Strawberry bed depth

tishtoshnm Zone 6/NMMarch 4, 2010

My SFG is relocating, again. I have not been found of the 6 inch deep beds for most things. However, can you more experienced strawberry growers tell me if 6 inches is adequate for strawberries. I found strawberry roots at Lowe's and Wal-Mart and so now I need to construct 4 beds, but I need to do it cheap.

Thank you for any information.

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homertherat

Well, strawberries have relatively shallow roots- for the most part. 6 inches should work fine, as long as it's well drained and has plenty of organic matter.

One thing to consider is the bottom of the box. Do you have a hard bottom on your boxes, meaning like plywood instead of just landscape fabric or newspaper? Ideally, newspaper or cardboard would have been layered to smother weeds and degrade with time, so roots can go down deeper than 6 inches if they need to. I put a 1/2 inch thick piece of plywood on the bottom with holes drilled for each square, but it didn't drain well and the top 2 or 3 inches dried out way too fast while the bottom was almost always soggy. I'm not sure if more holes would have made a difference, but I'm going to cut it out and see what happens.

I don't know if this added depth would be necessary for strawberries because they grow great in containers, which usually don't have much in the depth department. There were a few people who had dedicated boxes just to strawberries and as far as I know, they worked out great. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 10:18AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Thank you. All boxes will have chicken wire under them to deter gophers so that will allow adequate drainage.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 9:11PM
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jengc(7)

I have a strawberry box that is 6 inches and they did beautifully. I bought a package from walmart that had 10 plants in it I believe. I have a 4x4 box FILLED with strawberries. They multiplied like crazy! I didnt have hardly any strawberries, but they say that is normal and this year, if I keep the runners down, then I will get bunches of strawberries this year.

I have a strawberry question though. I didnt do anything to them over the winter. I know, bad Jen. but there were many leaves in the bed. I dont have very many green leaves in there, but there are some. Have I killed most of them by not putting straw or something like that, or is it normal for them to go brown and they will come back?

Thanks!!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 9:26AM
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daylilyfanatic4(Zone 6 SE NY)

They should come back if it didn't get to cold. My strawberries are fine in zone 6 with only a little mulch.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 3:00PM
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bsntech(5b)

Just to chime in here - I made two 4x4 strawberry pyramids out of treated wood. I dug up all the sod underneath and then put down landscape fabric under that. I have a 1x4-inch board around the perimeter sunk into the ground and then a 1x6-inch board right on top of it. So overall, the strawberries in the bed I made have 10 inches minimum.

This works very well and no complaints. Six inches is probably enough as well, but I added the extra four inches as insurance since I went to all the work.

Here is a link that might be useful: BsnTech Gardening Blog

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 3:38PM
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sarahrose

I have a 4x8 bed of strawberries with concrete blocks around it. I really like the concrete blocks so I can sit while picking the berries.

With chicken wire in the bottom, a 6" depth should be just fine.

I'm planning to make my bed more narrow; because, although I can reach to the middle with one hand, I cannot with two.

I didn't mulch mine the winter before last and they were fine. Am hoping they will be fine after this last winter also.

Sarah

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 3:41PM
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