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Strawberry plants are at their best during their second or third season

Q: I planted overbearing strawberries in an upright PVC planter. The plants are growing very well but very few produced fruit. The planter is in full sun. What is the problem?

Assuming a good growing season plus adequate pollinators present during flowering time, the strawberry plants are most likely being overfed. Remove flowers from first-year plantings and keep runners from developing. This will allow for a more established plant that is ready to produce the following season. Strawberry plants are generally most productive in their second and third season, after which they should be replaced due to the high possibility of disease developing either in the soil or in the actual plant. Always purchase certified clean stock and practice crop rotation. Using runners from old plants is not desirable because disease may have already set in, resulting in lower than normal yields.