants from frost and damage that might happen over the winter months.

      2. mutti66 says:

        @LynnCrone You can buy it at most garden centers. Home Depot,Lowes or thru most any seed catalog. I get mine from http://www.johnnyseeds.com

    3. rainyplot says:

      I’ve grown strawberries for years. W use grass clippings(dried) around plants and try to keep them in the row. They require sunshine or will not produce. Its best to get a new patch going every three years or till down the center with a garden tiller, then the next year you will get new plants in the center and can take out the edge rows the next year. Hope this helps.

  2. Oemissions says:

    do you know if you really have to pluck the flowers on the first planting to increase yield for the next year?Do we have to wait? 

    1. hallecottis says:

       @Oemissions The first year I did not pluck the flower and I got plenty of berries.  Now year 2 & 3 (same plant) I had a ton of berries!  I know this, that the first year you will have much less plucking or not.

  3. Sylvia Waters says:

    This article has a lot of good info if you have never planted strawberries or have been unsuccessful with plants bearing fruit.

  4. Sarah MchughRumsey says:

    Can you plant the runners and make more plants?

    1. hallecottis says:

       @Sarah MchughRumsey Yes Sarah you most certainly can.  Just make sure that the plant has rooted into the ground and then dig deep enough not to disturb the root and transplant into a pot.  You could also take a runner that hasn’t rooted yet at the very tip of the runner (look at the top picture of the runners).  You can see in that photo that there is a plant and it hasn’t rooted yet.  Just take a small pot with some soil in it and place the bottom end of the tip of the runner/plant lightly into the soil.  Leave the runner attached to the main plant until the root system in the pot has developed. It should root into the pot in a few weeks.  Once it does, then cut the runner off from main plant and you will have your own strawberry plant for next year.  

      1. Sarah MchughRumsey says:

         @hallecottis Thanks! I went to put my runner in a pot and found out that I accidentally planted so it looped under the main plant. Oh well. I’ll keep an eye out for more runners though.

  5. pipercatt says:

    I read the article, and while the tip is most likely correct, most varieties of strawberry plants only live 3 years, then die. The runners perpetuate the species, so if you disconnect them from the momma plant, make sure you replant them! otherwise you will be buying and replacing plants continuously.

  6. retrogirl02 says:

    I have a row of strawberries between my garage and the sidewalk & have never picked off any of the runners in the 3 years we’ve had them. The entire bed filled itself in and we get A LOT of berries. I’m not sure what types we planted, 2 varieties with at least one of them producing runners. Now that they’re starting to creep up on the sidewalk, I’d like to pinch them off. Should I leave the happy ones where they are? The nodules have rooted on some of them, so I’m thinking I should leave those alone.Thanks, Heather

    1. hallecottis says:

       @retrogirl02 If you want more strawberry plants for next year, then you can leave the ones that have already rooted themselves.  You will not hurt the central plant if you remove the ones creeping on your sidewalk, so I would remove those.  Sounds like you had some successful varieties that you planted.  Good for you :)

      1. retrogirl02 says:

         @hallecottis  @retrogirl02 thank you for taking the time to respond. Happy gardening! =)

  7. pugsneedhugs says:

    Bless you for sharing this info. I am planning on doing a strawberry bed in the near future. I haven’t made it to fruit gardening yet, but if you wanna see some pics of my backyard garden (in Florida we are a little limited) I have pics of them here: http://busymomsdoitbest.blogspot.com/2012/05/just-cant-get-enough.html  Thanks again! 

  8. MirandaElgersma says:

    Hi there, I just about 2 months ago planted some strawberries (species ?)in boxes on my screened patio. At first I got a few strawberries, I pinched them off and the runners look to have died. I water them with a spray bottle in the morning. Some leaves turned yellow and died. What can I do to save them?

    1. AshleyRice says:

       @MirandaElgersma I was always told never spray the plant directly. If you can water them underneath or at dirt level it will help with the leaves changing. That is also the same with Tomato Plants

  9. AleasLeftovers says:

    Great information! We grow several different types of strawberries and clip the runners too.

