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strawberries!

 
Leah Sattler
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I hit the jack pot and had the oppurtunity to dig up a good sized strawberry bed to rescue the plants. I seem to remember that they will produce better if they are "mowed" at some point but can't remember all the details. something about preventing the runners... I have around 100 plants (purely a guess)that I dug yesterday in plastic grocery sacks  that I need to get in the ground.  also any suggestions for what strawberries like as far as soil conditions?
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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strawberries like an acidic soil. 

They thrive with straw as a mulch (hence the name) although Sepp has a lot to say about using stones as mulch for strawberries.

Strawberry plants apparently do their best work the second year.  And they do pretty good their third year.  But after that, they sorta consume and don't produce much.  So the idea is to get rid of the older plant and keep the newer plants.  One technique is to mow a third of all your plants - thus killing them.  Then that patch will get nothing but first year plants (via runners) by the end of the season.  If you mow just the right spots every year, then, in theory, you will have no strawberry plants older than three years.




 
Gwen Lynn
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Stones are probably a great mulch...in cooler climates.

In Okla. I would think stones would just cook strawberry plants when the sun was on them in late spring. It's amazing how hot the sun gets here, as early as mid April. 

Wild strawberries grow like weeds all around my house, and I just let them. As soon as it starts getting hot, the plants in the sun seem to disappear. The plants on the north side of the house hang in there a little longer, but eventually the heat gets to them too. They always come back in the spring though.
 
Susan Monroe
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Location: Western WA
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Leah, in a hot climate like yours, you might want to give them some shade.  Strawberries are naturally a woodland plant.  They may not produce quite as much, but the cooler conditions may assist them in producing longer.  And Paul's suggestion of mulching with straw is a good one.  It's esp good for them in winter, to protect the crowns, but I can see it being good for shading the soil in summer.

Sue
 
Leah Sattler
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yeah on the acidic soil! now I understand the mowing and strawberry connection. I think that rocks would cook them. these were growing and doing well in full sun where they were at but I have moved them a zone south, we'll see what happens. it was around 100 plants. some largish and others small new ones. I have another dozen that I will have to extract from bits of weed barrier before I can plant them.
 
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