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Author Topic: Strawberries for a polytunnel?  (Read 462 times)

Possum

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Somerset
Strawberries for a polytunnel?
« on: October 18, 2019, 09:57:15 am »
We thought our polytunnel would produce lots of early strawberries so planted about 20 plants three years ago. We got lots of fruit in the first year but, since then, the plants have produced lots of leaves but very little fruit. Is there a special technique to growing them in a polytunnel or have we just put in the wrong variety?


Which varieties have other people had success with?
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sandspider

  • Joined Aug 2015
  • Bristol
Re: Strawberries for a polytunnel?
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2019, 10:16:08 am »
Have you fed or fertilised them at all? Is your soil nice and nourishing?

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Strawberries for a polytunnel?
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2019, 10:56:35 am »
The first and second years are the best for fruit, if the soil is good, then the plants are effectively spent and need replacing. We take all the shoots off the first year but in the second some are allowed to grow into pots. The original plants are then taken out and replaced with the new ones. I doubt it is a problem with your variety- more likely their age and the condition of the soil. They do need a lot of water and we use a liquid feed as well.


We have found strawberries are very time consuming to cultivate and this year will be our last. Slugs, snails and field voles eat more fruit than we do!

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Strawberries for a polytunnel?
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2019, 12:50:15 pm »
The first and second years are the best for fruit, if the soil is good, then the plants are effectively spent and need replacing. We take all the shoots off the first year but in the second some are allowed to grow into pots. The original plants are then taken out and replaced with the new ones. I doubt it is a problem with your variety- more likely their age and the condition of the soil. They do need a lot of water and we use a liquid feed as well.


We have found strawberries are very time consuming to cultivate and this year will be our last. Slugs, snails and field voles eat more fruit than we do!
Totally same here! I think on the continent strawberries are treated as a bi-annual crop, and also my mum would buy new plants every three years or so, as they do tend to get viruses, so fresh stock every so often necessary.
And yes, we gave up growing our own as well (though a few pots are still in the polytunnel), but we do have a very local fruit farm just 5 miles down the road... so a big expedition once or twice in the summer, and all the fruit we need frozen for winter jam making sessions...
Also in the polytunnel you find that a) strawberries may flower bit earlier and b) your pollinating insects may not be as plentiful as outside...

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Strawberries for a polytunnel?
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2019, 01:24:35 pm »
I agree with what has been said so far - add a good fertile mulch each winter, after cutting foliage back, change your plants each 2 or 3 years, and plant them in a different place, make sure your louvres are kept open in the day so pollinators can get in and keep the plants thoroughly watered.  If it's too cold for insects, then do the pollinating yourself using a soft paintbrush.
Polytunnel soil seems to become less fertile quite quickly, so do top it up every year from the compost or manure heap.  Watch out for foraging rodents.
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Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Strawberries for a polytunnel?
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2019, 05:23:09 pm »
  Watch out for foraging rodents.
... and molluscs, and birds.... or the dog....

DavidandCollette

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Strawberries for a polytunnel?
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2019, 05:38:01 pm »
We planted ours in down pipe with hole cut in so that they could be suspended from the crop bars. This keeps all the nasties off, but they do need plenty of feed. Take the new plants off and grow them in pots ready for the next season. Ditch the
e Old ones after 3 years

 

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