Berry plant and harvest report 2019


#41

Nice work with the plastic, that will really help with weeds. Looks like you use wood chips for mulch? Where did you get your strawberries from? Have your blackberries produced before?

Some of my Jewel are ripening up. I was just out there trying some out while weeding. They are a much bigger berry than EG, and the ones I’ve tried actually have a better flavor. The EG seem a bit bland compared with last year’s crop. The Flavorfest I planted two weeks ago had a few blooms today, but I pinched those off.


#42

Thanks, yeah the hardest thing for me in the past was the weeds that would grow after the strawberries were done. I just couldn’t find the time to get to them and they became pretty bad. As a gardener, I have a pretty high threshold for weeds, but the strawberry patch was too much.
I move about 5 to 6 yards of wood chip mulch into the pathways every year. My buddy has a tree business so they are unlimited for me.
Strawberries are from Nourse Berries. I got the strawberries with Bristol Black raspberry and some rhubarb. Bristol is coming up. Can’t see it in this picture, but this is its new home.


I know you are south of me, but seeing all your berries makes me remember to call the pick your owns and see when they are expecting.


#43

That’s fortunate for you. Does the chips help keep the weeds out pretty well? I use straw and it gets weeds coming up through it about two weeks after, just about worthless, maybe I should put about a 6 inches of it around my trees. Do you have to fertilize more because of the wood taking away some N?

Same here, after my patch was done last year, in early June, I basically let the weeds take over and didn’t really tend to it, it was shameful how bad it got. It meant more work for me this year, I was out there for about 3 days pulling the old weeds off my plants back in March. Looks a lot better now, the strawb plants kinda help crowd out the weeds as they get bigger.

I was supposed to renovate the patch last year and it shows this year. I don’t know if you know what renovating strawbs involves, but it’s very important for a patch.

For those who don’t know what that means, is that after your patch (I’m talking about June-bearers only here) is played out for the year in June or July, you are supposed to mow down the patch, basically cut off all the leaves, but don’t mess with the crowns. Then, depending on how many rows you have, you take a tiller in between them and leave about a two foot wide row of crowns. After that, you fertilize those plants. The mowing and fertilizing invigorates the remaining plants, induces them to start runners and helps them with setting fruit buds for the following year.

When they start runners, you try to move them to stay in the row and pin them down to help them put down roots. The next year when they start growing leaves again, all the plants should make a thick row of plants that will choke out any weeds, basically, your strawbs become the “weeds”. You’re really not supposed to fert the patch in the spring with N, as that may cause the fruit to be too soft, but I’ve read some P or K is fine.

Sorry, if you know this already, but thought it might be helpful to others.

Good choice, my strawbs were from Nourse, too. Really good plants. I also have a Bristol, in my rasp patch from last year.

I don’t know where you are in PA, but I’m not too far south. We’re getting a bigger crop than last year because we didn’t have a hard freeze when the plants started blooming. So, depending on that, your area growers might already have some ripening.


#44

I use my weed whacker very carefully. I too though forgot to do it last year. Mine don’t look any worse off.


#45

Not taking @Drew51’s advice, I went ahead and created sections in the raised bed for the raspberry patch. The varieties planted are Royalty, Double Gold, Caroline, Heritage, Fall Gold and Jewel.

I do expect them to cross the boundaries but I’ll see how long they take. I thought the location will have shade for half of the day to counteract some heat, but didn’t realize planting next to the house will negate some chill hours. I am probably pushing the zone on a couple of these already, so this doesn’t help :worried:

Got the bare roots from Indiana Berry and they accidentally sent me a bunch of Monterey Strawberries which they didn’t want back. So I stuck them in the same raised beds for this season. I planted these around end of March and all of the raspberries and more than 50% of the strawberries have leafed out now.


#46

Like the honey badger, your raspberries won’t care., It should help, but not stop them from spreading. Still looking for a good way…Mine have to go 12 inches down to get out, so they did. Then come up 12 inches to hit the surface, and they did, some 6 feet away. Not often though, usually close to the barrier.


#47

Why I no longer grow rasps, which I love


#48

I imagine putting down landscape fabric plus keeping enough space between rows so that you can do at least one but ideally two passes with the lawn mower would probably do the trick. Not a lot would sneak past the landscape fabric and whatever does gets trimmed. Doesn’t work for those who are very short on space, of course.


#49

Thanks for the hope :smile: Mine only need to go down by and come up to 10 inches!


#50

LOL! It looks nice, I like it.


#51

Here in Vancouver, WA I have a few still white strawberries starting to grow, none are near red yet. I could not wait and ate unripe wild strawberries.


#52

Hmm…in my town I have never seen strawberry leaves removed. We just planr, water, let grow. They become on their own huge bushes 2 feet tall in some spots. They all runner freely. I had been told the wild strawberry types I had would not runner…they did. I have a lovely ground cover pretty much evergreen of wild strawberries now. Im fact, wood sorrel is popping up. I think plants think they are in the woods.


#53

mine are growing in rows on what used to be lawn. mowing controls them from spreading. :wink:


#54

It may be ok not to renovate, I actually haven’t done it. I asked someone at Nourse about deer eating the leaves off last year’s plants in March, if they would recover. I also mentioned that I didn’t renovate the patch.

Their reply was my patch will recover from the deer, but me not renovating would have a bigger impact than the deer. So, I plan on doing the renovating after our patch is done.

One good reason why I should do that is the plot they’re in is poor in nutrients, and should be fertilized more often, which is part of the renovation process.

From what I’ve read a patch of everbearers/day neutrals doesn’t require the mowing, just the fertilizing, I guess.


#55

Correct, but they last a short while before they become unproductive. Mara des Bois seems to have a slightly longer life. Yes renewal is common practice. I forgot and mine look OK, but I will renovate this year.

Here is a good guide on growing and renovating.


#56

First pick of the year that was more than a handful, mostly raspberries but the strawberries, PAF, and bluebs are just getting started


#57

PAF?
Means?


#58

prime ark freedom. :wink:


#59

Thanks. Ihave no idea what it is. Maybe it is not sold here.


#60

its a thornless primocane fruiting blackberry developed by the university of arkansas.