It's Time to Renovate the Strawberry Patch - Indiana Yard and Garden - Purdue Consumer Horticulture

It’s Time to Renovate the Strawberry Patch

The strawberry harvest may be over, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to forget the strawberry patch. Post-harvest care is an important part of keeping your patch healthy and productive. With yearly renovation, strawberry plants can remain productive for 10 years or longer.

Begin renovating the strawberry bed immediately following the last harvest. Mow or trim off the leaves near the base of the plant, being careful not to injure the crown. Removing this foliage helps keep diseases under control.

Thin matted rows to 8 to 18 inches wide by tilling or hoeing out the plants you want to remove. Within the row, thin plants to one every 6 to 8 inches, removing the older plants and leaving the younger, more vigorous ones. Giving the plants a little room to grow reduces the competition for water, light, and nutrients and also improves air circulation.

Renovation time is a good time to fertilize the patch. Apply a balanced garden fertilizer such as 12-12-12 at a rate of 3 to 4 pounds per 100 feet of row. Place the fertilizer in bands alongside the crowns, scratch it into the soil with a rake, and water the planting.

This is also a good time to get weed problems under control. Hand-pulling and shallow cultivation with a hoe or tiller will take care of most weed problems. Apply a mulch after cultivation to prevent new weeds from getting started.

Continue to weed and water throughout the rest of the growing season. Flower buds for next year’s crop begin developing in mid- to late August, so this is a critical time to keep the plants healthy.

More detailed information on renovating the strawberry patch at https://ag.purdue.edu/btny/ppdl/Pages/POTW2015/POTW06112015.aspx.


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