I've been trying to grow strawberries in our garden for years. I've tried the southern side of the garden, the northern side, eastern side, and the western side. I've tried growing them in raised beds and in the soil. I've tried using strawberry sheets (those black tarps), used drip irrigation, direct watering all sorts of things. I've even tried planting various varieties that are supposed to have different hardiness for insects and climate. Although I get success occasionally (see the last year's results in my blog: http://itsybitsylittlefarm.blogspot.com/2019/04/strawberry-adventures.html), it is never long lasting. If they do well in their first year, they are dramatically set back in their second year (we live in Ankara which has a hardiness zone of 8a/b). And this is very unfortunate because they are supposed to produce better in their second year. I am not using special soil amendments but I make my own compost and buy well-matured animal manure.
I am now planning to convert my strawberry bed to grow something else instead because we have a small space and it can be used for a more productive plant. I just wanted to ask some experts out there if there is anything else that I can do.
So what happens to the strawberries in the second year? Do they not come back after winter or do they just not flower. The blog post shows plants that are much to close together, strawberries should have around 30cm between plants that may explain why you are not getting anywhere the second year as they are crowding each-other out.
You do have another option that is to buy commercial bare root strawberries, these come in different sizes and the larger sizes (A3 and waiting bed) produce fruit in their first year, around 200g-500g per plant. commercially they are planted, harvested and then ploughed under so no second year to worry about. I had A3 plants last year which did well, and this year they are much bigger and have more flowers (12+ sets per plant) whether they will produce decent fruit only time will tell.
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