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Cut back strawberry plants?

 
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In May I planted small bare root strawberry plants. It seems they are doing very well, maybe too well?

My boxes are 16' by 4'. 50 plants in one box and 50 plants in another. I even got some unexpected strawberries this year already.

Should I just leave it like this? Or maybe cut them back?

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Added a picture that I took right after I planted them, for reference
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pollinator
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Cut them back??!! I guess I'm envious. I had a 100% winter kill on my patch last year, and poor luck rebuilding in the current drought.

Personally, I would train the runners back into the box. Mature plants only bear well for a couple of years, and it's the young ones that take over.
 
Daniel Benjamins
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It's my first time doing this and never expected them to grow this big in a few months. I already put some back a few weeks ago but they just keep coming. Will keep trying and won't cut them back then. Thank you!
 
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In my experience, I try to start strawberries out with very large spacing, as, as you noticed, they rapidly begin multiplying.  I usually just let them grow however they see fit, and take advantage of their rabbit-like nature to "seed" new areas of berries as I have need.  
 
gardener
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If you snip those runners off they will root in a little water. If the whole plant needs to go they are easily dug and potted up or directly transplanted. I’m getting ready to start winter cabbage in a bed where strawberries have taken over so I started moving them yesterday. I think it’s still to hot here in NC to directly transplant so they were potted up. I had to move so many last year that I planted some in really rough areas. They’re a much tougher plant than I realized because all survived!
Everywhere you look you’re told to sit the runners on top of a pot of soil for them to root. That has failed so many times for me. The potting soil has to be kept moist or it doesn’t work. I’m to lazy to keep a check on that. Several small plants in a pan of water on my porch is easy to keep up with though.
ECE59956-8F28-4C43-85E4-BF51698468AE.jpeg
Moving strawberries
Moving strawberries
 
pollinator
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I love this site. I literally just logged in to ask pretty much this same question, and it was right there on top.

A follow up, then. When the original plants start to lose vigor, will we notice, or do they need to be identified and rooted out?

Thanks!
Daniel
 
Scott Stiller
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Daniel, from what I’ve seen it takes a few years. Maybe 3-5, but you’ll notice. They don’t take up nutrients as well and begin to show it. Chlorosis and phosphorus deficiencies seem to be the most common here.
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Agreed, it's pretty clear when the mature plants are finished. Few flowers and berries, die back in the centre, and a general decrepit appearance. They do still kick out runners though, so I don't rush to pull everything out on a schedule.
 
pollinator
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I have a bed under my hazelnut trees that I have never done anything with ,except cover with about a foot of tree leaves each fall. They produce loads of berries , every year, no thinning, no work! It has been there for at least 14 years. I don't know if they thin themselves somehow but I have never seen any yellowing, or die out of any kind. The bed is about 20 ft X 20 ft, I have added a rhubarb, garlic chives, and some comfrey to the mix , just for fun.
 
Daniel Ackerman
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Thanks, fellas. That’s good information.

My neighbors have a strawberry patch that was put in about 15-20 years ago, with no new genetics. They’ve periodically reconfigured it. They said that this year was the first time where they started to think that maybe they could do with some new plants. Maybe there is a maximum life on a plant and its clones.

They’re getting a bunch of my runner plants that have rooted in my wood chip path/swale, which I’m clearing out to replace the wood chips. They’ve broken down into lovely dark earth.

D
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Daniel Ackerman wrote:My neighbors have a strawberry patch that was put in about 15-20 years ago, with no new genetics. They’ve periodically reconfigured it. They said that this year was the first time where they started to think that maybe they could do with some new plants. Maybe there is a maximum life on a plant and its clones.


Interesting! My first thought would be to tweak the soil. But I haven't seen a patch that old.
gift
 
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