Strawberries may need extra nutrition this season

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

Many strawberry fields that I have observed over the last two weeks across east Michigan appear to have a lack of vigor as they have begun to grow. I feel that some of this lack of vigor is related to cooler than normal and fluctuating soil temperatures this spring, as a result of our off and on season.

While it is typical for me to recommend to strawberry growers that they apply light rates of nitrogen in springtime, this year I am suggesting extra nitrogen be applied immediately to strawberry fields to help improve their vigor and to be prepared for our fruiting season. The typical rate of fertilizer that I would suggest on strawberries growing on our heavier soils of east Michigan is in the range of 10 lbs to 15 lbs of actual nitrogen per acre. This year, I am recommending doubling that rate to 20 lbs to 30 lbs per acre to help overcome this lack of vigor. I would suggest that you leave a small area untreated to determine the effect of this extra fertilizer application.

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