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Disappointing strawberries

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by Plosh, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. Plosh

    Plosh Apprentice Gardener

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    I have strawberries in self watering baskets in my polytunnel. This is the 3rd season in the tunnel but I have grown like that in a greenhouse for many years previously.
    I always grow everbearers and keep my plants going for 2 seasons. I currently have Mara de Bois and the plants are in their first year from runners last year. My last lot of first season plants, also from runners, cropped continuously from the end of May through to October. The following year they produced a big flush then lots of runners, there was some fruit on the runners. Starting with new plants again this year I was anticipating continuous cropping but they started producing runners almost straight away. I kept taking them off and had a rather underwhelming crop of very nice fruit. There are no further flowers coming on the plants so I'm letting the runners grow now in the hope of some more fruit.
    The temperatures in the polytunnel have been rather excessive over the last 4 or 5 weeks, that's not usual here. My max / min thermometer goes up to 50° and its been up there several times. Could this have stressed the plants and made them go into survival mode? Or does anyone have any other thoughts?
    I think I will buy some new plants for next year.
     
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    • Zigs

      Zigs Naughty Ginger Admin Staff Member

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      Yep, too hot for them. I moved mine out of the cold frame last year for that reason and they're now cropping well in the open :)DSCI0002 (1).JPG
       
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      • Redwing

        Redwing Wild Gardener

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        That sounds excessive to me.
         
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        • Plosh

          Plosh Apprentice Gardener

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          I gave up outdoor strawberries years ago, it's usually too cold and wet for them. They would probably have done well this year, that is if they had survived the 6 months of continual rain that preceded this hot spell.
          My polytunnel is in full sun all day - my plants usually need every bit they can get. Our last decent summer was 2006. In hindsight I should have put the baskets in the greenhouse which gets nowhere near as much sun.
           
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          • JWK

            JWK Gardener

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            Can you ventilate and/or apply shading, 50C is way too high for strawberries and anything else I can think of.
             
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            • Plosh

              Plosh Apprentice Gardener

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              The doors at both ends are open all day from first thing. Everything else in the tunnel is going great guns. Because the hanging baskets are near the roof I suppose they are taking the hit - the thermometer is hanging from a crop bar too. It's only touched 50 a few times but it has regularly been over 40 for the past few weeks. The baskets would have fared better if I had put them on the ground though with the weather we've had they would have been fine outside.
              I've lived in this part of Wales for 30 years and I can't ever remember a spell of hot, dry weather like this. We're usually lucky if we get one week sometime between June and September. I will have to chalk it up to experience and remember if we ever get decent weather again.
               
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              • Kandy

                Kandy Will be glad to see the sun again soon.....

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                43684BB5-AC8D-444D-ACBB-804FB4B31236.jpeg46CBCC32-A5CD-4AEF-8622-4BBB2591949E.jpeg @Plosh like others have said I think the reason why your strawbs are not doing so well is the fact that the inside temperatures are far too high and the strawberries are struggling to cope.It is a pity that you can’t paint some of that greenhouse shading stuff onto the inside of your tunnel which possibly would have helped.

                Some of the allotment plot holders over at our allotments have those small green poly tunnels and on chap said that last year the temperatures inside were at 100f one reason why I won’t have them on our plots.

                We have just come back from 17 days in Snowdonia and apart from the first Sunday when it rained all day and the odd couple of showers we have had it quiet dry and was surprised to see that Welshpool was flooded as we had only driven through there a few days before.

                What we did notice though that a lot of the streams were very dry as were the lakes and you could see where the water had evaporated and the shore lines were quiet large.We also noticed that a lot of the gorse bushes had died off which we had only seen previously up in Scotland so can only assume it is lack of moisture although up in Scotland you wouldn’t have thought that was the reason.

                This is what we picked at the Lottie on Sunday these are grown in the open.:smile:
                 
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                • Aldo

                  Aldo Gardener

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                  • Kandy

                    Kandy Will be glad to see the sun again soon.....

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                    Hi @Aldo I don’t think they are Elsanta as we got lots of the plants cheap at the end of the season around four years ago at one of the garden centres who was struggling to sell them at a higher price so we snapped them up and planted them out onto our allotment but unfortunately the labels have since disintegrated and broken up so I can’t tell what any of them are any more although we get a crop in the Autumn as well as the summer months.

                    We bought some Elsanta plants years ago when we visited the Isle of Wight for a holiday and they fruited within a short time as they been put into cold storage and then brought out into the warm conditions for sale but I am not sure if we have any of those left in the strawberry bed.

                    Sorry I couldn’t have been of more help:smile:
                     
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                    • Aldo

                      Aldo Gardener

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                      [email protected] :)
                      Thanks, I was just curious because the fruits do look quite similar to Elsanta. But of course, if yours give fruits in Autumn too (I am a bit jealous..) they are most likely some other variety.

                      Do you ever make strawberry jam?
                      My brother suggested I should (he is very much into cooking), but mine do not produce enough to give it a go while leaving enough to enjoy fresh. But you do not seem to have that problem :)
                       
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                      • Aldo

                        Aldo Gardener

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                        @Plosh
                        Hi, sorry if this is a bit off topic, but, if I may ask, how many plants did you fit in your baskets?
                        I am planning to plant some day neutral strawberries in 16 inches self watering baskets as well, but I am not sure how many could be safely planted in each while keeping them productive enough.
                         
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                        • Gail_68

                          Gail_68 Plant a little love, watch a miracle grow.

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                          Hello @Plosh I don't grow fruit or veg but when we had our property the previous owner was a grower of grapes / strawberries / Barley / Rhubarb and everything was all done in sections but the strawberries was planted by the kitchen window and we suffer here with pure sun trap gardens but where the strawberries was they would have been in the shade till roughly 1-2pm and after that fully exposed to hot temperatures.

                          They was as big as @Kandy and by what I can gather on how fresh they was they must have loved the shade half way through the day and hot temps ranging from 60F to 80F :)
                           
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