Saturday, May 30, 2009

Why No Strawberry Flowers?

The Albion Strawberry plants that I had transplanted as bare root plants 3 months ago are growing very well (see picture to the right).

I started picking my first Albion Strawberries 4 weeks ago and over the course of the next several weeks, I was able to pick strawberries every day. The Strawberries are delicious, by the way!

However, all of the Strawberries have been picked and there is no more fruit left on the plants. In fact, there have not been any new Strawberry flowers for well over a month.

Albion Strawberry plants are of the day neutral variety, so they should be continously producing flowers as long as the weather is below 85 degrees F.

We have had very mild weather in Southern California this past month, so temperature is not the reason why there are no flowers. The Albion Strawberry plants are still developing new leaves and are producing plenty of runners, which I have to prune every several days, so the plants are getting plenty of nitrogen.

I believe the culprit is the lack of phosphorus. Phosphorus is the essential element required for plants to produce flowers.

Strawberry plants have very shallow roots and I believe the plants have depleted the phosphorus that was contained in the top level of the potting mix that I used.

So last week, i decided to add a phosphorus rich fertilizer to the Strawberry plants. I used a combination of Liquid Bloom (0-5-5) and Fish Emulsions (5-1-1-), in a ratio of 2 oz each per gallon of water.

I applied 6 oz of the resulting liquid fertilizer to each Strawberry plant.

Sure enough, I saw Strawberry flowers today!!!

I am going to apply this combination of fertilizer in another 2 to 3 weeks.

This is a picture of the first Strawberry flower that the Albion Strawberry plants have produced in the past month.

For an update on flowers on my strawberry plants see this blog entry.

1 comment:

  1. I bought the AgroGrower set up and 100 Albions after seeing your blog. Lee from AgroGrower and Sakuma Farms (where I bought the plants - $0.12/apiece - great deal) said it wasn't too late to get them into the "ground." We'll see. I figure if I don't get many this year, the investment will pay off in future years.