Sunday, May 24, 2009

Strawberry Sentry

Not sure if he's an aphid-eater, but I appreciate all the help I can get guarding the strawberries!

This is my first attempt growing strawberries. The six-pack of 'Eversweet' plants that I'm growing were an "impulse buy" at OSH. Since they didn't have a place in the garden plan, they've been subjected to pots. These "everbearing" plants seem to be doing ok, but I'm not sure of what I should expect. The picture above was taken about 3 weeks ago and since then I've picked 2 ripe berries.

I've placed the pots inside bird netting to prevent theft by the hungry crows.

Since I'm a strawberry newbie, I have a few questions:
1) How many berries should each plant produce to be considered "good producers"? Right now each plant has 1 stalk with 4-7 developing berries. I'm assuming more stalks will develop throughout the summer since they are everbearing.
2) The plants are sending out runners. What should I do with these? I would like more plants, but how do I root them?
3) Does growing strawberries in containers actually limit production? I saw a picture on Skippy's Vegetable Garden of what appears to be a great use of space for those of us with smaller gardens. What do you think?

Random photo of a curly-q calla lily:


Daphne said...

I've never grown everbearers. I used to have June bearers but since the chipmunks would eat them all every years I got rid of them. You an root the runners easily. Just put them so they touch the ground. I usually put a rock near them so they wouldn't blow around. You can just wait until the roots start then dig them up and put them where you want. I often waited until the first little roots started then put them into pots (still in the garden and connected to the plant). Once the roots are well formed I'd cut them off the plant and put them where I wanted.

Stefaneener said...

I sure wish I knew all your strawberry answers. I have a planter percolating in my mind that looks sort of like a magazine rack. I'm considering that for next year. My kids would greatly appreciate the addition of a LOT of strawberries to our garden. Your berries look fantastic. yum.

I know one grower who had a system - one year all the runners went on one side, then the next year, the first plants were dug up and the runners from the second year moved, etc. Each planting stayed for two years, I think. Nice if you've got the room!

Thanks for stopping by our blog.

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

it is quite an adventure growing something new... There are things to know and be aware of .. Good luck anyway.

Maggie said...

I'm not sure there is a definitive answer to your first question. I suspect yield depends somewhat upon the individual variety. Everbearers have two or three flushes of berry production between spring and fall.

Also, allowing runners to develop will provide more plants, but reduces the yield somewhat. Removing runners focuses the plant on berry production.

I doubt growing in containers reduces yield significantly, assuming that the soil fertility is good and there is adequate water.

Avis said...

I'm a container gardener and I bought a strawberry plant a couple years back. It was by no means super-productive, but I think I should have had it in a larger container. I think I got enough to add into the yogurt a couple days a week... Maybe I'll look for a plant and give it another shot. Happy blogging!

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

The runners usually root themselves. I mostly leave them alone, but sometimes will dig a little hole for them an put them where I want them to go. I started last year with 6 small plants and I now I've got almost 20 because of the runners. We've got a bad chipmunk problem so although we have lots of strawberries we don't get to eat much. I should cover them with bird netting but I'm actually thinking of pulling them out. -Jackie

Jackie said...

Thanks, to all of you kind people for giving me advice/info! I've placed each runner on top of a little plastic pot of soil, using a small rock to hold it down. Also, I'm just going to hope for 'good production' and not worry too much about's supposed to be fun, right?!