Author Topic: Strawberry question  (Read 741 times)

Beersmith

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Strawberry question
« on: November 23, 2020, 21:46:57 »
I usually keep my plots in very good order, but this season things were often neglected due to health problems.  I'm a lot better if not yet 100%. I won't bore you with details.

But my strawberry bed, while weed free has a huge amount of dead and dieing leaves and foliage swamping the green growth. I would normally clean up after fruiting was over. Is it too late now? Last night was the first really sharp frost. 

I am reasonably knowledgeable on some topics, but this is a blind spot.  I don't want to weaken the plants unduly. Would a good clean up in early spring be better. 

Over to you strawberry experts!
Not mad, just out to mulch!

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Strawberry question
« on: November 23, 2020, 21:46:57 »

Tee Gee

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Re: Strawberry question
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2020, 22:00:48 »
I wouldn’t  worry too much!
 
I would think of the dying leaves as a mulch.

If anything they will be a protective cover for the new growth.

The only trouble I can see is; the leaves could also protect slugs & snails when they hatch in Spring! or those that are still about during this damp weather, hopefully future frosts  will take care of them!

So an an early Spring clean should should sort the situation out!

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Strawberry question
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2020, 09:21:00 »
I agree with TeeGee. Dont fuss yourself too much. Strawberries are 'undergrowth' plants in the wild.
Do you rotate your plants over 4 years to move onto new ground?
It is likely that you have now plenty newly rooted runners, some of which could be moved to create a new bed.
 I am to mulch between the rows with compost, having taken to pots, the developing runners. My priority is to weed, and clear the 'paths' between rows so as to have access to pick , and to allow some light/air to the remaining plants. Alternatively (or maybe as well), a dressing of slow release fertiliser, such as bonemeal would prepare them for a good start in Spring. This also as preparation for (possibly) the new row for runners.
Freelance cultivator qualified within the University of Life.

Vinlander

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Re: Strawberry question
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2020, 12:48:06 »
I read in an old book that it used to be normal to burn off the dead strawberry leaves in Winter; apparently the growing points survived and flourished.

I wonder if a lick with a flamer might get rid of everything in the bed except strawberries? But I'm not going to buy one to find out - and I would certainly do a trial patch and see how it does next year - (or dig out enough runners first so you could repopulate the whole bed next spring).

I could try my electric heat gun on the back garden bed (if I was even more gung-ho than I am), but I suspect the 'Hindenburg effect' might be crucial - where 90% of the heat from normal flames goes up, whereas a heat gun would concentrate it at ground level...

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

Beersmith

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Re: Strawberry question
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2020, 14:52:22 »
Thanks to all for the comments!

The bed in question has cropped for two seasons and next spring will be its third.

I've already moved runners to create a new bed and this will have its first season next spring.

I think I'll go for an early spring clean. I lack the courage to try the napalm attack!!

Not mad, just out to mulch!

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Strawberry question
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2020, 19:28:06 »
I read in an old book that it used to be normal to burn off the dead strawberry leaves in Winter; apparently the growing points survived and flourished.

I wonder if a lick with a flamer might get rid of everything in the bed except strawberries? But I'm not going to buy one to find out - and I would certainly do a trial patch and see how it does next year - (or dig out enough runners first so you could repopulate the whole bed next spring).

I could try my electric heat gun on the back garden bed (if I was even more gung-ho than I am), but I suspect the 'Hindenburg effect' might be crucial - where 90% of the heat from normal flames goes up, whereas a heat gun would concentrate it at ground level...

Cheers.
It was the straw(used to bed the fruit) that was fired, to prevent mould spores overwintering. No doubt the dried foliage would go up too! but we wouldn't like to do that now, now would we?
Freelance cultivator qualified within the University of Life.

picman

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Re: Strawberry question
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2020, 12:13:02 »
Dead or dying strawberry tops can be removed and should be burnt not composted , even burning them where they are is okay Father in Law had 1/2 acre of Strawberries , burnt the tops down to the ground every winter. Plants should be changed after 3 years. Pests are our problem , In the ground slugs, had vine wevel in boxes , squirrel started taking green fruit, ants nesting in strawberry grow bags..   

Vinlander

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Re: Strawberry question
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2020, 14:47:17 »
I can't top that tale of woes, but here's a story.

I once used to got flushes of ordinary strawberries with little protection and few bird problems, but my alpine strawberries got hammered because the longer season meant the birds tended to find them before I could.

I changed to the white alpines and it was magic for a few years before they cottoned on - but then it turned into a nightmare because the birds started pecking at the unripe white fruit on my normal strawberries, so they all rotted before they could ripen.

Now the birds know all the ropes and I get both types in reasonable quantities again - I think I do get a few more white ones overall, but it will never make up for the total loss of 6-12 months of normal ones and an eternity of netting them.

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.