Monday, October 20, 2014

Strawberry Plants Growing Well, but I Lose the First Strawberry

It's only been a week, and look how nicely the Aerogarden strawberry plants are doing!

Now this is more like it. Every single crown has sprouted leaves, and I can see even see flower buds on a couple of them. 

Shockingly, all the plants after one week are about the same size as the first plant, which has had a month and a half to grow. What a difference delivering plants while they're still alive makes.

Speaking of the first plant, sadly, I saw that the little strawberry I straw growing has shriveled up and turned black, almost looking like a blackberry at this point :(

I went to Google to try to find out what might have caused this. What makes this tough to Google is that there is actually such a thing as real black strawberries, but this isn't one of them.

It's hard to tell what condition caused this (if anyone knows for sure, please leave a comment!). I have a few guesses. It could be that because I didn't even notice the flower until after it had turned into a strawberry, the stunted growth may be a result of a lack of pollination. Or, it could be that because this little strawberry was near the base of the plant and thus continually covered by water every hour, it might have developed rot or a fungus.

In any case, there are plenty more flowers on the other plants, so I won't mourn this little guy too much. Let's hope that future strawberries are big, plump, and red the way they should be.


NaweG said...

I know you've been off a while, but am trying strawberries for a second time in my Aerogarden Bounty (similar situation to your first set although with a cat chewing what did grow), and am curious about the watering cycle you used. Your post mentions two minutes for every hour, but the Aerogarden site mentions two minutes for every week. Am wondering if you recall if it really was two minutes for every hour?

Armel said...

Hi, I have been researching the same thing years later. I found a faq here
it basically says you should pinch off the flowers until you have 6 leaf sets. A leaf set is a set of 3 leaves. This is considered a healthy plant and the strawberries might be malformed until then. Also instead of shaking the tree you can use the bee pollinator from the website and put it directly on each flower. The plant wasnt full and I think it might have been pollinated insufficiently. This is of course a guess from my reading. I am ordering my bounty elite and strawberry bowl tomorrow hopefully the crowns will be good :)

Armel said...

Still around with the same aerogarden as well! I like the old ones more than the new ones. It is growing petunias instead of strawberries though. I also grew some roses in the grow bowl for about a year as well before going back to petunias. As far as the watering cycle I stuck with 2/58 even though it never felt right. The strawberries grew for a couple months and I got about 2-3 strawberries a week before they died from... Overwatering.

Now this is not a straightforward issue because there is water in the bottom of the bowl, but not the top. So what this means is you need to grow at 2/58 *until the roots reach the bottom of the bowl* (that part is really important). So do that for a month or so, then maybe double the second number until you get to 2/1000 which is two minutes a day. Two minutes a day is about how often I water my roses (35 seconds every 6 hours) as well and they are thriving.

So TL;DR I would suggest 2/58 for the first month, then after every month double the second number so 2/58, then 2/116, then 2/232 and so on until you get to 2/1000. The very top layer should be dry or close. When mine died the top layer was almost always wet with some algae and fungus. Maybe this was a clue. In a pot you could check the drainage but unfortunately you have to eyeball it a bit more because you cant really see the drainage.

I did a long post a while back with a link to all the stuff I was using and all the youtube videos I was watching. Here is the link if you are interested in reading about that.

Good luck man! The secret is there *IS* a way, it *IS* possible, you just have to find what works. Just let me know if you have questions or hit problems I have had my aerogardens for years now. I still have the pictures of the strawberry garden and everything :)