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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-11 06:07 PM
Original message
A competing plant question
I have some strawberry plants, no idea what type they are, donated by a friend who was clearing out the patch he had. Which apparently overgrows every year. in the 6 months they have gone from filling one short tray to a dozen pots. Which they are very persistantly trying to send off shoots to colonize out of. So they grow pretty quick.

I also have a very small "lawn". When we moved in, the place had been empty a while, and had 4 foot tall grass. I cut and killed the grass. I don't want to have to get a mower for 10 square feet, when I have nowhere to store a mower. It just seems ridiculous. But the grass appears determined to sprout again.

What are the chances I could use strawberry plants as ground cover, and that this would be enough to block the grass from growing?
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 02:47 AM
Response to Original message
1. if those berry plants are as prolific as you say
Edited on Sat Nov-05-11 02:48 AM by Tsiyu

that's a great idea.

Strawberries might grow a bit higher than grass, but how much nicer to have the fruit instead of the chore of "mowing."

If you feed them well after they get going and add manure to the soil (mix in real well) before you plant, they should make a nice groundcover.

You'll have to weed til they get established, but after that they should be pretty carefree.

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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 04:07 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Higher?
you mean taller than cut grass, right? Cause before we moved in this grass was 4-6 foot tall, and if strawberries can get that tall, I really need to rethink this. But I don't see how these plants could do that. They seem to spread out, but not really go up more than 6 inches or so.
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Sorry, that was confusing.
Edited on Sat Nov-05-11 09:52 AM by Tsiyu
what i meant to say was, they will grow a bit taller than some people like to keep their grass cut. But not more than 6 or maybe 8 inches depending on variety. They have a very lush look when they get going, sort of ivy-ish, so they look nice even when they aren't blooming or fruiting.

They will die back over the winter, but then I didn't see where you live so maybe yours won't.

Good luck. I have a few strawberries scattered around and I want to grow more this year, get a nice bed going. That HCFS in all the jelly now is disgusting; it would be nice to have enough berries to make a few batches of jam.

Edit to add: just google "strawberry bed" and that should give you some images, an idea of how it will look.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
4. With a little help, that may work.
You have nothing to lose,
and MIGHT gain one of the tastiest treats on the Planet.

We have been growing Strawberries for 5 seasons now in Central Arkansas.
We grow a June bearing and an Ever Bearing variety,
but both really produce fruit only during the Spring,
the June Bearings a little sooner (about 2 weeks) than the Ever Bearings.

If we leave them alone after the Spring harvest, they will grow together and Crown Over the area,
crowding out most of the local weeds by depriving them of light.
Is some weed pokes up above the Strawberries, we just pull that weed out.

Strawberries this tightly packed don't produce much fruit.
We used to thin the plants in Mid Summer, hoping for another harvest,
and then had to fight the weeds. The few berries we got in Late Summer weren't worth the trouble,
so we now just leave them alone now until late Winter when we thin them for the Spring,
and have very little trouble with weeds.

For the best production, we clear a 6" - 8" perimeter around each crown sometime around last frost.

The section on the right (Ever Bearings) has been thinned,
and you can see the weeds growing between the rows.
The section on the Left (June Bearings after harvest) has Crowned Over,
and with a few exceptions remained thick and weedless all Summer.
We will leave this section alone until late Winter.

Good Luck!
We LOVE our Strawberries.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
5. What you might try doing
is putting down a thick layer of mulch and clearing teeny spaces for the strawberries. The mulch should keep grass seeds from germinating.
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