I walk around my landscape and seedling beds a lot, often multiple times per day, and find that spending just a few minutes of "casual" weeding during those visits adds up and helps keep weeds from getting out of hand (but not always). Rake the area, and some protective mulch, and then put the gravel on the top layer. Do you have any tips on how to keep strawberries fresh? on May 10, 2017. Eric Hanson . Dandelions by far are the worst, and you know that trying to get that whole taproot out at least once every week seems like it would destroy the berries. Starting out, you probably want to know just why weeds have overtaken your grass, so you can prevent it from happening again. You can imagine how hard it is to reach in and pull the weeds/grasses out. Disease problems are more serious when plant tissue remains wet for long periods of time. Be adamant about checking your garden and keeping weeds out of it as much as you possibly can. I’d love to hear it! If you keep the weeds out of your strawberry patch and keep it clean, this should deter them. For mulching, straw, shredded leaves, and pine needles are all great options. Take the paring knife, and gently start to cut away the outside of the berry. Young goslings are pastured in the field when they are 6 weeks old and are guided through the fields by strategic placement of drinking-water troughs. Rinse those strawberries well under cold water. You can also plant marigolds among your strawberries, as they repel bugs. Every year, I think I have removed so many, and they just keep coming up between the berries. How do I keep the weeds & grass out of my strawberry patch? In honor of Pick Strawberries Day on May 20th, we’re showing you the most common strawberry pests and how you can keep them away. Weed regularly. Black plastic “mulch” is used as ground cover mulch by many commercial strawberry growers and has its advantages over natural, biodegradable materials. You do this so that the strength of the plant is producing strawberries rather than new plants. So here we are, learning how to protect strawberry plants from pests. The best way to keep weeds out is to have thick, tall, dense grass all over your lawn. Remove the green cap from the berry. Spray Collar | Bonnie Plants. My kids love a handful of them after playing outside. The trees are huge! They are food (nutrients), Water, Sun, and Root space. Wood chips can do amazing things, my friend. If you are planning to use a drip irrigation line to keep your strawberries watered, run a length of 1/4” spaghetti tubing to the tower and attach one or two 1/4” soaker hoses to the line (use a tee connector if you want two soaker lines). If you aren’t comfortable with using chemicals, you can make a natural version of Round-Up by mixing vinegar, water, and soap. How to Protect Strawberry Plants from Pests. But remember, strawberries, like a lot of other fresh fruits, usually do not have a use by date or a best before date so you will have to use the date purchased. The best way to keep garden weeds at bay is by fighting nature with nature by using wood chips. Renovation is recommended annually for June-bearing strawberries and every two to four years for day-neutral and everbearing. Bugs will avoid your strawberry plants to stay away from the smell. There are lots of things you can do to repel birds. East Lansing, MI 48824. firstname.lastname@example.org . You can’t fill out a matted row without letting runners root. Use garden fabric to keep weeds away. But I would suggest that for an established bed the best option is simply to persist with the weeding. The squirrels raid the garden, stealing the berries before you have a chance to harvest them. Persistence does pay off. Start a weed-free garden with the basics: weed-free pots, plants, soil and mulch. Battling weeds just got a little easier with these 14 gardening tips. Managing weeds in strawberries is a challenge, partly because strawberries are herbaceous perennials and a number of similar weeds tend to become established in fields as they get older. Weeds are plants, and they need 4 things to grow very well and so do your vegetables, the only thing different is that your weeds do a much better job at getting these 4 necessities than your vegetables do. Strawberry plants need lots of space around them to grow and fruit well, so make sure plants are well-spaced and keep air circulating by removing any netting or covering that was protecting the fruit from the birds. Weeds compete with the strawberry plants for water, nutrients, and sunlight. Garden Weeds: How to keep weeds out of garden. After about four years, you can uproot the runners to transplant to new soil. Common Strawberry Pests in Your Garden Strawberry Bud Weevils. There actually are many ways of keeping pests away from strawberries, some of which I really did use… to no avail. Here’s a look at some of the most common weeds and how to keep them from taking over. Question: My strawberry patch is a mess of weeds. 3 Reasons Your Lawn is Full of Weeds. Known also as strawberry clippers, these tiny insects feed on the pollen within the strawberry … Wash the strawberries before you start, but not before. I am also experimenting in one bed with letting wild strawberries run free around the daylilies. Light, heat, and water. Strawberries are soft and tender, so hold them lightly. Also keep the spaces between the plants free of weeds. Grab two or three strawberries. However, after you have filled it out with the first-year runner plants, subsequent runners will overcrowd and choke out all the plants so that the harvest declines precipitously and the strawberries become much smaller. Straw is the traditional strawberry mulch. Mulch the plants heavily with straw. This is a great gardening hack if you want to get rid of weeds naturally. Cut small holes in the fabric where you will plant your strawberry plants. Because they prefer grasses to broad-leaf plants, weeder geese are terrific at controlling