SC Grower Update on Camarosa Crop (5pm, 3.25.16)

— Written By Barclay Poling
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clyde 1 low resFig. 1. Photo 4196 –  Healthy Camarosa, California cut-off plant that should produce heavily between the 1st the 2nd week of April (Editor’s note: please look at photo of Camarosa in Fig. 2 that was shared yesterday in this advisory , and compare it to this plant! The green berries in this photo should be ready in 2 weeks).

leggett 3.24.16 3 weeks?Fig. 2. Photo shared from NC grower yesterday – I indicated that this crop is about 3 weeks away from ripening.

clyde 2 low resFig. 3. Photo 4198 – East-West oriented field. Please note the bottom fruit set is on the South side where higher ground temperature results earlier due to sun impingement angle with the clean row centers.

clyde 3 low resFig. 4. Photo 4201 – North – South oriented field – Approximately 1 week later start than the E-W field because of the Sun impingement angle. This orientation results in a more concentrated FLUSH of significant production.

Pictures and notes furnished today by  Clyde Gurosik, N. Augusta, SC, who wrote in an email:


Photos 2 weeks after completion of STRATEGIC FORCING. Please see the 3 following attachments. Not surprising that THERMODYNAMICS drives great strawberry production. God provides great lessons thru nature!!!

Hope this is helpful.

Previous Reports from Clyde Gurosik:


series 1 - photo 1photo 4097 –  Native Pollinators emerging from ground burrow hibernation

Series 1 - photo 2photo 4113 – Bumblebee and Native Pollinator –  direct size comparison

series 1 photo 3photo 4108 –  2 Native Pollinators working on a windy day

series 1 photo 4photo 4115 – Initial Tree Leafing – END OF DORMANCY!


Photos that accompany March 5th report:

series 2 photo 1 series 2 photo 2 series 2 photo 3 series 2 photo 4 series 2 photo 5 series 2 photo 6


Grower’s response to Gurosik’s bareground aisle strategy:

All of that information is interesting. Might be worth trying in areas on different farm (no rye in centers vs. rye). On our main farm, our fields have a slope, so we would pay a price in erosion control.

Agent’s response from Alabama….”I also started paying attention to the difference in the growth of two fields. One with ryegrass that was killed about a month ago and one with no ryegrass planted. There is some difference in soil type, but all else is the same. The field with no ryegrass looks like it is a week ahead of the other. We could have not handled the heavy rains this winter in the one field if not for the ryegrass. So maybe we just need to kill it earlier? Just FYI from north Alabama.”

March 9 – Summarizing

Series 4 photo 1 series 4 photo 2

March 10th


How do you go from tight canopy, winter dormant to elevated open canopy, 20% open King bloom in just 16 days??

Please go to  click on the Clarks Hill location, then click on the 31 day summary. Observe and REFLECT on the 2, 4 and 8 inch soil temperature records from 2/21 thru 3/8. Add in the 2/29 leap day, that the automated network missed and you have the PERFECT SCENARIO for 16 days of STRATEGIC FORCING!

Those bloom will not result in a high % CULLS like those resulting from wasted efforts by some to protect and develop a very few early February prematurely developing bloom (prior to crossing the CRITICAL 50F GROUND TEMPERATURE growth & pollination threshold). Growers can waste a lot of $$$ and effort and cause themselves a lot of problems if they don’t understand and monitor “GROUND TEMPERATURES” and keep farm specific ground temperature records. The ground temperature THERMAL ROLLER COASTER prior to 2/20 is a normal predictable annual event. We’ve observed and documented it for over 10 years and that stabilizes after the day length exceeds 11 hours. Maybe this information should be included in strawberry plasticulture 101 training.


March 19th


These are Camarosa not Sweet Charly. They are from very healthy California cut-off plants. They were NOT prematurely row covered during Nov., Dec., Jan., or early Feb.,.There was NOT premature loss of bloom, and since they were cut-offs, there was not significant leaf senescence requiring costly manual clean-up. S. Carolina is a part of “ONE NATION UNDER GOD” where row cover costs are NOT government subsidized. Therefore, they are deployed here ONLY for STRATEGIC FORCING, for a short period coincident with the end of winter dormancy. That period is determined by accurate ground temperature measurements and records. Producers who must pay for row covers with net profits, must minimize the deployment period to minimize cover degradation, labor and related costs. We SAVE a lot of $$$$ and maximize net profits accordingly. We started selling berries on Friday, 3/18/16 and estimate that fruit required 42 days for total development from bud opening to ripe fruit. Hope this field report and info are helpful.

march 19 fruit
Tom Baker in VA Beach has a number of questions:

Hello Barclay,

RE:  Berry-mg 3/20/16

It’s hard to believe Clyde Gurosik picked strawberries yesterday, non-Sweet Charlie, at that, even if some of his Camarosas looked to me to be a wee bit under-ripe (but isn’t that why God invented sugar?).

I found Clyde’s monographs very interesting, but answers to some obvious question remained unrevealed.

Please ask Clyde to share with you, and you please share with “us,” the following:
·        The date he deployed row covers for “strategic forcing”
·        The soil temperature(?) and/or other “trigger factors” (weather forecast, etc.) for deployment
·        If soil temperature, which measurement (as described in “Ground Temperature Facts”) was used
·        The weight of row cover used for his strategic forcing
·        Duration of strategic forcing row coverage, i.e. date row covers were removed.

It would also be interesting to see the photos that Clyde referred to.

In other news, we covered our fields late Friday afternoon, finishing up about 15 minutes after sunset, anticipating possible frost if not freeze on Tuesday morning, and knowing covers would be unmanageably wet if we waited until Saturday or later. It was too warm/sunny Friday to pull the covers until the latest-possible hour. Saturday turned out too windy plus a little drizzle/rain, so I’m glad the covers were “on.”  We have had about 0.4” of rain, with a little more expected Sunday night/Monday morning. We watch three AWIS forecasts (Chesapeake, Fentress, Oceana—“hope for the best; prepare for the worst”) and indeed today’s “Chesapeake” forecast calls for frost Tuesday morning. I expect our covers to dry sufficiently that will be able to remove them Tuesday morning. We expect Tuesday’s high to be near 60 degrees.



Tom & Anne Baker and Amanda McCann
Brookdale Farm
2060 Vaughan Rd, Virginia Beach, VA  23457