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strawberries


 
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foxxx
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 13 May 2010
Posts: 18
Location: westmeath

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:44 am    Post subject: strawberries Reply with quote

hi my father grows strawberries in a polytunnel and gets a continious supply of fruit all summer long. this year i got about 15 plants off him a sowed them in a barrel in my glasshouse. i got one flush of flowers with only about half turning into fruit about 6 weeks ago. since then nothing. no sign of any new flowers,the plants themselves look healthy. while mine are failing his are thriving . its driving me nuts. we cant understand why.any ideas whats going wrong?
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Sive
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Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 1731
Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do you mean by a barrel, foxxx ? Do you mean something with planting holes in the side ? This year I bought healthy strawberry plants and planted them in a ceramic strawberry planter and they have done really badly, with some of the plants scarcely flowering at all.
I won't use this method again, as I think the watering may be the problem........???
I'll be interested to see what advice you get......
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

watering could be the problem or irregular watering. Any plants grown in a container are completely dependent on water being supplied independent of the rain but what makes a big difference is the top layer of plants will get most of the water provided the soil is capable of absorbing it whereas plants that are grown in normal soil at ground level will have roots at various levels and so are able to survive the odd dry spell.
In barrels or containers in wet weather the lowest down plants will get most of the water, sometimes too much if drainage is not good.. When planting in containers always check that drainage is good but to ensure that the plants get enough water it is essential that the soil has a high humus or organic content.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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foxxx
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 13 May 2010
Posts: 18
Location: westmeath

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sive,it is a steel drum in which i lined with plastic and borred 4" holes at different levels. the first batch of plants at the bottom level died pretty quickly. i replaced them but they are struggling still. the plants in the middle and top are healthier but still not flowering.
michael is there such a thing as an idiot proof method for keeping the moisture level in containers at an optimum level.this is the first year ive had green house and at the moment everything is in containers and pots of different sizes.and am not sure how often i should be watering.
when i was making the mix for the barrel i used top soil,home made compost and a couple of handfulls of chicken manure pellets.
do you think i am over watering the strawberries or under watering
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Sive
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 1731
Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi foxxx...it sounds like you have tried a larger version of what I have used. interestingly, I feel the plants almost look healthier since I took mine out of the little glasshouse and left the planter outdoors.
Next year, I'm going to plant strawberries in ordinary large clay pots.....I think it's the watering that is the problem, as Michael says....it's very difficult getting the compost sufficiently wet throughout a deep container without making it too wet for some of the layers of plants.
I think I'll plant different thymes in my "strawberry planter" next year ! Lesson learnt !
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foxxx
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 13 May 2010
Posts: 18
Location: westmeath

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for reply sieve. i will probably have to do something similar myself. im pretty new to this gardening game , the learning curve is much steeper than i thought and there can be a year between lessons.but it is good when you get results.
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michael brenock
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Joined: 12 Aug 2008
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Location: cork

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put drainage holes in the bottom of the barrel, then I put in a layer of soil with stones and rubble in the centre (10-12 inches diameter circle), as this facilitates the water going to the soil towards the edge of the barrel. I allow the soil to settle for 2-3 weeks having given it a good watering. The soil will sink as it settles in and drag the plants down with it. The holes for the plants should be not more than two inches in diameter and the holes should not be directly above the hole below it but in between. When planting make a hole with a trowel and after putting in the roots put in some soils with fingers and press firmly . Always water after planting but not before. For watering I have used a 5 litre container with a small hole (one eight of an inch diameter) in the screw-top stopper. I fill this with water and turn it upside down on the barrel and the seepage keeps the barrel moist.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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foxxx
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 13 May 2010
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Location: westmeath

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

very good thanks michael. i might re work the barrel design and see what happens
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