...c'mon, you're talking to me, now.You can also go with plastic mulch.
Actually, reading JONA's suggestion, my mind went to thinking well, I have a coir mat in a roll.... But that would probably be worse than the shredded bagged straw in terms of cost... and besides, my strawberries don't grow in neat rows -- another obstacle to the well-ordered approach. I would have to cut the coir mat into pieces or dig up the plants, unroll and lay down the mat, cut planting holes.... (The coir mat was/is meant for a vertical garden idea I wanted to play with.)
~~~ whole mental excercise is currently moot because somehow I've managed to get a pinched nerve in my back, also affecting one leg with pain shooting down. Such a gorgeous day outside, too.
Hopefully stupid back will sort itself out by tomorrow. I have too many things to do. I just got a shelving unit I want to set up on the patio to put my hardening off seedlings on -- it's calling to me from out there to be assembled and set up.
-- strawberries -- currently thinking raked grass thatch, Douglas fir shavings (I have PLENTY of those and can get more -- $3 for 55 gal bag ful is hard to beat) and dried pine needles from under the neighbor's huge eastern white pine trees overhanging our side of the fence.
I had/have some spotted strawberry plants, but I don't know if there are any more than usual after having liberally used the wood shavings last year. The ones heavily mulched with shavings last year were in the Spiral Garden, and the scattered clumps seems to have sent out enough runners to take over the inner spiral even though I'm sure I had tomatoes growing there last year. So they seem to be HAPPY rather than diseased.
I clipped off the spotted leaves as part of spring clean up. I did notice last year that I only saw a few slugs bothering my plants last year, and ones venturing along the top of the shavings when wet were easy to spot.