Help with Strawberries Growing in a Hugelkultur Raised Bed

River_Kensley

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We currently grow four raised beds of strawberries, and 2 of these raised beds are Hugelkultur beds. Three of the four beds are producing pretty wonderful strawberries, the exception being one of the Hugelkultur beds. The strawberries in this bed grow great and look good when they first start turning red, however, before they become fully ripe they begin turning rotten and develop a horrible taste, almost having a flavor like a bad ferment.
The leaves look healthy, and there's no signs of pests in the bed. It has been 3 years since I have tested the soil, and I'll be retesting it next spring.
I really have no clue what could be causing this, seeing as there are no differences between the two Hugelkultur beds, and I would appreciate any help anyone can offer :)
Thank you in advance!
 

ducks4you

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Your bed is probably too wet, bad drainage. Have you stuck your hand deep in the bed to see?
Don't think strawberries like it sloppy wet, which has got to be the problem, since they are fermenting.
Every crop has it's own microclimate and I think strawberries like a lot of sun, too.
Maybe this will help:
Some places where I dump from my horse's stalls get wet and the soiled bedding (fine pine shavings, straw, and a little bit of hay) can get sloppy and have a hard time drying out.
Just some thoughts...
 

River_Kensley

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Your bed is probably too wet, bad drainage. Have you stuck your hand deep in the bed to see?
Don't think strawberries like it sloppy wet, which has got to be the problem, since they are fermenting.
Every crop has it's own microclimate and I think strawberries like a lot of sun, too.
Maybe this will help:
Some places where I dump from my horse's stalls get wet and the soiled bedding (fine pine shavings, straw, and a little bit of hay) can get sloppy and have a hard time drying out.
Just some thoughts...
I went ahead and checked how wet the soil is-- It's good. We usually have to water our strawberries twice a week, and they get around 9 hours of sun a day. We built these beds about 4 years ago and have never had an issue with any of them until this year.
Thank you for the link and help! :)
 

flowerbug

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We currently grow four raised beds of strawberries, and 2 of these raised beds are Hugelkultur beds. Three of the four beds are producing pretty wonderful strawberries, the exception being one of the Hugelkultur beds. The strawberries in this bed grow great and look good when they first start turning red, however, before they become fully ripe they begin turning rotten and develop a horrible taste, almost having a flavor like a bad ferment.
The leaves look healthy, and there's no signs of pests in the bed. It has been 3 years since I have tested the soil, and I'll be retesting it next spring.
I really have no clue what could be causing this, seeing as there are no differences between the two Hugelkultur beds, and I would appreciate any help anyone can offer :)
Thank you in advance!

i have had a strange taste with some strawberries at times here and that was due to them being in a low spot where water sat or the soil was too compacted and it wasn't draining as well as it needed.

i'm guessing it is some relation to that as i've not had it any other places. this season it has been so dry i don't expect this sort of trouble, but if it happens again i'll post about it.

what i would do for the plants in that area where they are coming out this way is to take up the plant and see if there is any fungal mass underneath and then put some better draining soil on top with plenty of organic matter in it so the neighboring plants can recolonize.

while i haven't noticed it being a persistent problem on the same plants (it goes away as the season went along) i have enough plants that removing a few and letting the neighboring plants grow back in is a reasonable response to something i don't quite know what is up. is it a fungal infection in the roots, or a response to waterlogging or something else? i can't say, but the flavor is indeed horrible. :(
 

River_Kensley

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i have had a strange taste with some strawberries at times here and that was due to them being in a low spot where water sat or the soil was too compacted and it wasn't draining as well as it needed.

i'm guessing it is some relation to that as i've not had it any other places. this season it has been so dry i don't expect this sort of trouble, but if it happens again i'll post about it.

what i would do for the plants in that area where they are coming out this way is to take up the plant and see if there is any fungal mass underneath and then put some better draining soil on top with plenty of organic matter in it so the neighboring plants can recolonize.

while i haven't noticed it being a persistent problem on the same plants (it goes away as the season went along) i have enough plants that removing a few and letting the neighboring plants grow back in is a reasonable response to something i don't quite know what is up. is it a fungal infection in the roots, or a response to waterlogging or something else? i can't say, but the flavor is indeed horrible. :(
Thanks, I'll be digging one up and seeing if there's a fungal issue going on!
 

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