I have been gardening, a lot. I've been gardening so much that not only has my blog been neglected, my strawberry bed renovation was put as far on the back burner as possible. Finally, my boyfriend and I tackled the job in one evening and got it done. The strawberries aren't much work really, they just require some immediate attention in the spring before they start setting fruit. We were a little later than I would have liked to be this year, and thankfully so was the weather. Due to the weather our strawberries are just setting fruit now, making it OK but not ideal to only be cleaning things up now. We have ever bearing strawberries pictured here and requiring the clean up, as I also have a separate bed of alpine strawberries requiring only a weeding.
To renovate the ever bearing strawberrie's bed, we gave it a good weeding (since no matter how much you mulch around the strawberries with straw for the winter months, you'll likely still have weeds poke through) then we remove any new runners crowding the row, which you can use to replace any plants that didn't make it through the winter or plant them in a new bed ( strawberries shouldn't be grown in the same spot year after year, usually you hear a three to five year rotation schedule, as growing them constantly in the same spot promotes disease.) if you don't have any use for your runners you can just discard them. We keep the runner population down by pinching them off when they start, allowing the plant to put more energy into berries rather than runners. With that being said, you're likely to miss a few runners that get away on you. After the runners are dealt with a dressing of compost and a good fertilizing will have your strawberries on their way. I only mulch around my strawberry plants in the fall for the winter months. The straw can go sour during the summer months and rot, not ideal to have a lot around the plants at the time.
Half of my strawberry bed is three years old now and the other half is two. We'll probably be lucky to get five years out of this bed before we start a new one, although as long as it is healthy and producing I'll continue to nurture the plants until it's time to mow them under. This is our second strawberry bed since moving into this home and after being spoiled with having our own strawberry bed, I'll very likely always make the time to have one. There is nothing as amazing as picking your own strawberries and eating them in the sun.
Asparagus in front, strawberries in the middle and garden 2 far back.
Our strawberry bed is located behind our home on a south facing strip of lawn, between our asparagus bed and back garden bed, often referred to around here as garden 2. This strip of lawn is a great place to grow more crops and cuts down on the mowing we have to do.