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THE PLANTING SITE Choose and area with rich loam or sandy soil.  In clay soils, it is ideal to add composted mulch or organic matter to the site.  Work up the area well so there is ample loose soil.  Avoid poorly drained areas.  Soil pH should be 6.5 to 6.8 range.

SPACING Space plants 24” apart Rows 3’ to 4’ apart  24” in row spacing = 50 plants per 100 feet

PLANTING Bareroot Plants can be stored in a cold area (refrigerator etc.) if you are not ready to plant immediately.  If possible, soak the roots briefly before or during planting.  Keep moist during the planting.  Extra long roots can be trimmed down to 5”- 6” with a scissors rather than curling them up in a planting hole.  Do not plant too deeply. Tamp soil firmly around the plant.  Water well at planting.

IRRIGATION Newly established strawberry plants need continued moisture all summer long.

FERTILIZING Avoid fertilizer burn. Applying fertilizer near the planting date leads to burning of plant leaves and roots. Being too generous with fertilizer will also be detrimental. You may mix ½ lb. of 10-10-10 per 100 sq. ft. into soil the at least 2-3 weeks prior to planting. Otherwise, do not fertilize until your plants are established (about six weeks after planting). Fertilize with ½ lb. 10-10-10 per 100 sq. ft. again in July and in August.

WEED CONTROL   After planting, remove weeds by cultivating weekly.  Do not allow weeds to compete with new plants. You can also use some chemicals as described on next page

Renewing Old Patches (June Bearing Only)  Renovation should be started immediately after the harvest is completed to promote early runner formation. Renovation should be completed by mid-July. The following steps describe renovation of commercial strawberry fields:

Weed Control Annual broadleaf weeds can be controlled with 2,4-D alkanolamine salts immediately after harvest. Do not apply 2,4-D in spring before harvest Be extremely careful to avoid drift when applying 2,4-D.  If grasses are a problem, Fertilome Over the top II Grass Killer and Bonide Grass Beater[Poast] will control annual and some perennial grasses. Poast has a 7 day harvest withdraw Do not tank mix Poast and 2,4-D.

  1. Fertilize the Planting: A soil test will help determine phosphorus and potassium needs, but foliar analysis is a more reliable measure of plant nutrition. It is more efficient to apply nitrogen in small increments at regular intervals through the season.
  2. Mowing: Mow the old leaves off 3-5 days after 2,4-D application just above the crowns. Do not mow so low as to damage the crowns.
  3. Subsoil: Where picker traffic has been, heavy soil compaction may be severe. Subsoiling between rows will help to break up compacted layers and provide better infiltration of water.
  4. Narrow Rows: Reduce width of rows to a manageable width based on your row spacing, the aisle width desired, and the earliness of renovation. 12-18 inches is desirable, to as little as 6 inches. Use a tiller to achieve the reduction. Narrow rows are superior to wide rows. Narrow rows will give better sunlight penetration, better disease control, and better fruit quality.
  5. Thin Plants: Plants should not be too dense within the row. A final density of 5 plants per square foot is optimum, so plants are about 5-6″ apart.
  6. Cultivate: Work in straw between rows and throw a small amount of soil over row. Strawberry crowns continue development at the top, and new roots are initiated. Additional soil should be added to facilitate rooting. 1/2 to 1″ of soil is sufficient. This also helps to cover straw in the row and provide a good rooting medium for the new runner plants. Do not completely cover the crowns with soil.
  7. Irrigate: Water is needed for both activation of herbicides and for plant growth. Do not let plants go into stress. Ideally see that planting receives 1 to 1-1/2 inches of water per week from either rain or irrigation.
  8. Cultivate: Cultivate to sweep runners into the row until plant stand is sufficient. Thereafter, or in any case after September, any thinner plant not yet rooted is a weed and should be removed.

Adequate Moisture & Fertility: During August and September adequate moisture and fertility will increase fruit bud formation and improve fruit yield for the coming year. Continue irrigation through this time period and fertilize if necessary. An additional 20-30 lbs. of N per acre is suggested, depending on the vigor.

Everbearing/Day-Neutral Strawberries Establishment Year

  • Day-neutral varieties can be planted in a single row with 12” between plants. Alternatively, arrange a staggered double row in a 12”-18” wide bed with 12” between plants. Maintain 42” aisles.
  • Pinch off all the flowers for 3 weeks after setting out your plants. Four weeks after planting, sidedress with 1 lb.-1 ½ lbs. of 10-10-10 fertilizer per 100 sq. ft. After 8 weeks, begin weekly or biweekly application of a soluble fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro to maintain growth and fruit production.
  • We suggest ½ lb.-1 lb. of 10-10-10 fertilizer per 100 sq. ft. be worked into the soil at least 2-3 weeks before planting..
  • We recommend that you remove all the runners during the first year. This will allow the plants to become well established. You can let the plants develop fruit midsummer through October.
  • Do not renovate day-neutral or everbearing strawberries.

Notes: Hot weather will impact strawberry production. With day-neutrals, the impact can be tempered with good watering practices. The cooler temperatures of autumn will bring a return of berry size and yield. You can expect a bed of day-neutral plants to be productive for 1-2 years.

 

June Bearing Establishment Year

Pinch off all the flower buds in the first year of growth. This allows plants to put energy into becoming established and in turn, yield a larger crop the first bearing year. It will also encourage runner production and support winter survival. Fill in the rows of your strawberry plants by allowing 2 or 3 daughters (runners) to take root on each side of the mother plant. Evenly space the plantlets in the bed, lightly pressing them into the soil to make sure there is good soil contact around their roots. Cut off any additional runners that form during the season. Over-crowded beds will produce small berries and can have more disease problems.

MULCHING & Preparing for Winter

Mulching is necessary in most northern states for winter protection of the crowns. Quick freezing and thawing can cause serious crown damage which may not only affect yield, but plant survival. An adequate layer of mulch mitigates fluctuating temperatures. Apply at least 4” of hay or straw after plants have started to go dormant Straw is ideal. Avoid leaves or any wet, heavy, or decaying mulch.  After several hard frosts in fall, apply a layer of straw directly over the plants. A few plant leaves may still be visible. Remove mulch in early spring before new growth starts. You can move the mulch to the aisles to keep weeds at bay and keep mud from splashing onto the fruit. . Mushroom compost also works for weed control. If cold temperatures are forecasted a frost blanket or row cover can provide some degree of protection in the spring. Frost blankets  must be removed by the time plants begin to bloom.

We Also have strawberry Plants in spring of most variaties

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