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Strawberries in a polytunnel, good or bad?


 
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Digger Dan
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:08 pm    Post subject: Strawberries in a polytunnel, good or bad? Reply with quote

Last year I made a DIY polytunnel to grow bigger and better crops! Whereas the tomatoes, peppers and cougettes did very well the strawberry plants didn't produce much.

I'm going to give growing strawberries a go again in 2010 but I am looking for a little advice!

A couple of points from last year. The strawberry plants were planted in 10" pots placed on the floor of the tunnel. As the other plans grew they did get over shawdowed. I bought most of the plants from a local garden centre that season and some others I had from runners the previous year.

This time I am planning to a use tall barrel to better use the height of the tunnel.

So here are my questions:

1. Is it a waste of valuable greenhouse space and would I be better off putting the strawberry barrel outside and using the space for an extra tomato plant or two?
2. What is the bext soil mix to use for strawberries? Is tomato feed a good feed for strawberries.?
3. Do I need to worry about polinating strawberry plants kept in a polytunnel?

Regards,
Digger Dan.
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nemo
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

for the earlies strawberry's pollination might be a problem so you might need to use a soft paint brush to aid pollination.i am going to grow some in a lenght of large rain gutter on top of the crop support bars.hopefully the fruit will hang outside the gutter for easy picking
nemo
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slowcompost
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

outdoor strawberries tend to taste better. strawberries need a steady water supply which is very easy to supply outside in the irish summer Laughing dont waste valuable greenhouse space on plants that would taste better outside
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Macy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless they were perpetual fruiting, I would go with something moveable, as once they've finished fruiting they can go outside. The cover gives an earlier crop, but once they've done I think that's it as far as I'm aware?

Similar to nemo, I'm going to try a few hanging from my polytunnel crop bars - my plan is euro shop hanging baskets though, as I was only thinking of 2 or 3 plants.
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Digger Dan
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:22 pm    Post subject: strawberries staying in! Reply with quote

I've decided to give the indoor strawberries another go!

I reckon that I should get crop a couple of weeks early and then I can move the plants outside and use the space for some other crops. To this end I made up this demountable staging.

Both the bottom sloped shelf and the large middle shelf can be taken out to let two growbags be layed flat on the floor (few more pepper or tomato plants?).

The photo below shows the strawberry plants in place ( x28). The ones in the long boxes are from runners last year, the ones in the growbags are two year old plants.


Digger Dan
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ormondsview
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:16 am    Post subject: why not try a raised bed? Reply with quote

I too want to do strawberries again this year and have the seeds on the way. With seeds, I can get the varieties I want. Will use the 1/3 method. 1/3 seed, full new plant and a cutting from the old.

I have rubbish to get rid of, namely some ugly vines I tore up and wood (small cut logs to put in the bottom of my waist high raised bed. I will put the worst material in the bottom, damp it down with sawdust (from clean raw wood that carpenters put out for the rubbish) leaves, then about a foot of good compost and soil.

The grand kids love berries and they do well for me but the problem is that they are hard to contain as the runners don't stay put. A raised bed will make it easier to keep animals and slugs out.

I can put a black plastic cover over to heat up the soil and a clear one once they are started. Surround the bed with plastic rain catching bottles for easy watering when necessary.
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Foxylock
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I grow strawberries in hanging baskets, they crop well and you dont have to worry about slugs and snails. Just keep them well watered and give a regular feed.
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qwerty?
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nemo wrote:
i am going to grow some in a lenght of large rain gutter on top of the crop support bars.hopefully the fruit will hang outside the gutter for easy picking
nemo


I read about that somewhere before, and thought it was a great idea. I remember they had it sloped so you watered from one end, you would water the whole gutter.

I'm using hanging strawberry planters I got off ebay (http://cgi.ebay.ie/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170460481892) in the tunnel this year to save on space, and I am planted a few outside in raised beds.
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Digger Dan
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These strawberry planters look great, looks like you could get 10-12 plants in each?

One drawback I see from my current planting is that they are all the same variety. Which could mean a great crop all at the one time or a complete failure of total crop!!
I see that ALDI are doing strawberry plants this Thurs 25th March http://www.aldi.ie/ie/html/offers/special_buys3_12436.htm

They are offering a number of varieties from early cropping Christine to late cropping Florence. I'm very temepted to clear out a dozen of my existing crop and get two other varieties to spread out the season.

The varieties they are selling are: Christine, Hapil, Florence and Symphony. Has anyone grown these and any advice?

Digger Dan
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qwerty?
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Digger Dan wrote:
These strawberry planters look great, looks like you could get 10-12 plants in each?


They take 12 each. I also have a planter bag that I am going to give a try this year to see how it goes.
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Digger Dan
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:34 am    Post subject: Polytunnel works for strawberries!! Reply with quote

Earlier on I was wondering whether I should keep the strawberry plants out of the polytunnel and save the space for more needy crops. I decided to keep them in and I have been harvesting ripe strawberries since the 3rd week in May!





One of the things I did that has greatly helped in keeping the fruit from rotting (and being eaten) was to 'hang up' the fruit trusses. I suspended a bamboo cane above each row of plants and then used garden tie to loop around trusses of fruit to lift them up off the growbag. This has worked a treat and all the strawberries are ripening fully without risk of losing any.





Digger Dan
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