praying mantis
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Posts: 68
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Northern California

Strawberry boxes: suggestions and comments?

I have several happy strawberries that I want to dedicate to an area. I have it in my head to erect an open bottom box made of 2x4 boards on their sides with 5x4 ft dimensions. I don't know where the compulsion came from to make a box for the stawberries but it seems to be the thing I must do. I want each corner and side to have a stake that rises 1 foot above the edge of the boards. These stakes would make it possible to tack netting to the top and edges to keep birds and other critters off developing fruit. At one point, I thought it would be attractive to train a vine to crawl along the sides of the stakes and along horizontal rods to frame the box and help provide a moist micro-climate with some shading for intense summer heat.

Thoughts? Opinions?
Do you have strawberries?

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Roger
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:52 am
Location: North Georgia

What you are planning works for me, I have a similar arrangment using landscape timbers. The only thing I did differently is I put down some plastic underneath as a weed barrier. I don't think it's essential, but in my situation it does help control the bermuda grass that I have which tries to creep into my bed.

cynthia_h
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Location: El Cerrito, CA

Re: Strawberry boxes: suggestions and comments?

praying mantis wrote:I have several happy strawberries that I want to dedicate to an area. ... I don't know where the compulsion came from to make a box for the stawberries but it seems to be the thing I must do.
Doesn't it just drive you NUTS when the Message arrives in your brain and says you've absolutely got to do **this thing** for your garden?

I can't tell you how many times I've found myself doubled over (I'm unable to kneel or squat--knee problems) pulling up oxalis or foxtail or...because I MUST keep them from attacking XYZ. Right NOW. Or IT IS TIME to --shorten the jade plant --remove XYZ shrub because it really is not going to thrive --turn the compost. Mind you, I will have been looking at these situations for a while, but suddenly there is the Message: Do. It. Now.

I really understand what you've said.

And another Message arrived the other day, telling me to get ready to plant strawberries next fall here in the Bay Area for harvesting next spring. So I, too, will need to build/find something to house these poor strawberry plants that must now come into my life.

Please keep us informed of your progress!

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17

opabinia51
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

I have a little raised bed for my strawberries as well, it works really really well.

Your strawberry plants will spread as well so when they do bury the runners to allow the roots to form and then sever them.

Enjoy your strawberries!
Feed the soil, not the plants.

praying mantis
Cool Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Northern California

Thank you, Roger, for the reinforcement. I thought I was being wacky. I think I will use burlap rather than plastic. I dislike pulling up plastic when I am digging a new area. I know the burlap will not be an effective weed stop but I feel more comfortable using it.

I plan to make the strawberry bed a raised bed, as opabinia51 has indicated. The water source will be 1/4" drip tubing to reduce leaf mold. The surface will be bark chips or redwood compost to prevent the fruit from rotting on the vine. The location is intended to be under a large, leaf heavy lemon verbina bush. There are already some survivers from last year self-seeding and flowering under the lemon verbina. I am sure they could also be happy in the shady, sheltered backyard. Perhaps, I will end up with two stawberry areas.

Hopefully, I will get a digital camera to share my ideas.

praying mantis
Cool Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: Northern California

BTW, what soil conditions work best for your strawberries. Mine seem to thrive in both clayish, hard dirt and nutrient rich, fast draining soil.

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