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Kitchen Gardening

Rejuvenate Your Strawberry Patch

A little yearly maintenance ensures healthy plants and a steady harvest

Fine Gardening – Issue 159

There is nothing quite like a warm strawberry picked ripe from your own garden, but not everyone has success with strawberry plants every year. Sure, plunking a strawberry plant in the ground is easy enough, but the rampant growth that follows after the first year can be overwhelming. Renovating—or rejuvenating—a strawberry bed will not only keep that growth in check but also help your plants produce for several years.

Renovation is worth a small investment of time. Begin renovating an overgrown bed within two weeks of harvesting berries. This results in a new bed of healthy plants the following spring (top image).

Renovating might sound onerous, but it simply means thinning, fertilizing, and remulching plants. You ideally want to renovate within two weeks of the last flush of berries to protect plants from developing pests or diseases in the thick foliage and to promote the development of newly…

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