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Old 06-17-2008, 12:56 PM   #1
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Who can save my strawberries?

This is the first year we've yielded a crop from our strawberry patch. It is a relatively large plot for the city yard with 25 plants. I am getting the most beautiful, sweet, large berries. We put hay down under the plants (I read somewhere to do that).

But, I will see a pink berry and think "That'll be ready for pickin' tomorrow!" When tomorrow comes, it is red but rotten where it touches the ground (hay). How does it rot in one night? Why is it rotting? I have tried turning them periodically to discourage them from sitting on one side for too long, but I'm still losing more berries than I am keeping. The bugs will crawl into the rotten side.. I'm not sure if they are the cause or the effect of the rot.

Could I be overwatering? Maybe the hay shouldn't be wet? As usual, I've asked a hundred questions in one post. Any help appreciated! Thanks

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Old 06-17-2008, 12:59 PM   #2
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You can try picking them a bit earlier and letting them ripen on your counter. But I would vote for too wet a patch as the culprit.
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:03 PM   #3
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Strawberries need to grow on a mound so that as little contact with the ground is achieved. Try putting some well-draining mulch around them might help. Strawberries really hate getting their feet wet.
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:08 PM   #4
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Ah, I had a feeling it might be the moisture.

As for ripening on the counter, will they still get as red and sweet? Should I put them in a sunny spot, and when, if ever, do they go into the fridge?
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JillBurgh View Post
We put hay down under the plants (I read somewhere to do that).
This is actually where they got their name. They are berries that lay on the straw (hay).
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:09 PM   #6
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They get pretty red and sweet if I can keep everyone off them! LOL. They don't need sun, just heat. The best solution is to keep the berry dry on the plant but if you have to pick them they are OK on the counter.
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:58 PM   #7
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As for ripening on the counter, will they still get as red and sweet? Should I put them in a sunny spot, and when, if ever, do they go into the fridge?
All fruits and vegetables will continue to ripen on the counter. Refrigerate if necessary but it is a moist environment......
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Old 06-17-2008, 06:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
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This is actually where they got their name. They are berries that lay on the straw (hay).

DUH!! I feel foolish. I can't believe I didn't consider that! Thanks for the trivia. And all of the advice from everyone, too.
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:05 PM   #9
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No need to feel foolish. Most people do not realize that is where the name came from. I know I didn't until just a few years ago.

Good luck with your strawberries.
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:30 AM   #10
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I just wanted to mention that there was a woman on a show I watched the other morning here in Cleveland that owns a strawberry farm where you can go and pick them. She said strawberries Will Not ripen after they're picked. I've never tried it with the strawberries that I grow, just relating what the woman said.

Barb
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