Strawberry bed plan – long term

I have been reading that Strawberry production declines after a few years and that there is some maintenance that can keep a patch of berries going longer.  I have come up with a long term plan that could keep my 6 ft x 8 ft bed of strawberries going for quite a while.  It’s completely untested, but give me a few years and I’ll let you know how it’s going.

  1. Spring 2009- I planted half the bed with strawberries (4 x 6) and half the bed with peppers.
  2. Spring 2010 – I realized that strawberry runners had increased the size of the patch, under cover of pepper plants, to 6 x 6 ft.  I added a few new bareroot strawberries to fill in the rest.
  3. Summer 2010 – After production slows down and stops I will just mow the strawberries off (probably by hand with hedge clippers) about 1 inch above the crowns, weed the bed well, and let them grow.
  4. Summer 2011 – When this year’s crop stops producing, and after I mow the foliage, I’m going to till up and destroy two-thirds of the plants, in two long 2 x 8 foot sections, leaving only the middle 2 x 8 foot row.  I will add lots of compost to the tilled area.  Throughout the rest of the summer and fall I will let the plants in the middle of the bed send out runners and grow me all new plants in the tilled area.
  5. Summer 2012 – Let the bed crop, mow the leaves off, and then till in the center third of the bed that had been planted since 2009.  Add lots of compost to the tilled area. Runners will quickly fill the area back in.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 on alternating years.

Does that sound like it will work?  I’ll constantly be destroying the oldest plants and growing new ones.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Man your plan is making my head hurt :) From my understanding (and observation) is the first year the plants produce but just a handful with a few more the second year. The third year things really gets going with some decent yields and runners shooting out at the end of the season. The 4th year is when yields should be reduced and runner production increases.

    Though I am seeing some of my 4th year plants with a ton of blooms on them though I am noticing them using a little more energy on runners will probably produce 2-3 times more than the 1-2 year olds. My plan is to do the following propigate strawberries from runners and keep in plant cell packs. As long as the strawberry plant is producing a large number of flowers let it be, if it isn’t replace with one of my propagated strawberries.

    Reply

  2. Sounds like a solid plan to me. My patch is on its second year and runners are out looking for a good place to set root. I can’t wait to see if your method works.

    Reply

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