|The rat's nest of the early spring strawberry bed|
With my clippers in hand, I cut the runners and tear out old leaves and stems.
In the past, I have used the 'baby' runners to expand my strawberry bed and I would plant them in the unused space. This year, I'm full. I've gone from six plants 5 years ago, to a full 4' x 15' bed. Using the runners (baby strawberries) is a frugal way to expand your strawberry beds.
|Strawberries more cleaned out with space between the plants.|
Once I've cleaned out the beds, I sprinkle homemade compost around all of the plants. I tried this last year for the first time and I could not believe the bumper crop of berries I grew! Over 75 lbs from my one little patch. We have been enjoying homemade smoothies all winter from my frozen berries.
|2011 Strawberry Bed mid-season|
I've learned it's important to plant berries in well draining soil and if you can, plant them on little mounded hills. My berry bed is planted in a rocky soil mix; a terraced area that wasn't really designed to grow anything. Drainage is not an issue here ;) Adding compost and then fertilizing through out the growing season will give you an excellent chance at a bumper crop.
Here's a link the homemade organic fertilizer I've used with great results on all of my flowering veggies and berries.
I'm hoping this year will be another Summer of Strawberries.