Saturday, July 12, 2014

Rotational Smothering

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that the strawberry plants were dying back.  We were having a bit of a hot, dry stretch one week and I just assumed that they'd bounce back once we'd gotten some rain.

The rain came.  No change.  Hm.

Then I noticed that all three beds were dead all on the same end.  Like someone had sprayed each bed halfway down the middle.




Weird.

Eventually all the berry plants in each bed died. 
The weeds were still flourishing (of course) as were a few volunteer tomatoes. 

Very weird. 
I assume some disease came through and wiped me out.

Anyway...I'm not too bent out of shape about this event.  Not being a strawberry disease expert, I just figured this was Mother Nature's way of telling me I need to rotate the crops I've been growing in the raised beds.

The weeds and Bermuda grass were taking over everywhere so I threw some landscape fabric over one of the beds and walkway surrounding it to help smother them and pinned it down with some of the steel awing frames we had laying around. 




Glad we saved those.  They are great for holding down the fabric. 

I let the bed bake in the 95 degree heat for a week or so and I went out and uncovered the bed the other day. 

Nice!  Love me some dead weeds!  I cleaned up the bed and moved the piping and fabric over to the next bed.




I'll just keep moving through the garden like this.

Bit by bit.

A Summer Smother!

2 comments:

  1. Sorry about your strawberry patch. Here, we cover for 6-8 weeks during the hottest part of summer, since not much grows anyway. It kills weeds as well as nematodes and prepares the beds for fall planting in late August.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My strawberry bed is all but dead this year too. I've read that unless you incorporate the runners into your bed, you will have to replace the main plants after 5 years. Mine were hand-me-downs and I've had them more then 5 years so I am planning on replacing them with a specific variety next spring.

    ReplyDelete