Growing Strawberries

This year we are growing our garden by leaps and bounds.  One of the leaps was putting in a strawberry patch. This is my first real attempt at growing strawberries.  When we lived in town we put some on a hill that was hard to mow, but that’s all that happened with them.  It just became an overgrown weedy mess.

I purchased 25 Ozark Beauties from Gurney’s and then another 20 Everbearing from Wal-Mart.  The plants purchased from Gurney’s are doing great.  Looks like I’ve only lost one of them.  On the other hand, I only have one from the Wal-Mart purchase that made it.

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This is what the other 19 from Wal-Mart look like.  Fortunately I only paid $5.00 for all of them.  I guess you get what you pay for.  I only bought them because I had a lot of room left in our patch after I planted the ones from Gurney’s.

I purchased another 10 plants from Orschleins this week to replace some of the dead ones from Wal-Mart.  We’ll see how they do.

I spent a good amount of time in the strawberry patch today weeding and replanting.  While I was weeding, I went ahead and pinched off the blooms that were on the plants already.  I have heard that you should pinch off the blooms and runners the first year so the roots get stronger.  I’m impatient though and want berries this year…I’m going to pinch off the blooms now, but I’ll probably let them go as the plants get a little larger.

Here’s a before and after picture.  This area has been part of the alfalfa field for the past 3 years, so I know I’ll be battling it for a while.

Do you grow strawberries?  Do you pinch off the blooms the first year?  I’d love to hear your experience with growing them.

4 thoughts on “Growing Strawberries

  1. quarteracrehome says:

    I pinch the blooms on most every plant if it’s too early. They want to put their energy into growing reproduction, I want them to be healthy. It’s like over-breeding a rabbit, or a goat getting bred way too young. Just like animals, if they put too much energy into makin’ babies (especially too early) they will slowly waste away themselves. Think of how much sugar is in a strawberry leaf or bundle of roots compared to a single berry. Sugar takes energy, so pinching blooms or small berries helps with that. Even when you don’t pinch the blossoms, they produce so few that it’s almost not worth trying. I pinched most of my blossoms last year when I put my newest berries in, but I did let the runners go wild. This year we have something like 20+ plants out of a bed originally planted with 9. They’re starting to really bounce back. This year we pinch all the runners and let them produce lots of berries instead. It’s worked for me before, it ought to work well now. 🙂

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