Strawberry Maintenance

General tips / questions on seeding & planting

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Colin2016
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Strawberry Maintenance

Postby Colin2016 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:36 pm

There is a strawberry bed on my plot with strawberry plants poking out of weed barrier with netting resting on top of the plants.

Wondering what I need to do to keep them healthy over winter.

Personally I do not like the weed barrier showing would it be ok to remove it and use bark or a thick layer of compost instead?

Also plan to put a raised bed boarder around the beds and attached netting to outside whcih hopfully will riased the netting off the plants. Good/bad idea?
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robo
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Re: Strawberry Maintenance

Postby robo » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:49 pm

I would put a layer of compost on but it won't keep weeds down I have netted ours they are in a raised bed the netting keeps the birds off them
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Pa Snip
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Re: Strawberry Maintenance

Postby Pa Snip » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:57 am

Carefully trim and remove all dead /dying / decaying leaves as well as unwanted runners.

Before winter really sets in cut back all leaves, being careful not to damage the growing tips of the plants.

Probability is that you will need to make the slits in the weed membrane bigger otherwise when removing it you are likely to pull out some, maybe many, of the plants.

Once you have done that apply a good winter layer of well rotted manure around, the plants.
If that bed has recently been manured you could just use a mulching of straw all over the bed and plants to give winter frost protection.

Looking at the size of that bed I think any raised netting would need a fair bit of support in the middle otherwise snow will just weigh it down
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Colin2016
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Re: Strawberry Maintenance

Postby Colin2016 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:33 am

Thank you Robo & Pa Snip for your help.
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PLUMPUDDING
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Re: Strawberry Maintenance

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:29 am

It's very easy to make a cover for the bed. Just push plastic pipe in to make hoops and tie a piece of wood or garden canes down the centre to stabilise them, then all you need is some netting to put over it all to keep the birds off when the strawberries are forming. Use a mesh that is open enough for the bees to get through to pollinate the flowers.
I echo the other advice about tidying the bed and removing the ground cover fabric. Also if there are any plants that look past their best take them out. The remaining ones will do better with a bit more space and if there are big gaps you can use any rooted runners to fill the spaces. I'd leave it uncovered after you've mulched it for the birds to clean up any slugs, grubs etc over winter then add fertiliser before covering it in spring.
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Geoff
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Re: Strawberry Maintenance

Postby Geoff » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:32 pm

I would echo all the advice given so far though I don't mulch - I worry about slugs.
Looking more long term as you develop your new plot. Young Strawberry plants are better than old so normal practice is to root new runners each year (9cm square pots are good) and throw the plants away at the end of their third year. The main problem with this is that you don't really want to replant in ground you have just cleared so you need four beds - 1st year plants, 2nd year, 3rd year, break crop (I use Peas) - as a minimum. I bought my plants in 2007 and am still using their offspring.
Even though there is membrane down when you are sorting it out you may find some young plants that, although it is a bit late, you could use to make a new area (as an afterthought it may be better to see if they are any good before you propagate from them). I feed with FBB.
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Re: Strawberry Maintenance

Postby tigerburnie » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:08 pm

Do you know how old the bed is? You need to move to a new bed that has not had strawbs in it recently every 5 years. Mine will be moved next year, I will be using new runner plants, plus a few new different varieties. The ground will be manured before planting and each year after that fish, blood and bone meal. I don't mulch with straw any more, caused more problems than it cured. I place weed membrane under the sides of the plants to keep fruit off the soil once they are set and remove it this time of year. I have taken the netting off for the winter and will not replace it until the flowers are in full production in early summer.
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