Preparing new bed for strawberries next year

bittergrrlJune 22, 2012

I'm considering removing the sod from my small south facing front yard and growing June-bearing strawberries there instead. From what I've read, I should plan to plant in early spring. If I remove the sod this fall, does anyone know if there's a fall crop I can sow and grow that I can till under in early spring to benefit the early spring berry planting?

I've never grown strawberries, and so any suggestions/lessons learned from experience are appreciated...I'm in Toronto.

Thanks!

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dowlinggram

I grew strawberries for years until it got too much for me to handle.

You really need 2 beds one for the stringers and one for the ones you planted the year before. If you leave them to go wild you will have some big plants that produce nothing and weeds growing all through the patch and it will be a tangled mess. It will be hard to pick and the plants won't thrive so you'll have small berries.

I would plant them now if you can find some and give them some shade during the heat of the day by putting something on the south side of them. The first year you plant them you won't get berries or very few. In fact they say you should pick off the blossoms the first year. I never did. The plants that were the stringers the year before will give you the most berries. By the time they are in their third year berry production falls off and eventually those plants will not have berries.

Unless you want a big crop of berries all at once and then nothing I suggest you try one of the everbearing varities. You will get a good crop but not as much as the June bearing ones. The benefit is that they will continue to produce small crops of berries all summer.

This is how I grew mine--

In the fall I cut off the stringers from the mother plants of the second year plants. Then I dug out the roots leaving the stringers in place for the winter and mulched around them. I also mulched the other bed.

In the spring I removed the mulch and dug out the stringers with a bit of soil which I placed in a cardboard box until I dug the plot Then I dug holes for the stringers and filled them with water. By the time you go back to the first hole it will have sunk into the ground. I planted the stringers in the prepared holes and mulched the plants

Mulching the strawberries keeps the berries off the ground so they won't rot and the moisture around the plants But it has to be removed when the plant starts to send out stringers. The stringers won't be able to root with the mulch there.

You can use anything to mulch but I found the long red or white pine needles made the best strawberry mulch. At pick your own farms they use straw.

I hope this helps

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 2:26AM
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