Over the course of the year, the strawberry patch soil has compacted. Because of this, it was a good four-five inches lower than when I originally filled it. Because the bed is only a foot deep with plastic landscaping fabric underneath (have to keep the Zoysia grass from growing in!), this only leaves seven to eight inches of growing area for the roots.
Last weekend I was able to get one patch all cleaned up and done. Today – while it was only 52 degrees out, it was sunny and it had to get done.
The patches look better now and I found a few big ripe strawberries that were pretty good.
So, here are the finished strawberry patches for the year:
During the time the strawberry patches had to be cleaned out, there were also several other strawberry plants that had grown up. The Tri-Star strawberries – like almost all other strawberries – make "runners". They put out these stem-like extensions and a new strawberry plant is created from them. Well, I uncovered and pulled out about 16 plants from the first patch last weekend – and pulled out 26 this weekend! So, I have almost doubled the number of strawberry plants between the two beds. During the summer I pulled out a bunch of them as well and put them on the compost pile. This time I planted them in the large front raised bed. If they survive over the winter, I plant to give them away to my parents and the neighbor if he is interested.
Here are all of the runners that have been transplanted:
I plan to mulch up a lot of leaves since our driveway is fully covered with them – and put them over the top of the strawberries. Hopefully this will keep them 'insulated' enough to survive the winter.
Lastly, a picture of the grape vines. They are beginning to die back and ready themsleves for winter as well. They definitely grew to the top of the arbor and even across the top of them in the first year! I am looking forward to having some grapes to use for wine and table eating next year. Unfortunately, only two of the four grapes that were planted survived. While I was out fixing the strawberry beds, I noticed one of the dead vines was completely pulled up out of the ground – it snapped right off at the ground level. So, I lightly pulled on the other dead vine and it also snapped right off as well.