Strawberry planning

What to do on a wet March weekend, with hail falling between the snatches of sunshine, other than think about strawberries.  Here’s the problem: I’ve grown strawberries in pots for twenty odd years and had reasonable results.  Never enough to make jam but enough to enjoy the pleasures of home grown fruit.  Here’s how they looked a few years ago:

strawberriesHealthy plants, lots of flowers, developing into a nice little collection of strawberries to eat.  Since then they’ve been ravaged by vine weevil, which eat the roots and destroy the plants.  They also killed off my blueberry plants. Last summer the strawberries were pretty dismal so today I was trying to decide what to do about them.  Do I persevere with the pots, emptying them out, replacing all the compost, starting new runners, liberally sprinkling with biological controls?  Or do I give up growing them in pots and start a strawberry bed somewhere in the garden, with all the risks of slugs and marauding cats?

I couldn’t decide today and got as far as ordering a bulk order of potting compost, which I’ll need anyway for tomatoes and things, and could use to restock the pots but I’m beginning to feel that it’s a lost cause.

Has anyone out there successfully dealt with vine weevil? Answers on a postcard please!



14 thoughts on “Strawberry planning

  1. I haven’t a clue about vine weevil, I’m afraid, but I’ve always got much better results from growing strawberries in beds so I’d say give that a go if you can.

  2. Vine weevils are a right pest. Their eggs are teeny. Either the Nemasys you’ve been recommended or bare-root them all, rinse the roots under running water and pack plants in damp paper for a day. Chuck ALL the compost – into beds not near the pots – and scrub the pots thoroughly. Repot the plants, which are after all, as tough as old boots usually. Hope that helps! I have all mine in the ground, bar some runners which I force & then compost.

  3. Don’t know about vine weevel. We used to grow strawberries in the ground, but I am rubbish at weeding (i.e. there is no time in my week for it) and it had been overgrown ground so they would get strangled by weeds and nettles. So this year, the great structure of Strawberry World is taking shape inside the giant fruit cage. We are using gutters attached to structures off the ground. I will try and take some photos to show on the blog. Hoping it works, but who knows??

  4. Have you considered going vertical? Put strawbs in hanging baskets or old guttering or those wall hanging bags for fruit.
    But in any case I would ditch the old compost just in case, possibly ditch the lot and start again. You never know if they laid eggs for this year.

    But Nemasys has an answer to most pest problems.

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