  10. Shalonne says:

    Hi, My plants are June bearing and have tons of runners – is it too late for this year? Is there an ideal time to remove them or just try to do it constantly? Thanks!

    1. hallecottis says:

       @Shalonne It isn’t to late to remove them and I just remove them as they appear.   You should be fine :)

  11. thetastyalternative says:

    Thank you for this awesome tip!!!  We live in strawberry country and I’m looking forward to planting next month.  I am definitely going to remove those runners!!!  So great.  
     
    Thanks for sharing with us again this week on AFW!
     
    Have a beautiful weekend.
     
    Be Well,
    –Amber 

  12. Thank you for your submission on <a href=”http://www.nourishingtreasures.com”>Nourishing Treasures’</a> Make Your Own! Monday link-up. Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  13. apriljharris says:

    I did not know this! Thank you for sharing this wonderful tip, and an excellent post about growing your own strawberries. I really enjoyed reading it and I learned a lot! 

  14. qechtweets says:

    Great tip! I REALLY wanted to grow strawberries this year, but I had too much stuff going on during the time to plant. I settled for going to a local farm and picking 20 lbs, lol! Thanks for sharing with Healthy 2Day Wednesday; come back tomorrow to see if you were featured!

  15. thetastyalternative says:

    Hi There,
     
    I featured your awesome post this week on Allergy-Free Wednesdays.  Your post and other highlights can be seen here: http://www.thetastyalternative.com/2012/05/allergy-free-wednesdays-week-19-may-30.html
     
    Please join us again this week for more allergy-free fun and inspiration.
     
    Be Well,
    –Amber 
     

    1. hallecottis says:

       @thetastyalternative Thanks so much for the double feature Amber :)  I really do enjoy your site quite a bit :) ~ Halle

  16. pugsneedhugs says:

    Awesome information, thank you so much for sharing. I can’t wait to grow my own. I would love for you to check out my garden progress here: http://busymomsdoitbest.blogspot.com/2012/05/quick-garden-update.html  Thanks again. 

  17. JamaeBurrows says:

    After we talked about this like a month ago and I picked the runners, which I only had a few, my plant took off!!! Not only did my plant grow even larger (I think I may remove my oregano and parsley out of that bed and just leave the strawberries and chives) but it also grew taller! And they are almost ready to harvest! I am thinking about adding more strawberries because I am guessing mine are June bearing.
     
    Thank you Halle!!!

  18. AmbreEnglishFreer says:

    I’ve grown strawberries for years, quite successfully, and never pinched off any runners.  I am wondering if I should start doing so – as in, is it too late?  Would it matter much?  We already get plenty of berries for our family and the birds and bunnies.  I thought letting the runners ‘go’ was how my strawberry patch was getting so large and plentiful, but I admit to knowing nothing about growing them other than plant, water, pick.  ??

    1. hallecottis says:

       @AmbreEnglishFreer You might have a variety that doesn’t produce a lot of runners.  You are right, they will replenish your old plants and help produce new ones for the next season.  If you are producing a lot of strawberries already then you could leave them be until next season.  You could always experiment on one plant and see if you notice a difference in your yield.  It is different with all varieties.  Hope this helps a bit :)

  19. btlfamily says:

    I recently took a gardening class from a sweet couple who owned a nursery for 40 years.  They said to only let each strawberry plant to have 1 or 2 runners, so those runners can form new plants.  Then they pick the original plants after three years (their production slows down after that) so that there are always new plants (from runners) that are producing well. 

    1. hallecottis says:

       @btlfamily Good tip, I am on year 3 of some of my plants and I will also dispose of the plants after this year.  Thanks for mentioning this.

  20. smileatclaire says:

    How much room does a strawberry plant need?  Could I grow it in a small rectangular box…almost like a window planter?

    1. hallecottis says:

       @smileatclaire absolutely!  Some of my best strawberries came from boxes that hung over my deck rail.  They only need about a square foot :)

  21. AshleyRice says:

    Can you replant the runners to make more Strawberry plants? Do you need to germinate them first?

