Please help me with my tiny, mushy strawberries - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 06-20-2009, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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We started a square foot garden last year. Got a strawberry plant and it spread. All I have mostly gotten is tiny strawberries that are mushy before even picking them. It has a ton of berries right now, they are just all tiny and mushy.

How do I get them to grow bigger and not mushy?? I basically don't eat them

I did 'trim' the plant this year as they like to take over the garden. but even last year when it was smaller the strawberries were still like that. i haven't composted, we just got a compost bin and haven't set it up yet. Haven't really done anything as far as composting, fertilizing (is there a natural fertilizer, or is that compost?)


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#2 of 7 Old 06-20-2009, 01:58 PM
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I have heard that you can pinching off the flowers the first year to help get big berries the following season. If your plant is growing a ton of small berries maybe try pinching off some of the flowers and fruit so the plant can put it's energy into a smaller group of berries. The same way someone trying to grow a huge pumpkin would only leave a pumpkin or two on the vine.

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#3 of 7 Old 06-21-2009, 04:48 PM
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What kind of strawberry plant is it? Some breeds only grow tiny berries - those are the ones I actually grow because I prefer them. But it does take learning to tell when they're ripe instead of waiting until they're over-ripe.

And strawberries don't really like to be pruned, but they do like to be divided. I had 2 strawberry plants multiply into about 4 dozen over about 5 years through division every other year.

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#4 of 7 Old 06-23-2009, 12:20 PM
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As for the mushy- you need to ammend your soil with calcium calcium calcium. you should be able to go to a garden center and pick up a big bag of gypsum or hi cal lime for about $3 and sprinkled on liberally- it will last you years. Spread it on your whole garden and it will help the firmness and shelf stability of all your produce. I would go ahead and add some now, and add some in the fall and incorporate it in your soil, then again in the spring when you till (well somehow work it in the strawberry patch).

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#5 of 7 Old 07-30-2011, 08:33 AM
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I have the same problem and have done a little research. I have decided I purchased "wild" strawberry plants which will only produce tiny berries. Needless to say I am going to tear them out and make sure to plant the good ones. Good Luck.

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#6 of 7 Old 08-02-2011, 01:17 AM
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Wild strawberries aren't bad. They are just different. I keep a few in my garden for visiting children (children love to put them on straws) and for the animal life in my garden. Then I keep real ones too.


As for your berries being tiny and mushy, we had that problem this year because we did not move the strawberries after picking the berries last year (which should be done every 5th year or so at least, preferably more often). Usually, "bad" berries are due to the strawberries simply lacking nutrition or water, or both. Berries are generally greedy plants in that respect.


If you can't move your berries to newly dug bed (dug two spades deep, and mixed with fertilizer -- I like the natural kind -- calcium and preferably compost soil if you have any at hand and then straw on top to control weeds after you've planted the strawberries) then at least try to mulch down some compost around your plants and as one of the above posters said, some calcium doesn't hurt either if you doesn't already live somewhere with much calcium in the earth.


Good luck with your strawberries for next year.

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#7 of 7 Old 08-03-2011, 09:19 AM
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There are small alpine strawberries, which can actually be grown by seed, that could be paulemay's wild strawberries.  Mine weren't mush, though, and neither are any of the truly wild strawberries I picked.  I guess it's just a size preference.  I agree with PP that the mushy stuff might be a soil quality thing.

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