The Q&A Archives: Strawberry Patch

Question: I planted everbaring strawberries. I followed advice from someone on the computer who said to cover them with straw! Well now I have a whole plot of weeds and the strawberries look ok. but they aren't attaching their runners. What shoud I do? Should I remove all the straw and hoe the weeds out. I read there is a spray you can use on the weeds but I can't find it here. Also I cut off the first blossoms. I heard they would produce better. Was that a mistake? So far I haven't gotten any strawberries. Plese let me know what to do???

Answer: Everbearer types typically produce very few runners, so I think what you are seeing is probably normal.

Removing the first blossoms is done to encourage the plants to devote their initial energy to becoming well rooted and established. By about the end of June you can stop removing the flowers and let the plants begin to set berries.

Straw is often used as a winter mulch for strawberries. In late fall after a few freezes the straw is spread in a fluffy layer over the bed. By spring it will have begun to pack down and is pushed off the crowns. It can be tossed over top of the plants if a frost threatens and then is used around the plants as a summer mulch. The straw helps keep the berries up off the ground so they stay cleaner and it eventually breaks down to help add organic matter to the soil.

If you have a lot of weeds, you could pull the straw aside, hoe them off, then remulch with the straw. Layer it fairly thick and/or mix with another mulch material in between the plants so it shades out weeds and also helps keep the soil moist.

Here is more information on growing strawberries you may find helpful.

Good luck with your crop!

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