Do you mulch your strawberries?

mmqchdygg(Z5NH)May 4, 2009

I read to use black plastic, then in another article it said don't use BP because the soil s/b cool for strawberries.

Then I read use newspaper (which would be easier, anyway, since I didn't mulch prior to planting, which would be a total b%$& if I were using BP).

I see that the Wisconsin something-or-other shows a pic of shredded NP as winter mulch, and it's applied 4-5 inches thick.

Help me out on the how-to of this. I guess I def need weed control here, and shredded seems 'handy' as a mulch, but what keeps it from blowing away? Should I just use 4-5 SHEETS thick to keep weeds under control and toss some rocks on to hold it in place?

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Forgot to add:

Do you reserve a second bed so that you've got one bed that is always in its 2nd year? If production dwindles by year 3, I would think it would make sense to start Bed #2 next year, then redo Bed #1 the following year so that essentially, no bed ever GETS to year 3.

Logical, or no?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 3:02PM
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heather38(6a E,Coast)

Q1 Funnily enough I was about to post the same question so cann't help you much but just to back you up, I read about the same method of using paper, hense the same question, I guess you got your Strawberry roots today as well?
Q2 very logical to me? unless we are both bonkers? haha, I was always told this is the case with strawberries and it's what my grandad did, but then I get confused, do the runners count as the same year as the plant or as the next years planting?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 10:00PM
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Well, if you let the berries just go how they will, they will reproduce via runners so you won't need to re-plant, but it depends on the variety.

I'm not sure about the newspaper, so I can't help you.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 1:10AM
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hi heather-
I got them over the weekend, and planted them "about" 3-4 per square foot. I think I left about 6-8" in between each plant.

Anyway, I think I'll go with the (unshredded)newspaper for weed control, and cover it with hay or pine needles to keep the fruits off the wet newspaper, and to keep the newspaper from blowing away on me.

I found someone's blog online about planting runners, and it seemed that it took quite some time for the runner to develop into a good-sized plant (the pic I saw was of a 9-month old plant...hold on, lemme see if I can find it again...Found it...linked below...), so I'm thinking that this new runner plant would be NEXT year's plant (but at that point would probably be considered 2 years old, so like you said, this year's runners are one year old if you take them early & root them? I guess timing of rooting the runner would make a world of difference here.

It's all very confusing, and to add to the fact that this person linked below is gardening in Ireland...somewhere in Zone 9. And that info is hardly applicable to a Zone 5er's 120-day growing season. Sigh.

Here is a link that might be useful: Make a Rainbow Planting Strawberry Runners

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 9:51AM
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I have the same question re the mulch. I got my strawberries almost a month ago, and I didnt mulch because I was wondering about the runners having easy access to the soil to send out roots, but I would like to mulch. I use newspaper, thickness of 3-4 pages and then cover with bark mulch. It's great for preventing weeds, even to kill grass. But I wonder if it will be too difficult for the runners to set.

On Q2, I dont have space for a second bed to go empty for a year, so I just have to do with overplanting on the same space. Is this too bad for the plants?



Here is a link that might be useful: The Lagunites gardening experience

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 9:53AM
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I don't do strawberries here in texas, but I might
suggest you go to Mel's site and ask

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 2:39PM
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