Straw is, of course, the classic mulch for strawberry plants. It's really important that you mulch your strawberries well - that's to keep the fruit off the ground so they don't get fungal problems or get attacked by insects and traditionally, strawberries are mulched with straw, however pine needles work really well if you have access to them too. Tip: Prune only the flowered stems of proteas – un-flowered stems are next season’s blooms. Some of the best choices for mulch come right from the garden and lawn itself but different plants prefer different materials. This may require a year or two for sawdust. Strawberries like well drained soil with plenty of humus. There are several benefits to using gutters, and several drawbacks. Pine needles, also called pine straw, are a proper mulch for strawberries and slightly increase the acidity of the soil as they decompose. As a guide, for a family of four you will need around 20-30 plants for a generous harvest. Today I am going to give you 10 tips to grow the best strawberries ever. Strawberries can also be planted in pots or hanging baskets, in which case a good quality potting mix can be used. The most common options for mulch are bark chips, pea gravel, straw, grass clipping, sawdust, leaves, and peat moss. Spread the plastic mulch out so it is a single layer and is centered along the row. Labels usually include this information. There are mulch foil laying machines that also allow a bed or ridge to be formed, irrigation hoses to be laid or even seeds or seedlings to be planted directly – all in a single working passage. There is no doubt that plants are good for us. Fertilise with Scotts Performance Naturals™ Vegetable & Herb Organic Based Fertiliser. Strawberries : Hay Mulch Note: Slugs, however, love strawberries and love to hide in the hay mulch so I’ll wait until after fruiting next … The best solution is to compost these materials until they start to break down. Mulch Strawberries will grow in partial shade but yields will be lower and harvests a little later, so a sunny position is best if possible. Spring or early summer is the best time to do this. They spread as they grow, so allow at least 30cm between plants. You should mulch your strawberry bed (Image 1) to conserve moisture, to help prevent the spread of disease, to help suppress weeds and to keep berries clean and soil-free. Start by preparing your soil. !!!!! For one, it can definitely be used as a mulch to protect your strawberry and seeds. Remove mulch from the tops of plants and redistributed around plants and between rows in April to keep berries clean when they ripen, reduce fruit rot and help keep the soil cool as fruit ripen. Add an extra 1 foot, or more, at each end for complete coverage. The depth of the mulch should be 3 to 5 inches at application. With your gardening gloves and dust mask on, carefully open the potting mix bag and pour it into the pot leaving space at the top. Allow the strawberry plants to harden or acclimate to cool fall temperatures before mulching the planting. Space plants about 30cm apart to allow room for them to develop fully. If the soil pH is below pH 6.00 apply either agricultural lime or dolomite at least 6 months before planting. Sawdust also makes a fine winter mulch for strawberries, as well as blueberries, raspberries and other small fruits. Straw. New Zealand has had much success with Camarosa with its firm, large red strawberry that can be packed and marketed. Applying mulch before the strawberry plants have properly hardened may make the plants more susceptible to winter injury. Strawberries like free draining soil so create raised beds or mound the soil and plant into the top of the mound to ensure good drainage. Autumn raspberries bear fruit between late August and October. The type of mulch used will help them thrive. It has been my experience that this strategy does not work as well. If the soil pH is below pH 6.00 apply either agricultural lime or dolomite at least 6 months before planting. Lupin Mulch. Strawberries thrive when given a moderate mulch of pine needles or straw in late fall, after they have stopped growing, with more mulch added in spring. This is one of the best brands of mulch to go for. Strawberries are a reliable and rewarding crop to grow at home. Now, on to the secrets of growing organic strawberries! If transplanting, do so when plants are big enough to handle. Use a light poly row cover as a mulch to keep strawberries off of the soil. This stuff really works well in protecting your strawberries seeds from weeds and pests as well as helping seed up the germination process. Yates Thrive Strawberry & Berry Concentrate provides plants with the balanced nutrition they need to produce juicy, luscious berries and healthy green foliage. 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