    1. hallecottis says:

       @AshleyRice No you can replant them right away and they will do just fine.

  22. primitivejan says:

    I want to know about fertilizing strawberries. I grow my strawberries in straw bales and have heard and seen pro’s and cons on fertilizing. When and How much do I fertilize with out getting huge leaves and few berries. 

  23. mytreasuredcreations says:

    I just began my first garden this year. I planted a lot of vegetables in raised beds, some squash and tomatoes in pots and I filled a strawberry pot with strawberry plants. You can see my garden and the strawberry pot here http://www.creatingtreasures.blogspot.com/2012/06/garden-update-i.html
     
    As you can see the leaves were green and luscious (2nd photo from the top) but I never got many or big strawberries whatsoever. Someone said that there wasn’t enough room for the roots. What do you think?
     
    We have had 100 degrees F temperatures this past 10 days and although I moved the pot to under the shade my plants are wilting and drying up. Do they get revived when the weather gets cooler or are they just dying? i read somewhere that the plants hibernate and then come back.
     
    The strawberry was the only plant I had no success with. :( It seems to be cheaper to buy them at the store then to try to grow them. Looking for some knowledge and encouragement. thanks. :)

    1. mhodges64 says:

       @mytreasuredcreations I would suggest you try a different kind of container.  I tried growing my strawberries in a strawberry pot the first time. No success. The soil seemed to get too hot and dried out. I now just throw some plants in a container like a left over tree container from the nursery. I also put some in a raised garden. They are all doing well. I winter the container ones and they come back in the Spring. I would suggest you try a different kind of container. 

  24. wennah says:

    Ok so now I know what I did wrong. I started with 6 plants, now there are about 50. How do I thin what I have and remove the runners?

    1. mhodges64 says:

       @wennah I would pull every couple plants so you have room between the plants. Then cut any runners off close to the plant. Do not worry about thinning too much. If you have extra space left over, just allow a couple of runners that way and they will replant on their own.

  25. bonmom5 says:

    We just tried strawberries in a raised bed and from 2 plants we have gotten NO berries for us to eat.  However the birds, and possibly other wildlife (chipmunks, squirrels, raccoons???) always get the berries just before we do!  I read about placing stones painted to look like strawberries around them.  Also I’ve heard of a netting but not sure exactly what to get.  I’m not giving up! Thanks for the great article.

    1. hallecottis says:

       @bonmom5 Oh no :(  I wish I could share a picture here (but can’t unfortunately).  I built a cage that fits over my bed.  It is made of chicken wire and is about 4 feet high and also has a top.  This keeps animals, birds and other creatures out.  Might work for you too.

      1. bonmom5 says:

         @hallecottis Thank you.  I hope to try that.  new berries are now forming (so we must have the variety that produces twice a year)…I hope to get some berries this time!  thanks again.
         

  26. chad2012 says:

    appreciate the tips. trying to grow blueberry’s now.
    http://www.kbmulch.com

  27. rachellgardner says:

    when i lived at home i tried growing strawberries. now i know why i never got very many. 

  28. ElkeDay says:

    Any advice on aphids and fruit fly getting into the strawberry patch? I will try the runner tip and see what happens!

  29. DeniseDawnYoung says:

    @bonmom5 Rubber snakes, bought at the dollar store. Has worked for years now

  30. Hilary says:

    This is really a great post!  Thanks Halle for this great information!

  31. ElkeDay says:

    Any advice on bugs – I seem to have everything except me enjoying my strawberries- little slugs, beetles, aphids – reluctant to use normal sprays – is there an organic way to get rid of them?

    1. jose the great says:

      @ElkeDay Lady bugs work wonders, so do praying mantis. You can buy them at your local garden store. Also, used coffee grounds are good for the soil and good and keeping away pests. You can get coffee grounds at your local starbucks.

