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Thread: advice on strawberries

  1. #1

    Default advice on strawberries

    My strawberry patch is well-established and has lots of berries forming this year. However, it seems most of the berries are hanging down under the foliage of the strawberry leaves, and thus fairly shaded. I'm assuming exposure to sunshine is good for berry development and ripening.... So I'm wondering if I should be trimming off some of the excess foliage from the strawberry plants to let more sunshine reach the berries? How have your other long-time strawberry growers groomed your patch?


  2. #2
    Member scott_rn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    power commuting twixt the valley and anchorage


    Jeff, I've wondered if anyone was going to chime in on this one. I've got some well established berries too and the slugs have been running rampant. We're finally getting the slugs under control, but it has taken some work. I think I'll thin the plants out quite a bit, either in the fall or early spring and see if it helps get more sun to the blossoms and berries.

    I remember once or twice my mom completely tearing out all of the plants and rototilling the whole patch, then she'd put some plants back in the dirt and they would fill it in pretty quickly.

  3. #3
    Member big_dog60's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    between wasilla and palmer


    I don't think you will have problems with the berries not ripening. I wouldn't trim the leaves but you might want to trans plant some of the plants if they are realy thick.

  4. #4


    last year our plants were really big and healthy, lots of runners, which i kept cutting to encourage berries. we got a lot of fruit, and even though the berries were sweet, they only ripened to pink due to being shaded under the leaves. this year the plants are HUGE, like 18"-22" tall, lush, and putting on lots of fruit. i went ahead and experimented with trimming. i cut all the tall stalks out. it took some time and diligence not to cut berry stalks, but the result was that the understory of foliage came in nice and healthy and is at about the same height now as the berry stalks, 6"-8". all looks good, heavy load of fruit starting to ripen right now. i think its was a good move, more airflow, less slugs, more sunlight. as a side note, i have been avoiding any nitrogen fertilizer on or near that bed, so as to help cut down on the massive greening on these plants. hope this helps, cheers, steve

  5. #5
    New member
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    Apr 2006


    Ive never had slugs on my strawberries,there in boxes that are off the ground in a graveled area. But, what i did have last year was amazing and pretty darn funny. The yellow jackts would eat into the berry and be so "drunk" on the juice they were passive,,they would just lay there in the berry or slowly crawl out. Some of the berries would have 4-6 yellow jackets sleeping off there juice and sugar high..Pretty funny stuff to see.

  6. #6
    Member COtoAK's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    North Pole, Alaska


    Since this is a strawberry thread, maybe I could get some help on this topic as well.
    We have a strawberry plant that was under watered when we left for Seward about 6 weeks ago. We had a househelper that was supposed to be keeping up with it and she neglected the plant.
    I tried to revive the strawberries as much as possible, but now there are no strawberries growing. It's just the plant(s). They were big and beautiful before and now they are 1/2 way what they were, but they are producing long vines, but not strawberries.
    We have been feeding them fertilizer and giving them a ton of sunlight, but I am wondering if it's too late in the season?
    Should I just make them indoor strawberry plants and keep them under a light?
    Currently, they are in a topsy turvy, so we won't be disturbing their roots.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009


    how do you winter your plants? cover or anything???
    "i am so smart, I am so smart, s-m-r-t.... I mean s-m-A-r-t."

  8. #8


    Well, since my original posting I left my plants as is. The berries turned out "ok" but nothing great. The slugs did a number on them. July and early August were quite wet in south central as you may know and I think that hampered things more than anything else. The slugs were pretty bad this year. I'm moving my garden this fall and will be starting over next year. I think I'll put my strawberries in a raised bed while I'm at it (everything else is going in raised beds as well).

    COtoAK, you may be getting a bit too late into the year. I would cut back on the fertilizer as that's likely only promoting 'green growth' rather than enhancing fruiting. You can try moving them indoors with a light to see if that helps.

    BlackRam, the past two years I just left my plants as-is but I'm pretty sure my grandma always use to cover her strawberry plants with straw / mulch in the fall right before freeze-up. I told myself last year I was going to cover mine with leaves from the yard but forgot.


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