DRT
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Mulching strawberries

I normally go to a land scape place with in a couple miles of my house and get mulch every year for my flower beds and to go around my trees. I typically get the black color. I have had a bunch of weeds in my raised strawberry bed since I started it last spring, clover and milk weed mainly. I have been pulling weeds like crazy and this year I have the plants are doing very well and are producing large tasty strawberries. I'm about to go get a load or two of mulch in the next week or two and was thinking about trying to pull the weeds really good out of the strawberry bed and putting down about 3 or so inches of mulch to help with weed control. Will this be ok or will the mulch hurt the plants?

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Runningtrails
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Location: Barrie, Ontario,Canada

Strawberries are called that because farmers have always mulched them with straw.

Do strawberries have to be mulched to do well. Mine are not mulched at all right now, but I am considering it. It's a big bed and a big job but I will do it if it gets me a much bigger harvest. Is it necessary?

JONA878
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There are a couple of reasons we mulch straws. First it keeps the berries off the soil and allows air around them to keep disease at bay and it also acts as a deterant to slugs and snails.
It's not so much a true mulch but more of a protectant for the fruit especially if it rains so stopping mud splash on the berries.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

DRT
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I was mainly going to mulch because of weeds. I didn't think that straw would do that good a job of smoothering out weeds.

JONA878
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No...your right there DRT.....in fact some straw seems to carry quite a few weed seeds in it.!!
It's just that straw is one of the cleanest materials for protecting the fruit itself and it doesn't 'pond up' if you get heavy rain falls where some heavier mulches might.
Also , being such a light material, it's far easier to apply than a lot of others.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

DRT
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Will the mulch hurt the strawberries. I've been told its not good because it will burn them or something like that. It dosent make much sence to me because everyone uses mulch in there flower beds and it doesn't hurt those plants. I've been told not to let the mulch around my strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and all my trees touch the actual plant or tree. Sound crazy to me but I don't know enough about it.

JONA878
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This depends a lot on what the mulch is actualy made of DRT.
Anything that is still in the stage of decomposing like Farmyard Manure will be able to burn any plant that it is contact with. Same with compost if it is not fully finished rotted down.
The usual mulch in flower beds is bark or chippings and is there to do a weed smothering job and to keep moisture down in the ground and stop it evaporating off.
Trees can have such a compost around them without any harm to the trunk.
As said...it is a different thing if the mulch is a decomposing product like FYM. where the by-products of rotting can cause scorch.
Strawberries are a delicate plant in that the growing point of the plant....the crown...is at ground level and is therefore very vunerable to damage from such a material.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

DRT
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Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:59 am
Location: Kentucky

I was going to use the same mulch that I put in my flower beds that I get from a local mulch place. For the same reason you mentioned weeds and to help hold moisture. Its appears to be black dyed wood particals. Here is a link, I get the black. What do you think.

https://www.simplymulchky.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=3

JONA878
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I can't see any reason why they should not work DRT. But I would suggest that you are careful in the amount that you put around the plants.
Remember that the growing point of a strawberry is the crown and that is at ground level.
Don't go burying the crown as that could cause the plant problems.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

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Runningtrails
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Location: Barrie, Ontario,Canada

I am going to mulch my berries too, as soon as I get more mulch. I use shredded computer paper for mulch. I get huge bags of the little stuff at the side of the road in the commercial district of town on recycle pick up day. It's free, lightweight, clean and easy to use. It just looks odd because it's so white, but I don't care what color it is.

I used it all recently and need to do another drive through for more on Thursday evening.

MrDeadPlant
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Location: New Philadelphia, Ohio

I mulched my Strawberries this year with leaves saved from last fall. I have a friend who has a huge maple tree(which I made syrup from this year) and I raked up 20 bags of leaves and saved them. I took another 15 bags of leaves and chopped them with a mower and tilled them into the garden before winter hit. The big leaves worked perfect for me.
Zone 5/6



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