    2. FirstMinda says:

      @ElkeDay
       For aphids plant dill, chamomile and cilantro close by your problem areas. A few feet or a meter away. These bloom little flowers that the Draconid Wasp loves. Any tiny flowering plant will do, really. This mini-wasp is not a probematic wasp, it is a friend and it will dessimate any aphid population just when you think it’s getting out of control. The wasp lays it’s eggs mummifying the aphid (killing it). You will know it’s worked when you find little brown aphids, aka dead aphids that you can brush off the plants… I once panicked thinking they were tics.
      For slugs… they don’t like metals. They are mucosal creatures and putting a few pennie layden rocks (choose circular rocks and glue pennies to it with a concrete cement) in your garden will prevent them. I use this to keep them away from my cabbage.
      Beetles are a different challenge for my noodle. Some of the beetles will be predators that you want in an organic garden (like the assassin beetle, it munches on some of the others that you don’t want- they are long and red resembling lightning bugs) . If you are looking for balance you might want to invest in some duck compost. It contains horse hair worms that are parasitic to many beetles that munch on plants but won’t be an issue for humans as you won’t be eating the beeltes. 
      I advise everyone not to purchase bugs! Most that we can source are from other areas or country’s and push out our indigenous populations. By planting a few plants to attract the right predators you can have pest control just when you need it!
      I know these suggestions work because I use them and have not used pesticides of any kind in at least 5 years.

    3. Claja says:

      @ElkeDay Diatomaceous earth is great again slugs. It is ground up oyster shells.

      1. Liz1956 says:

        @Claja  @ElkeDay I heard egg shells too.  I had a huge problem with slugs last year, and refused to use slug poison; I’m going to get diatomaceous dirt and I’m keeping egg shells.  Slugs will NOT prevail this year!

  32. FirstMinda says:

    @mytreasuredcreations
     If your pots are ceramic or terracotta they will super heat in high weather and fry plant roots. Nurseries bury plastic pots and put planted plastic pots inside them. This allows them to change plants at will seasonally. It also means you can move plants when the weather is unseasonable and administer first aid.

  33. volparamedic says:

    Take half of a grape fruit and remove the meat. Place it upside down in the garden and the slugs with crawl up into it! Pretty gross! You can also place Kosher Salt around and it will kill them. One morning after putting out the salt we had 10 dead slugs!

  34. Great tips. Yup, those suckers can inhibit the mother plant to produce more fruits. However I may leave few plants to grow baby plants, since mature strawberry plant only produce fruits for about 3 years, and by letting the baby plant grow to mature plant, you can continue harvesting a lot of strawberries.

  35. ddkestell says:

    @bonmom5
     My mom always used to put a few rubber snakes in our strawberry plants.. I have a large raised strawberry bed and I get lots of of berries. I have used the net and the rubber snakes. I always get to eat the berries first.

  36. FamilyIsEverything says:

    This is very interesting thank you for takin the time to write this :)

  37. BonniB says:

    I bought a metal tub, the kind used by my grandma as a small bathtub, I placed it on top of an old stump in the middle of my garden and filled it with strawberries. The slugs will not climb over the galvanized metal!! I have to trim back runners and keep other plants around it short so that the slugs can’t climb something else to get in. This is year three with no slugs in my strawberries, best thing ever!

  38. rachel says:

    can these runners be propogated into future strawberry plants?

    1. hallecottis says:

      Sure can Rachel.  Just put the ends in a bit of soil and watch them grow :)

  39. Danielle says:

    @rachel When buying strawberry plants from the nursery I always look for plants with runners. That way I get more bang for my buck, kind of like getting two (or three) plants for the price of one.  The runners (they are the like the “babies” on spider plants) catch up to the original parent plant very quickly. I have filled in strawberry beds very quickly this way.

  40. 3Feathers says:

    Hi Everyone, 
    Your site is very interesting, and I am learning all sorts of things.  But, I think somehow I am confused or not understanding about what a runner is on a strawberry plant. In your pics above, it looks at though there are 3 runners from the main plant.  How do I decide which is actually the runner and know which one to cut.  Thank

    1. hallecottis says:

      3Feathers The runner actually “runs” from the main plant.  You can have 3,4, 5…runners to one plant and you would remove them all.  It will be a long stem that is “running” away from the central plant.  Hope this helps clarify things a bit.

