After a long, cold winter, strawberry plants grown in containers could look very bleak and even even worse…look dead. In addition to this being a strawberry issue, the dried, dead looking plants only targeted the Fresca variety. The others, all showed vitality and life.
By comparison, our other varieties – Elan, Milan, and Frisan all handled the adverse weather and dried out pots without issues. Considering they all taste better than Fresca and grow bigger, this is our future for obvious reasons.
However, at this stage, we need patience because we could see these look like they have come back from the dead.
How did we get to this point? How did we see recovery?
To answer the first question, we had a harsh, cold and often wet winter. These temps and rainfall would come and go. Then, near spring, we had two weeks of cold, dry, cold weather that dried up the pots. When we could safely set up the hydroponic system without risk of freezing, most of the pots were already quite dry.
But, as soon as we could feed, we fed them with a 350ppm feeding right away and continued once a day to keep the pots saturated. A week later with wild weather and a few days of sun, there was not 100% recovery across the board, but many plants that looked like a write off had come back and showed new buds elongating from the crown.
In just a week, I would estimate Fresca will recover to at least 85% while the others at 100% or at worst, 95% survival. Since we took many runners and re-potted them from the better, expensive varieties, the season as a whole looks promising.
It is the end of March, the 14 day forecast looks good and the new growth is fun to watch.
Don’t give up! A little love, food and water can do wonders.