Did you Know Tuesday- Strawberries

Our strawberry patch was started about five years ago with just about 8 plants. Within a year it became 15, by the next it was over twenty. Last year I was given 25 half dead suffering strawberry plants that were headed for the garbage. I couldn’t believe it! The owner was set on throwing them out so after I took the lovelies in I did what your supposed to do. Treat them with care.
Strawberries are grown either from seeds, or are bought as bare roots, which are well just a bunch of ugly roots.

You should soak them in water before planted. Spread those ugly brown hairy roots out carefully after trimming them. Pick off any dead leaves and keep them in a bucket with roots submerged under the water.

     Strawberries are a magical thing, they do great in containers, so if you think you have no room, Think again. I have them all over the place, lost count of them too.
   From the plants I bought I have begun to grow and reproduce my own from not only seeds but runners. First year plants produce the most runners, they look something like this to start with. Usually a long stem with a little green or knot at the end.
 

From these runners you get new plants. Find the runners and set them down on the dirt or in a cup of dirt, but do not cut off just yet.

After just a few days of sitting against dirt they start to get little nubs , those nubs or bumps turn into roots. The one on the far right has it’s roots, the others are at an early stage. It takes only a few days for roots to form as long as it’s sitting against some dirt. I’ll take a runner and lay it down with a small rock against it to keep in place. Once it’s got long enough roots it’s time to plant.  Just snip it off from the mother plant and set it’s roots into some moist dirt.

Once a runner is seen, make sure you start watch it and get it into the ground as the “Mother” plant is feeding it. If the runner is left there and not broken off the Mother plant , the Mother plant may die off as it’s too busy feeding the new plant. You won’t see many berries off of either as well, so make sure to look for the runners.

These were all the runners I had from last years strawberries, as you can see, they really do multiply!

  Strawberries should not be planted where peppers, tomatoes, eggplant and potatoes have been grown since these plants can harbor verticillium wilt, a seriously bad disease for strawberries. Mulch and or straw needs to be put down after planting. Not only does it keep the moisture in, it keeps the berries off the dirt.

Keep your Strawberries Pest Free
   A little trick to keep slugs out, save all those egg shells and crush them up, sprinkle the egg shells all around the plant to keep the slugs at bay. Cause who would want to have a slimy body stuck of egg shells? ha
Other pests–
Tarnished Plant Bug- Feeding by the tarnished plant bug will result in disfigured, nubby berries

Birds- Birds will inevitably get some of your berries. Plant more than you’ll need and cover the area with bird netting. I put a plastic netting over all my berries as well as sticks in areas where I know a annoying squirrel likes to steals my berries.
  You can check out my simple solution of water and soap to get rid of bugs on plants that’s kept my berries pest free!

Happy Tuesday!