grassy weeds in strawberries, raspberries, corn and other crops, as well as in fruit and nut orchards. it will just sprout new (and possibly) different weeds from your neighbors farm. ... Landscape fabric should always be installed prior to planting.Your only option now is to pull the grass and weeds out the best you can and place newspapers in to smother out the rest. This method works on most berries and fruit. The birds were the most obvious intruders. It’s important to remove these strawberry runners as they develop. But, the weeds!! If you notice that your strawberries are becoming misshapen or deformed, and you see tiny bugs on them, you should know there is a good … Run strawberries vigorously for about 30 seconds through the vinegar solution. Another option is to plant strawberries with a sheet mulch, which will completely suppress the weeds - you simply create holes in the mulch to plant the strawberries. Turn the soil and check for any weeds, and pull them out. The secret is in why weeds have become so strong. As fruits start to develop, tuck straw or fibre mats underneath plants to keep fruit clean. Don't make the holes too large because weeds can grow through them and choke out your beloved strawberry plant! Grow garlic or chives in your strawberry garden. If you do not renovate the bed and leave it be for several years, the plants will form a thick mass, choking themselves out and eventually they will stop producing strawberries. Mulch between plants after planting to keep the soil temperature cool, retain moisture, deter weeds, and to keep the fruit above the soil. Helpful. Tarnished Plant Bugs. You can’t do much about the heat in your garden, but you can control the light and heat. Weed Management Options for Strawberries . Are you serious ? you should really stick with straw mulch; the hay is full of seeds, and will not keep your strawberries, or any other crop, weed free. Rodger Tucker. If you keep pulling them out at an early stage, you’ll stay ahead of the game. I think I’ve finally come up with a good way of preventing weeks under trees. Strawberries have a hard time competing with weeds, so keep your strawberry patch weed-free with frequent hand-weeding and mulching. It not only protects the strawberry plants from freezing plants out, but keeps competing weeds too. If weeds do take root, decide whether you’re willing to eradicate weeds by hand and hoe, experiment with homemade or organic weed killers or go for a commercial herbicide. Strawberries spread by sending out runners from each plant. This will also help suppress weeds. Ants are an example of an invasive insect that is attracted to thin-skinned fruits, like strawberries. Strawberries are such a delicious, healthy snack (especially for kids!) You can run the soaker hoses(s) up from the bottom through one of the holes. In my efforts to bring you more gardening tips and tricks, I’ve learned how to keep garden weeds from invading your yard and your garden, choking off the plants you want. You will clean a few strawberries at the time. Do not use black plastic, since it will raise the soil temperature and optimal fruit production requires cool soil. Weeds that can steal nutrients and impact production levels next year. Fruit such as peaches, grapes, plums and strawberries have thin skins and are especially capable of absorbing chemicals. Poor grass growth: Weeds thrive in thinning grass. Of course, strawberries last for a shorter period of time if they are not stored properly. Pull out any weeds that do emerge. Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University . This needs to be done every week or two. I usually do it a couple of times in the summer and I either roast wearing my jean jacket or totally scratch up my arms. This ensures you are cleaning each one properly. By using drip irrigation or a soaker hose, you can water where your vegetables are, and at the same time discourage the weeds from germinating. 10. Weeds also reduce air circulation which results in fruit and foliage staying wet for longer periods. Do not grow strawberries in the same area for more than four years, or you’ll risk building up root-rotting disease. in the Spring and Summer! The simplest method of protecting your strawberries works against all animal pests, not just squirrels. If you like strawberries, be sure to check out: It acts just like all the other garden weeds. Or if you are up for telling a white lie, you could post a sign warning would-be thieves that you just treated your strawberry patch with a toxic, carcinogenic product like Chlordane to kill insects (without actually using Chlordane, of course) and toss a few moth balls out in your strawberry patch to give the area of an appropriately toxic smell. Many bugs do not like the smell of these two plants, including aphids. A strawberry washed a day or two ahead of the time it is used will start to rot quickly. You should be sure when purchasing any of these that they are certified weed-free, and if you are re-using soil, pots or mulch or starting your own seeds, take sterility precautions to make sure there are no weed seeds in there. You don’t want any of the vinegar flavor to remain on the fruit. Install a weed blocking fabric on top of your strawberry patch and secure with pins. I enjoy reading your blog, and your many homesteading adventures. 7. Many types of bugs, however, are attracted to the sweetness of thin-skinned fruits, making them susceptible to infestations. How to produce new strawberry plants After cropping has finished, cut off old leaves from summer-fruiting strawberries to allow fresh leaves to develop. It is much easier to remove the weeds this way, than with gravel blocking getting the entire weed out. An exclusion method of protection also prevents birds and rabbits from wreaking havoc in your strawberry garden. Reply. 11) Water the plants you want, not the weeds – Weeds need three things to grow. Vinegar, Water, and Soap. Keep Weeds Out with Mulch.