How can I revive an old strawberry patch?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I have an old strawberry patch that was planted by the former owner of my property. I've lived here since 1991, so the patch is pretty old. Not knowing anything about strawberries, we just pick them every spring. I know I need to do something though, because the berries are getting smaller and choked out by weeds. I don't use any chemicals on my plants, so weed killers are not an option. I live in southern Kentucky and the strawberries are ready to pick around May 15th. I've also considered moving the patch because it's against my property line where the neighbors are a rental. Hence, they mow where they shouldn't. Susan
-- Susan (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 25, 2002
You can take up the crowns now and work up where you want them. Then get some Preen for berries and apply according to package then replant the crowns. After that keep them in rows by tilling between rows. After a couple years let the runners set out in between the rows and till up the old rows. You can keep it going for a long time that way.
-- Mel Kelly (email@example.com), March 25, 2002.
Susan, if your planning to move your stawberries, they'd probably like it anyway. They multiply mostly by vegetative runners (spreading outwards) So I would instinctually assume that A. the species does not naturally inhabit a site forever. B. that perhaps it prefers to be a bit disturbed in it's habitat. The fact that your berries are getting smaller, is a sign that they are not getting the same amount of water out of the square foot alotted to them, probably due to weed competition, but also to intra-species competition. Strawberries need to be thinned out occasionally, or they will choke themselves. We have wild strawberries here that do not seem to choke each other out, but they are always small. the smallness of the berries, usually is a sign of concentration of essence, and many people prefer a small sublime berry to a plump so-so berry. If you are thinking of leaving the patch there, and thinning it, make sure that you put some other seeds down so that you have vegetables annually competing for the nutrients rather than out of control weeds. I think borage, and cabbage are good companions, but I can't remember for sure. Good luck.
-- roberto pokachinni (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 25, 2002.
Strawberry plants LOVE acid soil. After you decide whether or not you are going to relocated them or just clean up around them, add some pine needles as mulching.
-- http://communities.msn.com/livingoffthelandintheozarks (email@example.com), March 25, 2002.
Some years ago, when my son and daughter were earning extra spending money by picking strawberries, I learned how that farm handled their plants. Their rows were about 2 feet apart. After the harvest, they would train one runner off to the side and root it in what was then the space between the rows. When established, they would go through the parent row with a narrow tiller and destroy the old plants. I didn't learn if that was an annual thing or perhaps every few years. From my own experiences with a strawberry pyramid, I'm now ready to plant for the third time in about 10 years using Ozark Beauty. They produce fair the first year and then have several great years before reverting to the original first year production and then virtually nothing. You've probably got a variety that only produces a single spring crop. Some old beds have been kept going for years but done so by keeping them clear of weeds and careful pruning and planting of runners. Otherwise, your bed is well over 10 years and down to bare survival. Better to sacrifice this year's crop by saving as many plants as possible before they begin growing and till the patch. Replant in rows wide enough apart so that you can stay on top of the weeds.
Strawberry Fields Forever!
-- Martin Longseth (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 30, 2002.
Thanks for all the help. I know I've got a big job ahead of me, but it will be worth it if I can save my patch. The existing patch is about 12'x 40'. Susan
-- Susan (email@example.com), March 31, 2002.