New data in 2017 – Strawberries are heat and cold tolerant at the same time. They are extremely adaptable plants once they are mature. This observation lead to new trials to see how far I can pushed this boundary.
In outdoor trials, plants successfully fruit in spite of aphids infestation and without hand pollination. No ice or commercial fertilizer was used.
Rain or Shine, these plants in outdoor trials are adapting.
2015 – Whilst strawberry plants thrive like weeds in cooler climate and require minimal care to grow well, in the tropics, more attention is needed for them to grow well.
Stressed strawberry plants showed symptoms in leaves first and stunted fruits in later growth.
If possible, grow them in deeper wider pots with compost and mulch top soil with dried leaves to prevent over heating. Give roots more room to grow and continue to feed and chill the soil.
For outdoors, its better to weed them out during the rainy season when its not too warm. Iced the soil as needed.
Wild strawberries variety –
September 29 2016 – Second year outdoors
Grown indoors, this strawberry plant was languishing for lack of sun in our apartment. Now that its cooler, I brought it outdoor again. In one week, it has revived to better health. This is grown in a 30L compost pot with earthworms and heavy mulching with dried leaves on top soil to prevent heat from penetrating.
February 11 2017 – Very mature (over 1 year old) plants are tested in outdoor trials to see how well they adapted to our climate, without much human intervention. These plants are no longer hand pollinated but still grown in natural compost from recycled green waste. They survived rain, haze and sun well. I learned to rim my pots with copper wire so snails could not climb into my pots.
Please note only copper work as they seem to be toxic to snails. However copper wires are not commonly found in shops and sometimes, I have to strip old electrical cords for them.
Summary of strawberry care information in the tropics:
- Minimum pot size should be 4 inches deep and as wide.
- Strawberry soil need to be acidic
- They like compost
- Red strawberry varieties need minimum 6 hours of sun light
- Soil and roots prefer to be cooler than 31C, and night time 25C but they do adapt to environment once plants are more mature (2017 plants are grown without airconditioning)
- Fruiting stage plants need watering more often
- Drought resistant – survived stress test of no watering for 3 days
- Plants nearing flowering stage have strong strawberry candies scent, will attract ants which may carry aphids and mealy bugs. Recommended to use scrotch tape to detect the under/upper leaves for pests
- Trimmed dried leaves and fruits after fruiting stopped and allow room and time for plants to recuperate !
- DISCLAIMER – Please note, the above information are for seeds grown strawberries based on my own experience and observations. They may not apply to nurseries bought strawberries.