I can't help but be envious of my friends who have a bumper crop of strawberries this year. I planted strawberries 5 years ago and it seems, once again, that I made an error.
My friend Teresa (domestic goddess, writing genius, homesteader extraordinaire) over at Homestead Notes is my go-to person when I struggle with gardening (and pretty much everything in life) and I've learned from her hubby that my crop of strawberries are just too old to give me the bounty that I really crave *sigh. So, it seems I may have to start all over.
This year I was so pleased with myself for actually getting my butt to the garden store to pick up some hay. It took me 5 yrs to learn that hay needs to be spread below the patch of berries (if they are as sparse as mine are) to keep the berries clean and to help avoid rotting. In years passed we'd get an ok amount of berries but either the birds would eat them or they'd rot immediately. Well... the hay is in place but I highly doubt we'll get any strawberries since my patch is too old. Just look at them, 90% of these were planted 5 years ago... they should have multiplied by now.
I did have them in raised garden boxes which I don't think helped very much since the runners had nowhere to go, so I did remove those this year.
If anyone has any advice on how you started up your patch and made them flourish, please let me know.
I've also planted a variety of strawberry plants together and wonder now if that was a mistake :(