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Re: What to put under strawberry plants?

Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:27 pm
by applestar
You can also go with plastic mulch.
...c'mon, you're talking to me, now. :roll:

Actually, reading JONA's suggestion, my mind went to thinking well, I have a coir mat in a roll.... :lol: 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.... :shock: (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. :evil: 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. :bouncey:

-- 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.

Re: What to put under strawberry plants?

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:24 pm
by applestar
Raked up thatch from approx. 30 sq ft area in the back half of the front lawn closer the gate where there are less chances of unwanted contamination. All that filled up one of the 55 gal trash bags the fir shavings come in (The bag looks small in that photo for some reason.... :|'s about 3 ft tall.) . Also raked up some pine needles with some leaves mixed in. I think I'm set. Image


Re: What to put under strawberry plants?

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:08 pm
by rainbowgardener
How would fall leaves be? I still have a bunch of fall leaves that were piled up against the back fence line, that I am gradually using in mulches and as browns in the compost pile.

I don't know if you still have fall leaves around. You could use them as is or run them through the shredder for a very fine textured mulch.

Re: What to put under strawberry plants?

Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:57 pm
by Mr green
Most people use straw, but i used pinebark under mine and it has worked very well for 3 seasons now. No strawberries gone bad except for a few overripened ones. Most anything must be better than letting them lay on the soil i guess.

Finding straw that aint sprayed is almost impossible to me, and i wouldnt lay that down in my garden.
Im thinking (atleast for me that has lots of lakes around) that reed might be a good alternative to straw.

Re: What to put under strawberry plants?

Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:27 pm
by Lindsaylew82
2 years ago we had no straw to be found anywhere 25 mile radius. For the exact same reason. Crop failure...That's why we used pine straw on our entire garden that year!

Worst slug infestation EVER! I thought it may have been the pine straw, but it could have been a result of that previous year's deluge.

Are you opposed to pine straw?

Re: What to put under strawberry plants?

Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:43 pm
by applestar
One year I got all excited about "pine straw" because so many members here raved about them, and went looking for it around local stores. I finally found one garden center That sold it, though the guy gave me an odd look. It was rather expensive I remember, certainly more than regular straw, and when I went to pick it up from one of the trailers in the back of the parking lot, it was a badly formed "bale" 1/2 the size of a regular straw, with bits falling out -- who knows how much it had lost already. :roll:

The needles are definitely longer than any pine around here, but no more! I'm satisfied with just gathering up the dropped needles of the neighbor's trees on my side of the fence.

(Another time, I wanted SO MUCH to get some Salt Marsh Hay, which was highly recommended in a gardening book and by some forum members. That one was a COMPLETE bust unless I drove out 1-1/2 hours to a garden center near the shore.... :roll: )

I started putting the wood shavings under some strawberry plants, and the pine/leaf mix under others. I think I put the raked thatch under another group. The blossoms on some of my plants are starting to lose petals and tiny green fruits are starting to hang down, so those are getting priority. But I see strawberry plants in bloom everywhere I look. I want to take photos of the differently mulched plants and post for comparison.

HOWEVER, I'm a bit wiped out and I'm feeling the chill today -- I had to drive someone to the hospital yesterday because they weren't going to be able to drive back after a procedure ...I hope I didn't catch any stray bugs. (I tell ya it's NOT HEALTHY to go to hospitals and doctors offices :? :> )