Any commercial strawberry growers here? I have a question

I have always read that you should remove the first flowers after planting strawberries, but are commercial strawberry growers, who plant +10,000 bare roots, REALLY having a crew go through and remove all of the flowers???


When my grandfather did it he’d plant and in June berries were delicious and big. Next year they’d be slightly smaller but if I remember correctly more of them. So no you don’t have to pull flowers this year.


Friends with someone who supplies vegetables (and strawberries) to a local grocery store chain. We stopped by his farmstand store this weekend and they were already out spraying herbicide on the plants. As soon as they’re harvested they kill them and replant. None of his strawberry plants last more than a season.

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Yes, I know that some commercial growers plant plugs in the fall each season and don’t bother trying to get more than one season out of them. It’s an interesting practice but I don’t think I’d ever do that.

You misunderstood me my grandfather would plant them early spring and get some first year. He’d have them in ground 4-5 years

No, I understood your post. My second post was in response to wdingus’s post, but thanks for trying to clarify.

I’m not growing them commercially now but I did in the past. My family as well as other’s in our area grew acres of strawberries growing up. All of us removed the flowers the first year. I’m assuming you are referring to matted row type since you mention bare root. That is what we have the most experience with. I have also done some plasticulture but we plant the plugs in the fall for them, rather then in the spring.

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I like strawberries. Wonderful things. They really are.
What I don’t like is growing more than a handful of strawberries.
I’ve worked for for a handful of commercial fruit growers…one was good at growing strawberries, and yes the workers did go through the effort of removing flowers and yes it’s a lot of work.
So there’s a difference between June bearing, ever bearing and day neutral strawberries. The day neutral variety I’ve worked with is Sea Scape.
The nice part about Sea Scape is that it’s easy to trick.
So plastic strawberries + row cover = May harvest. (depending on location)
Plastic = still May but either potentially with frost damage or a little later in the month.
Ribbon row/matted row= may/June
Everbearing=m May and July/August or June/August
Sea Scape (pick flowers off in april and let them grow in May) = June
(then pick flowers off 1st two weeks of July) = harvest at end of August
and then when late summer and early fall are warm get fruit October
don’t laugh! The grower I used to work at has gotten day neutral berries in the 1st week of November!
Those darn day neutrals always want to push flowers if the temperature’s right!
The flavor of day neutrals can be disappointing and yes, picking off flowers is annoying but when the place I worked at is the largest PYO strawberry grower in the Philly area, it’s worth it!


No commercial experience… but have started lots of strawberry beds in my years…

On june bearing strawberries… these are early glow… i pull blooms and runners the first year… for june bearing varieties you may only have to pull blooms for about a month in the spring… but a bit later the runners will start… and i pull those too the first year.

What you want are big stout plants and as you can see… mine are there.

From now until fall… i will let a few runners root… prehaps 1 per mother plant… but only because my mother plants have grown big and stout and i think they can handle rooting one runner.

That one runner… i will actually transplant to a new bed this winter…

Next spring these early glow should fruit well and after fruiting… i will let them set a few runners each to fill out that bed.

Sounds like you are already familliar with most of that… just wondering exactly how commercial handle it.

Back in the old days we learned by word of mouth… today youtube and lots of other good sources like this one.


In my limited experience of having 60-100 strawberries over the past 3 years in both everbearing and June bearing I always let the ever bearings flower and make strawberries the first year as small runners because I wanted the fruit. The leafy growth does slow down while they are fruiting but by the end of the season I still had established plants that were ready to go the following year.

I also let my June bearings runner until I had enough additional plants before I started cutting them off.

It has always seemed to me that once the strawberry reaches its mature size it just tries to push out runners constantly which is a waste if you don’t need a dozen runners from every plant. I’d rather have it get to maturity a little slower with a little fruit along the way

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I am not a commercial grower, but grow strawberries for 40 years. You only need to remove flowers if your target is the most multiplication of the plants by next year. Then without berries all energy will be sent to runners. I usually plant the bed the way i want them to be for several years as the minimum bundle you can buy is 25cnt. If I would have an only and unique plant - I would remove flowers, or at least most of them, so I at least know if I like this one to propagate. When I definitely remove all flowers is if I replant my strawberries too late in the season, when they already flowering or even producing berries. In this case they need to place all the resources to survival, not to the berries.
I also found that transplanting runners in later summer/early fall gives you strongest bushes in spring and number of runners next year are not reduced on new plants if you let them flower and produce berries.