Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Planting Strawberries


I plant my strawberries using the Matted Row System.  I bought Earliglow June bearing strawberries about 8 years ago and started them in a tiered system.

I could never figure out how to manage the runners and so the weeds took over and I had to clean out the spot and start over. Luckily the strawberry plants were still there so I did not have to buy more. I simply had to reorganize the beds into something I could manage.

To the left is a picture of how over grown it had become with weeds.
To the right is a picture with it cleaned out but still having some trees roots that need digging. I dug all the tree roots out and then replanted my strawberries in row about 5 foot apart.

To the left is my cleaned out patch with strawberries about 5 foot apart giving me ample space with walking and picking strawberries. I laid down two pieces of newspaper over lapping with a hole cut to slip the strawberry plant through and then covered with about 6 inches of shredded paper. This mulch process will suppress most of the weeds, decompose to always add additional organic matter(fertilizer to my plants).

I now will take my runners from the strawberries and add to the left side of my rows thus growing the row left.  As the original row dies (in about 3 years) that will create the new path for picking.  When the newly created rows meet the "old row" I will start planting my runners to the right going back to the original row position.  This will go back and forth in a 6 to 10 years cycle giving me new plants to replace the old and keeping the strawberry patch fresh.

To the right are new rows of strawberries I have created by cutting some of the runners last year to grow a new larger patch of strawberries, this time using straw and news paper under the straw as a mulch and weed bearer.

The planters you see in the front of my strawberries also contain strawberry plants.  These are there just in case we move, then I have strawberry plant ready to trans port at anytime.  Some of my planter have asparagus (this is an experiment) in growing asparagus in containers.
If you have purchased bare root strawberries (plants not in a pot) the roots will be long and stringy.  Dig a wide, 3 inch deep hole and spread the roots out and cover up to the crown.  This will bring dirt up to just below the leaves of the strawberry, and cover.  
I am harvesting about 1 to 3 lbs of strawberries per day from an estimated 4 dozen plants .  In the Louisiana, MO area?  Stop by the Garden and buy some.  Very tasty. 
If you have purchased strawberries in a pot, dig a hole the size and depth of your pot and place in the ground matching the soil depth and cover.

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