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Can newly planted berries be allowed to bear?  RSS feed

 
Tim Malacarne
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Location: South central Illinois, USA
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A friend brought me strawberry plants that he'd dug out of his garden. I planted 30 of them a foot apart. I plan to trim all runners, and only allow the mother plant. This is supposed to produce big berries. The plants were set in about a month back. I pulled last years' tomato stakes, rototilled twice, raked back to something of a hump, and planted those 30 berry plants. They're looking great, and each has several blooms that have set fruit. Mmmm... I'd love some berries. BUT, I bet the "book" would say to trim all flowers and berries, don't let them set fruit the first year. I took some, a few plants, and pinched off all but the largest set strawberry. I figure it might be OK to let each plant bear one berry this year. What do you think?
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I choose to take as many fruits as quickly as the plant can produce them. Within a year or two the plants are going to way overgrow their bed anyway. Might as well enjoy the fruits now.
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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I planted 6 strawberries last year. Didn't get any berries because the sheep broke in and ate them all before they ripened (the munched whole plants down) but they rebounded vigorously and the runners spread to about 40 plants total. Lesson learned from previous strawberry plantings is that they do poorly unmulched in our area. They seem to just limp along when leaves are in contact with soil. Those planted through woodchip are doing well.

I would advise you just to let them get on with it - pick what fruit ripens and let the runners make more fruit for you.
 
Jd Gonzalez
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Location: Virginia,USA zone 6
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i read that Paul Gatschi (back to Eden garden) just mulches over his strawberries in the fall and the runners continue to grow while the old plants die off. if so, it is pretty low maintenance. thats what i did and my patch did well until cotton tails and or deer, came thru a gap in the fence, and mowed them down.
 
Tim Malacarne
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Location: South central Illinois, USA
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OK then, here we go!

Thanks one and all!
 
Jeremy Devers
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Depends. Standard rule is that everbearing strawberries should be harvested from the get go and June bearing should be harvested after the first year. I personally harvest some the first year, but that is because I haven't seen that the plants are all that much healthier if I follow standard guidance to allow root development. I don't know if that is because my soil is so bad that they get what they get and that is all anyway or if they love the soil so much that they happily colonize it even while bearing fruit. We have a nice long growing season, so I'm sure that helps. The berries taste great and I'll keep doing it this way =)

Now blueberries I definitely don't harvest the first year they try to bear, but they cost a lot more per plant than strawberries and I know they like our acid soil enough to really establish given the chance.
 
Tim Malacarne
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Location: South central Illinois, USA
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We've only lost one plant, and it appears to be re-sprouting. I hand pruned a few plants down to a single berry, and others to 2 or 3. They are delicious! Next year ought to be great! Thanks to all commenters! Peace, TM
 
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