In the winter, pile it up high, covering the strawberry plants to prevent them from being damaged by frost and when spring rolls around, pull the mulch to the sides to uncover the plants and you have berry rotting protection all ready to go! When heavy rains come and puddle in the strawberry patch, the wet conditions invite mold to grow on the strawberry fruit. A thick layer of soft mulch does more than inhibit weeds and conserve water. Clean straw doesn’t compact like leaf litter or grass does. As one side ripens, roll to let the other side get sun, then pick immediately after ripening. Therefore, air flow occurs. Spray the strawberries again, covering the foliage on both sides. Fold the flaps down around the stems of the plants after planting. The cloth allows for proper water drainage and acts as a barrier to keep troublesome insects from eating the strawberries. As the plants grow and produce fruit, the heavier fruit will settle down on the landscaping cloth above the ground. Show activity on this post. As needed, move containers to a sunny location. I placed a piece of a paper bag under the fruit. See Garden Weeds. Finally, place the strawberries in the fridge. Plant the strawberries by opening the flaps of each of the x's and digging a small hole with a garden spade. You don't have to worry about this until the plants actually start producing fruit, at which point the weight of the fruit will cause the berry to hang down to the ground. If you've already planted the strawberries before laying down the landscaping cloth, you can just lay it over the plants and cut x's in it directly above the plants. Fixed it this year, using cheap plastic forks. Plant the strawberries by opening the flaps of each of the x's and digging a small hole with a garden spade. Alternatively, lay strawberry mats carefully around each plant. Once flowering begins feed plants with a dilute solution of fish emulsion once a week. Keep containers raised off the ground to protect plants from slugs. Grip the leaves, stems and fruit with your hand through the x and push the cloth down to the ground around the plant's stems. Frozen strawberries are perfect for whirling in smoothies, turning into sauces, or baking up in pies, tarts, cakes, and other treats. Dig a hole deep enough and wide enough to keep the roots of the plant from getting crowded. We decided to try growing a mini “test” strawberry patch this year, just to see if we could get this thing figured out and I love what we came up with! The cloth allows for proper water drainage and acts as a barrier to keep troublesome insects from eating the strawberries. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, The University of Memphis: Growing Strawberries. If you do not have a garden, or yard or space is a problem, they are the perfect solution. The most popular method to keep strawberry fruit off the soil is the use of various types of planters which can be hung on balconies or placed in patios. Strawberries are traditionally grown in rows directly into garden soil. You can sprinkler irrigate, flood irrigate or set up a drip system beneath the landscaping cloth to water the strawberries. Water well for the first few weeks. Line an airtight container with paper towels, then set the strawberries inside and close the lid. You don't have to worry about this until the plants actually start producing fruit, at which point the weight of the fruit will cause the berry to hang down to the ground. If you're not planning on using the strawberries within a few days, you're better off freezing them than trying to keep them all fresh and unblemished. A few weekends ago, I started insisting that we needed to find some kind of solution for putting a mesh screening over our strawberries … Water and watch the plants produce fruit. In addition to that ick factor, they are the bane of gardeners as a few species feed on your plants. Minimize the risk of rot by picking a well-drained site, and don’t over-water. It's a very good idea to keep your strawberries up off the soil. Back to Top. Strawberries left to sit on the ground to grow often end up rotting or riddled with insects. This will protect them from weeds, will retain moisture in the soil, and prevent disease. Cover the first layer of plastic with 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) of dry straw, and then cover the straw with another layer of white plastic. Alternatively, try growing in containers or growing-bags. Fold the flaps down around the stems of the plants after planting. Plants should be spaced 12 inches apart. Cut an "x" in the landscaping cloth wherever you want to plant a strawberry plant. Push the handle end into the soil and drape the fruit stem over the fork tines, keeping it high enough not to touch the ground. 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