Strawberry Care - Knowledgebase Question

Cypress, CA
Avatar for nalla1
Question by nalla1
February 4, 2000
The strawberries that I planted last March are starting to bloom now. I have one crop of June bearers and one of everbearers.
I have 2 questions:
1. Since it is seems too early for them to bear fruit this time of year, should I be pinching off the flowers or let them go ahead and develop fruit?
2. There are a lot of dead leaves on the vines. Should I be pruning or picking them off, or let them fall off?

Answer from NGA
February 4, 2000
Plant growth is dictated by climate so if your strawberries are developing flowers, it means that daylength and temperatures are falling within the range required for the flowering process. Of course, real fruit development will depend upon pollinating insects. So, in mild climates it's not unusual for plants that normally bloom in late spring to develop blooms earlier than expected, and for them to produce fruit if insects are active.

I'd leave the blossoms alone - you may get a bonus crop from your strawberry plants.

Strawberry beds should be mowed down at the end of the season, to remove old leaves so they won't harbor insects or diseases over the winter months. New foliage will appear from the crowns of your plants the following spring. If you didn't cut your plants back last fall, cut the old leaves off now, to make room for new foliage and blossoms.

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