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Help with strawberries (pics included)


 
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Amanda_H
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:15 am    Post subject: Help with strawberries (pics included) Reply with quote

Hello everyone. I was wondering if someone would minding giving me some info on what happened to my strawberry plants.

Earlier in the summer I noticed some browning on the stems and there were also little flies just under the flower. Someone told me I had blackfly and to spray the underside of the leaves with a mix of washing up liquid and water ever 2nd day for 2 weeks. This seemed to work but alot of the fruit is deformed and the some of the runners have rotted away completley.

I didnt know that you were supposed to trim off first year runners so maybe that was my problem.

I was wondering is the fruit safe to eat and do I have to get rid off these plants now?

Thanks alot in advance.



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The Garden Shop
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Amanda H,
the foliage show all the classic signs of the lack of potassium. A feed with sulphate of potash will help. There is always the possibility of insect damage too. Keeping a close eye out for aphids,removing them by hand or using your own spray ongoing all helps.
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Amanda_H
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info. Where would I get that, in a garden centre?

Do i need to remove the damadged leaves?
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The Garden Shop
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi amanda h,
Yes there are many brands available in most garden centres. do remove the leaves if only to leave your plant looking better. enjoy your yummy strawberries
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Amanda_H
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks alot for your help!
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:54 pm    Post subject: deformed strawberries Reply with quote

Hello Amanda H and welcome to the Irish Gardeners. Hope we can both learn from each other and all the others!

There's actually not a whole lot wrong with your strawberries the way I see them in the limiting photo. Strawbs like plenty space and light and air and tend to be troublesome if bunched tightly together. My rule is allow each plant the space of a sheet of A4. Some would say twice that and I wouldn't disagree if you have the space. Two kinds of soil they hate is 'heavy and wet' and 'light and dry'. You pray for rain in June as swelling strawbs thrive on it

Strawbs have a 3yr cycle of growth and development. Put new plants into a rich soil, well drained and sunny. Let them grow the first year and expect little. Allow NO runners to develop. Keep them weeded but do not weed out any CLOVER you find. Clover supplies nitrogen to the soil and takes little in return.
At the end of each season it is a good idea to pick away as much old foliage as you can and IF you can be bothered. It does help to keep down problems in future years.

2nd year a teeny bit of soluble potash (tomato food!) early in the season will help develop fruits later. Some people put down oaten straw as a winter mulch. But if like me you have masses of clover you may pass. 2nd year you should expect about 5 to 10 fruits per plant but I've seen plants deliver 20 in perfect soil. In July let each plant push out a max of three runners and let each runner start a max of three babies towards next year's needs and extras for friends or enemies. Otherwise be absolutely brutal with runners and start no new plants after July is out.

3rd year is usually the heavy cropping year provided the husbandry was aok. Allow NO runners because they are being taken from the 2nd year rows. After 3rd year fruiting, the plant has generally had it. There are people who claim good results for years but I don't believe them Dig em up in August, work the soil maybe give it a rest or build it up with stable manure for next year.

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Last edited by walltoall on Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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sirpsycho
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum Amanda H.

I'm in my 2nd year of growing so still very much a newbie but I'll backup walltoall on the space issue. I used to grow strawberries a few years ago in containers before getting an allotment last year. They never produced much and I often seen them appear in the way your plants do above. I've come to the conclusion that strawberries will only ever do well when planted in the ground. and spaced around 12-18inches apart. I planted 12 plants in April 2010 around 12 inches apart. In July 2010 they went crazy producing runners. I cut them off when I could but probably another 12 plants managed to take hold. In August 2010 I cut most of the foilage off the mother plants because it was going brown. June 2011 I was met with TONS of strawberries for a good 4-5 weeks. Once the flowers started to bloom I started giving the plants a weak tomato feed once or twice a week. (Some pics in this thread: http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/about5103.html).
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Amanda_H
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks alot. I dont have an alotment so I have to make do with the hanging baskets but I think 2 plants in each one may have been too much.

another question: After I have removed all the fruit should I take away the stem that the fruit has come from??

Thanks!!
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well first of I have to comment to SirPsycho that what works for me obviously works for thee. I learned my strawberry lore as a kid working summers for Lamb Brothers in Donabate. God be with the days. Lambs had the most extensive fruit farms you ever saw and made jams for the Irish market. Long gone, go mbhura día orainn.

For Amanda_H

A single strawberry plant should be enough for a hanging basket. But be very wary that hanging baskets get daily watering and that there is an escape hole at the the bottom in case you overdo it. North County Dublin used to get about 30" rain in a year. During May Jun Jul you got about 2" month, generally a drop of rain every two or three days during the strawberry growing season. So nature was providing plenty [soft] water but not too much.

The other areas strawberries and orchards thrived in were the Gormanstown and Stamullen areas of Meath. By growing your strawberries you are making a vivid statement that you are continuing a farming and gardening tradition that has gone on in Ireland for over 7000 years.

BTW, it is a very good idea to read BOOKS on your favourite gardening topics. There is a great deal of horse manure on the internet, I've been finding recently. My own favourites gardening are the "Expert" series by Dr.D.G.Hessayon which someone tells me are still available. I have almost the full set, but oddly not the fruit growing one. (Edited 15Aug@1610)

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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi walltoall. always glad to see your comments which are instructive and entertaining and with a punch.
where is all the horse manure available as i would gladly take it if available. Hessayons books are excellent and I always tell people at my talks that his books are better than mine and more colourful. Anyway I think those strawberries are infected with virus and probably a root disease that prevents the uptake of certain nutrients hence the bright colouring.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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sirpsycho
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amanda_H wrote:

another question: After I have removed all the fruit should I take away the stem that the fruit has come from??

Thanks!!


I've never chopped them off but they probably did get chopped off when I cut back the foilage last year. Planning on chopping back the current foilage this week.
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:02 am    Post subject: strawberries Reply with quote

Good morning Michael.
I'm listening to you (as always) and I'm hearing you too. Razz . I've probably been lucky when I grow strawbs maybe because of knowing how best to do it. Would I presume that if a plant is virused and root diseased it's best to get rid of it and probably change to a different part of the garden. Amanda_H was going to try hanging baskets so presumably a water-retentive compost and new plants from a safe source would be best for her? Hope your book is doing well. I've not been home to buy it. Is it available by post or internet?

Unfortunately the horse manure on the internet does not come in bags, so I can't help you with a supply. Wink

Best regards as always.

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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi walltoall. you have pretty well covered the topic. if strawberries have virus, get rid of them at the end of the fruiting year. Do not propagate from them. Strawberries grown in hanging baskets are less likely to get root rot or virus but can suffer from drying frequently. I enjoy your comments always as they add variety and gravitas to the topic, Keep up the good work.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)

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