  41. stargirl72 says:

    Last year was my first time trying Strawberries, I am so thankful to get this information on the runners.  I didn’t do anything with them last year and I can now see that might have been why I had a bunch of tiny fruit.  My question is now this…I am in Denver and we just had our last frost so the plants have just recently started to flourish. NONE of the original plants have returned, but ALL of the runners have!  So, what do I do now?  Choose a few as”base” plants and pinch back the runners to one or two?  I planted 8 plants last year…I’m pretty sure there are 40 out there now.  HELP?!

    1. hallecottis says:

      Yep, just remove the runners and leave a few central plants. The 8 you planted might surprise you and come back. Remove the dead leaves to allow the center of the plant to get more light. I’d be surprised if the plant didn’t come back:). Do keep us posted.

  42. nboone1984 says:

    So I am setting up a little strawberry garden in a plastic kiddie pool (Have one from last year that never got used). Any tips to starting a new strawberry patch this way?

    1. hallecottis says:

      nboone1984 What a GREAT idea!  Strawberries can spread quickly and this is a great way to contain them.  You only need 6 inches of soil, so save yourself some money and don’t worry about filling it all the way.  I usually plant 4 plants per square foot.  
      Make sure you drill some holes in the bottom of the pool before you fill it with soil so it can drain properly.  Please do keep us posted and email me some pictures along the way. (my email address is in the ‘contact us’ tab above. :)

      1. nboone1984 says:

        hallecottis
         I thought i would give a little update. We are getting
        some great berries! They are just starting with the late winter we had
        in SD but in the next few weeks there are great signs of a good harvest.
        (I would have loved to try some but my 4 year old is the picker and
        such the eater) Here is what we did; we started with a 4ft kiddy pool
        drilled a bunch of .75in holes in the bottom, layered with mulch, the a
        mix of potting and garden soil about 4 inches (the mulch was a couple
        inches too) then we did 6 plants. we also planted dill and cilantro
        around the edges and covered the bare soil with a little mulch and
        covered with coffee grounds. we have a very large bunny population in
        our area and i have not seen one sign of bunny theft! So my mom giving
        me the “are you kidding me look” for collecting coffee grounds at work
        was totally worth hear a week later “i cant believe the bunnies have not
        touched it, the coffee grounds must have worked” talking to another
        coworker. I posted my starter pics and an will post updates on my page
        if you want to check it out! https://www.facebook.com/nicole.boone.18

  43. Toxic Kitten says:

    I keep hearing how easy it is to grow strawberries but all im getting is tiny misshaped berries that are no good. Can somebody help me with this issue

  44. only me says:

    so i was told with srawberries to through away the parent plant and to use the runners as parent plant would not produce fruit again is this tru

  45. red bench furniture co says:

    FirstMinda ElkeDay I stumbled across this slug killer by accident. i had an old crystalized jar of honey. i wanted to save the jar so i put it outside in a flower bed and filled the jar with water from the hose. the old honey was only about an inch high in the jar before i filled it with water. a few days later i saw the jar again. it had about ten big slugs in it. they love the sweetness and wouldn’t leave the jar. magic.!!!

