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Friday, April 8, 2011

A Response to a Question about Container Strawberries and Brown Crowns.

The Question:

I am doing container gardening this year and I am a rookie. I planted my strawberries from a bag about 10 roots & crowns per bag (very similar to the pic of the one in your lap) about 2 weeks ago but I planted the crowns just below the soil and they are not coming up. Is there any way I can save them? I uncovered the crowns today and they are all a really dark brown does that mean they have already rotted? Please help this rookie gardener.

The Answer:

Strawberries from bags are tricky because a lot of them are dead from the start. If they were green, and then planted below the crown line, only to brown... there is good chance they are dead. There isn't much more you can do than uncovering the crowns.

That being said... if your days are in the 60's and the nights aren't freezing, you should see sign of growth in another 7 days from all the healthy crowns. If you don't see growth, it is time to replant.

The other thing I do is look for root crowns that have growth when you buy them at the store. A lot to times the strawberries start growing a lot of green in the store because of the warm temperature and lights. The ones I planted didn't fare well either. That is because I probably left them in the bag and in the dark a bit to long. If you planted the crown slightly below the soil level, a strong plant would have been okay.

If you are using a container similar to my strawberry container, it is also a good idea to plant crowns around the sides and edges. And buy one or two of the large healthy pint container strawberries and plant them in the middle of your container. They not only will grow but will send out runners later in the year you can move and use.