Now is the time to revamp your strawberry bed for a good crop next year. In fact, what you do now will make a huge difference in your crop next year.
There are different ways to revamp a strawberry bed. I'll show you how we do it, but you may have a method that works better for you.
First weed your strawberry bed. I didn't get a photo of this step so you'll just have to imagine a very weedy strawberry patch! You can see that the plants have all grown together. If we let the patch like this, next year they will be far too crowded, difficult to pick, and susceptible to disease.
After it was weeded, Ed cut it down with the weed-eater. We could have used the lawn mower if we raised the deck so that it didn't cut the strawberry plants too low. We didn't want to cut the crowns.
Then Ed tilled the patch into two rows again.
It feels cruel to do this, but it is allowing room for the plants to send out runners for vigorous new plants for next year's crop.
By now the strawberry patch looked rather poorly. You may think you have killed it. To help keep down the weeds, Ed spread some grass clippings in between the rows. We didn't want too thick of a layer because the runners will root out from the main row.
Then give the strawberries a good soak. Thankfully we got an inch of rain a few days later. If we would not have gotten rain, we would have laid down a soaker hose.
A week later the plants are sending up new growth. We will continue to make sure they get adequate rain the rest of the summer. A friend who has grown acres of strawberries for several decades says that the most important time for strawberries to receive moisture is in July and August. The size and number of the berries is dependent upon this summer moisture.
Besides a little weeding, this is all we do to the strawberries for the rest of the summer. In December, we will cover the patch with straw mulch to protect it, but basically our work is over.
How do you revamp your strawberry bed?