Jul 28, 2016
Clemson to host pre-plant strawberry meeting

Strawberry producers are invited to a pre-plant meeting where Clemson University experts will provide valuable information needed to grow successful crops.

The meeting is scheduled for Aug. 8 in the Horry County Extension Office, 1949 Industrial Park Road, Conway, South Carolina. It begins with registration at 9:30 a.m. The program is set to begin at 10 a.m. Topics to be covered include an insect management update by Powell Smith, vegetable entomologist, and a disease management update by Guido Schnabel, plant pathologist.

There is no charge for this meeting, which includes lunch. Pesticide recertification credits have been applied for. For information, email Justin Ballew, horticulture and agronomy agent, at [email protected].

According to the Clemson Extension Growing Strawberries fact sheet, two different production systems are used to grow strawberries in South Carolina. In the matted row system, plants are set out one spring and fruited the next. This system works best in the upper part of South Carolina, where production may continue for several years.

Another system is the annual hill system. This system is preferred in the Sandhills and Coastal Plains because the anthracnose disease usually destroys the matted row plantings before they produce fruit. In this system, plants are set out in the fall and fruited the next spring. The planting is usually discarded after the crop is harvested. The matted row system can be used in the Sandhills and Coastal Plain providing anthracnose resistant varieties are planted.

The interest in growing strawberries in South Carolina is increasing. According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture by the United States Department of Agriculture National Agriculture Statistics Service, 446 acres of strawberries were reported grown on 135 farms. This was an increase from the 2007 census which shows 351 acres of strawberries were grown on 128 farms.

Denise Attaway, Clemson University

Source: Clemson University

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