  46. Loony_MN says:

    We’ve had strawberries for a few years and they usually do pretty well except last year (2012) which was really dry.  They’re in a low place, and we have clay soil, so they generally get quite a bit of moisture from the snowmelt and spring rain — which didn’t happen last year and we weren’t ready for it — we didn’t realize how much we depended on that happening.  It was a very sad year and I had to buy strawberries to make the yearly jam.  It wasn’t nearly as good.
    We do have a few problems I haven’t found solutions for yet:
    1)  They’re not mulched.  I’m just learning to implement that in the regular garden and flowerbeds this year.  It looks like you have some kind of woodchip mulch which is similar to what we’re using now.  It’s so wet in the spring that we can’t get out to weed and we have dandelions and trees growing to their hearts’ content!  We’re mulching with newspaper/cardboard covered with a few inches of woodchips in our other areas.  Is that what you’re doing with your strawberries?
    2)  My hubby and his dad (who shares the strawberries and lives next door) like to keep the rows wide — 3 to 4 feet.  I think that’s too wide since you can barely reach in without crushing other berries and plants.  It used to be more like 6 feet, so we’re making progress.  How wide are your rows?
    3)  We have NOT been cutting off the runners — didn’t know WHAT to do with them and thought they were free plants, like others on here.  You said they’d produce for about 3 years.  Would you allow some runners that third year, then, and dig out the parent plant?
    Thank you for this great information!!!  It feels silly to have such great berries but have no control over the bed!

  47. Audrey 2 says:

    Does it work to cut off the runners on Everbearing strawberries too?

  48. nancy Vasquez says:

    Thank you for these wonderful ideas

  49. alan jones says:

    I will follow these instructions for my garden.

  50. Jcarlson says:

    I just want to say that your advice is very sound and logical. Most of your information also depends on location and weather. In our area of Wyoming, we have grown strawberries for over 15 years. I think you should really stress that runners are needed to repopulate a garden. Without these runners you will get no strawberries, no matter the type of producing plant. After 3-4 years your mother plants will cease to produce. The new runners/plants are very important for the future of production. We have found, as you state nutrients are a driving factor. We use a specialized formula for strawberries, and apply it twice per year. No berry production could also be due to the pest factor, such as birds, snails and many other varieties of pests. Remember to protect your plants, either using toxic or non-toxic methods.

  51. Sandi says:

    Thanks for the tip. We planted strawberries in a raised bed 2 years ago. The first year we got a lot of beautiful berry. Last year not one! They are quite thick – probably because we didn’t remove the runners. They are everbearing and we live in TN. and have clay soil. We heard that it was too wet last year and everyone’s crop was way down. My question since we let those runners establish themselves, are the main plants now useless? Do we need to replant? Thank you!

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  53. Christine Oldham says:

    If we do strawberries in a planter jar will we need to worry about runners as much? and what varieties do best in the planter?

  54. Rachel says:

    Last year which was also the first year the strawberries were there, the birds managed to eat all the blooms. This year I have flowers but no berries. What am I doing wrong? Why can I not get berries to produce? Please help

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      This year seems to be a late year for many strawberry growers. The blooms should turn into fruit soon.

  55. I very new to growing strawberries im from California i bought 10 All star plants from home depot but their steams are red but are getting bigger and still have nice big green leafs is it something i need to worry about please help?

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      Karen I am confused on what your issue is? Can you explain a bit more so I can help?

  56. Stacy says:

    HI, I was in our local greenhouse the other day to ask the “greenthumbs” there about why my strawberry plants have been only producing little “nubs” of berries for 3 years now. The nubs are just really, really tiny berries that look like they haven’t developed all the way and arent worth picking, they’re that tiny. Anyway, the lady bluntly told me that if I didn’t spray the early blooms with malathion, the little nubs are all I could ever expect to get out of my strawberry plants. I find this extremely difficult to believe that organic strawberries are not possible. Can anyone here tell me otherwise??? I really don’t want to have to start spraying my plants again!

  57. micquala says:

    I have a question. every time my strawberries began to grow and turn a lil red. ants come along and eat them before they finish growing. I read some where to put mulch around them. I have absolute red organic ground cover can that be placed around the strawberries? ( I didn’t put them under and close to the plant just around the grounds)

  58. sunandaT says:

    Thanks for the tip to get good strawberries that one should remove the runner. I am going to do it today itself. I planted organic plant but it is giving small strawberries. This should solve the problem. Thanks again. :)

    Couple of tips I want to share that worked for me to protect strawberries from squirrels and other animals. I put a plastic fence around my strawberry bed (you get 4 ft X 8 ft fence in home depot for ~$7), a plastic owl and bird net (this does not harm the birds if you cover the bed with one layer, you get this also in Home depot).

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