Saturday, May 8, 2010

Removing Blossoms from Strawberries

If you planted a new strawberry patch this year, your plants should be beginning to bloom.

I have found strawberry plants quite easy to grow, but now comes the hard part. This first year, all strawberry blossoms must be removed.

Pinching off a few blooms isn't difficult, at least it isn't strenuous work. The problem is knowing that each one of those blossoms is the promise of a luscious fruit that I am now destroying.

Removing the blossoms allows the plant's strength to build a strong root system and send out runners. We practice the wisdom of delayed gratification and anticipate next year's fruit.

This may work for other plants as well. On my deck is a pot of pansies, which daily has it's blooms removed by my toddler. She seems to find the flowers irresistible. But I've noticed that those pansy plants are the most beautiful healthy looking plants I've ever had. I just placed the pot on the picnic table so that we can maybe enjoy some pansies this spring. At least until the toddler learns to climb!

Often when I plant annuals, I remove their flowers. I also usually remove the first blossoms from my tomatoes. It goes against the grain to remove flowers and buds, but I think it results in stronger healthier plants.

Give it a try this year. Remove the flowers from half of your salvia, marigolds, or other flower when you plant them and see if you notice a difference.

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