First year of strawberries

Hi Everyone,
I am new to this forum and a bit of a novice when it comes t gardening.
I have a couple of questions regarding planting strawberries.
I have ordered some strawberry plants, which I am expecting to arriv this week. I have read on various websites that strawberries have a average of 3 year life expectancy. I plan to replant the runners fro my strawberry plants and replace the older plants when they are aroun 2-3 years old. Am I right to do this? I have read that you should no re-use an existing strawberry patch, but others websites say this i not a problem.
Also, I have also read that if I plant new plants early in the year, need to remove any blossom/fruit so that they do not produce fruit i the first year, this is supposed to give the plant a chance t establish a good root. Is this correct? Is February too late fo planting to get any fruit for this year?
Stev
-- Steve Upton
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More information. Are you in Maine or Texas?
Steve
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Probably neither. OP posted to a UK news server via giganews. I wouldn't expect a response either. Dave
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Hi, Thanks for the advice.
I am actually in the UK. Perhaps I am posting to the wrong forum? Or need to set a timezone somewhere?
Anyway, thanks for the advice. I will just plant them and see how w get on without pinching them out.
I cannot wait to start, but I will need to prepare the ground thi weekend, which will mean a lot of digging.
Thanks again
Stev
-- Steve Upton
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On Tue, 5 Feb 2008 12:29:26 +0000, Steve Upton

Post your growing zone for advice about timing. For the US you can find it here. http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html
As to your other questions, it depends on your goals. I never pinch back new strawberries and get a reasonable yield the first year. I also don't use and pesticides on them because I like to just pick them and eat them. This may reduce the yield in subsequent years, but I get all I need and want so who cares? Commercial growers would feel quite differently I am sure. I like to use 3 or 4 varieties and in some years one or the other always do better. There are June bearers, that give one big crop pretty much all at once, and everbearing varieties that bear fruit all season long. I grow berries in raised beds and in containers. This year I lost most of them in the raised beds as I was gone during a long hot dry spell. However the yields from the flower boxes on the rails on my deck were great. About every two or three years I split out the berry plants and start new boxes. They tend to get too crowded pretty quick and they deplete the soil. Strawberries are HEAVY feeders and need lots of nutrients. Those in the raised beds I just let go. Some June bearers (which seem to be more rugged) jumped the boxes and were working themselves up the hill beside my house until they got scorched.
Have fun munching berries. It's a great way to start gardening.
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I woulnd't. I'd buy new plants. Strawberries are very susceptible to viruses and they seem to lose their oomph after a few years.
I have read that you should not

Go with the first thought because of the risk of disease.

I have never bothered to remove any growth and always get a crop from new plantings. As for the timing, perhaps you would be better to ask in the uk.rec.gardening newsgroup. It is full of experts on all sorts of subjects and has many people with a high knowledge level (and some complete dumbos too but you'll soon pick them)
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On Feb 5, 6:29am, Steve Upton <Steve.Upton.

From my extension service publication on commercial strawberry gardens:
Plant strawberries in rows about 1 meter spacing. They will proprogate as they spread out from the mother plant. After 3 years, remove the mother plants, leaving the younger plants. Year 4, repeat removing the oldest plants. Year 5, plant new plants in the row of the original planting. Repeat the cycle.
KC
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Thanks KC,
That is just the information I was looking for.
Thanks to everyone who responded for your friendly advice.
Stev
-- Steve Upton
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