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Renovate the strawberry patch

This year's harvest is over; now we need to strengthen plants for next year.

Boy picking strawberriesThere is an old saying in the Midwest that goes: Here we have only two seasons: Winter Season and Construction Season. If’s not winter—yet. That means it must be Construction Season.

The last harvest of Junebearing strawberries is over. It is time to put on your construction outfit (perhaps an orange highway vest and hardhat will get you in the mood) and detour your attention away from the veggies and toward the strawberry patch.

Let’s renovate the patch. We need to keep the rows intact and promote the establishment of healthy plants for next year’s crop.

Bring your hoe and let’s start by removing weeds. If leaf diseases are present, mow over the plants. Set the mower at its highest height making sure you do not damage the crowns of the plants.

Next, use a tiller to narrow each row to a width of 12–15 inches.

Fertilize plants with six pounds of 10–10–10 or a similar fertilizer per 100 feet of row. These nutrients will be used in forming runners and flower buds for next year’s crop.

The attention we give the patch now will lead to lots of berries next spring!


Written by Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University. Published in the NDSU Yard & Garden Report, July 21, 2014. The photo was made available under a Creative Commons license specified by the photographer: popofatticus.

Source: Smith, B.R., D.L. Mahr, P.S.McManus, and T.R. Roper. 1999. Growing strawberries in Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin: Madison.

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