Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Temperature has a major influence on strawberry physiology and can override day length as the control mechanism for flowering. If temperatures drop too low vegetative growth is inhibited causing poor flower and fruit formation. Conversely if temperatures are too high strawberry plants will wilt and stop producing flowers and fruit.

Strawberries grown from seed will usually take two to three years to mature. Early in the season, after risk of frost is over, purchase cold-stored runners from your local nursery. Always use runners that are certified virus tested. Cold stored runners are off-shoots of a mature strawberry plant (also known as a mother plant) that have been snipped off and rooted, forming a clone of the original strawberry plant. They are kept in cold storage through the winter. Ideally the runners you choose will be in flower or have buds visible.

There are several different types of strawberries suitable to various climates and zones. The long-day-type typically grown in northern regions are light and climate sensitive. Flower and fruit production is triggered by the long hours of spring and early summer light received by the plant. Once introduced to a warm climate, plants will continuously produce an abundance of flowers. Temperature also affects fruit's flavour and sugar content.

Conditions can easily be simulated indoors, out-of-season. Once plants have finished fruiting and produced runners, clip the runners from the mother plant and root using conventional rooting methods.