We had a pretty nice strawberry patch until I let the grass get
started . It soon overwhelmed the berries ... I considered using some
black plastic as a weed/grass barrier , but was told that it wasn't a
good idea for long-term . So I was out rearranging bee equipment and saw
that roll of landscape fabric I bought to use as part of my cellar
drainage system and thought it might work better . Put the fabric down
and cover with mulch , poke holes for the plants and runners as they
appear . The patch I want to use has been tilled , I was going to put
lettuce/salad stuff there but ... That damn grass has been my biggest
problem , I think I might be getting the upper hand with a combination
of burning it when it's dry and covering the garden with straw mulch .
I'll be getting everything together over the next few days , will amend
the soil as suggested by the report , till the amendments in , and cover
immediately with a thick layer of straw .
suggest a few layers of cardboard instead of weed
barrier. why? because if you do not disturbed a
well mulched garden much you should not have many
weed seeds sprouting (including grasses from seeds).
by the time the few layers of cardboard are rotted/
gone from worms then in that area any remaining roots
should be done or nearly so and should be able to
keep up with random sprouts. which will happen from
birds/ants/worms/water/wind moving seeds around.
this has worked well for smothering almost every
grass grown here. as long as the edges of the garden
are covered to keep grasses from coming in from the
sides... we have almost all grasses gone here, only
about 5% left to go and i'll be happy when i can get
rid of those too since they are the major source of
weeds in neighboring gardens.
every few years strawberries tend to fade in
productivity so the patch needs to be renovated
anyways. if you keep it relatively weed free you
can go through and just remove the older plants
and let the younger ones continue. always a fun
time thinning to keep them from overcrowding. i
keep thousands of strawberry plants in several
patches and try to go through one big patch each
season to keep them productive, weeded, amended,
oh and by the way, they are not deep rooted
plants so holes through fabric is largely a waste
between the runners that will happily grow in
the top layer of mulch and having a nice layer
of mulch anyways (which will break down in time
and turn into prime strawberry growing humus).
during hot weather have to keep an eye on
moisture levels if they are flowering/fruiting.
i wish i had all of these inside the fenced
gardens because the deer discover them once in a
while and mow them down. chipmunks and birds
will get some of them. i don't mind as long as
they leave me a few.
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