How to produce strawberries on a raised bed through plastic

I would like to know how to produce strawberries on a raised bed through plastic. I thought you had to let berries run and set new plants to produce a crop the next year. The pictures I looked at seemed to have the plants close together and there weren't any runners. Also, what kind of plants is best suited for this. I would appreciate any information I can get.  Thanks very much, Jim

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  • Reply
    June 17, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Plant strawberries in mounded rows, approximately 8 inches high. The mounding helps keep the plants moist, control the soil content and is just generally easier to work with. In the past, straw was used as mulch to discourage weeds and to hold in moisture. A more recent approach has been to line the hills with black plastic. You cut a cross-slit in the plastic to plant the strawberry plant and then lay the plastic back in under the plant. You can then mulch with about a three-inch layer of straw. To water these use a soaker hose or drip-irrigation, or overhead sprinkler.

    Since the mother plants can live and produce a good harvest for three to five years, you will want to remove all runners and allow the mother plant to develop more crowns and flower stalks. If you are needing to replace a mother plant or expand your bed, take a clear water or soda bottle and put a runner down into that. Pinning down will make sure it stays secure and the clear container will allow you to see when the roots have formed and the new plant is ready to be cut from the mother plant and be set out on its own. Two popular cultivars for this method are Chandler and Sweet Charlie, which is a variety that is a little earlier than Chandler. Both are considered vigorous and Sweet Charlie is listed as disease tolerant. Both are June-bearing throughout most of the U.S. You will find these in our strawberry section under the Fall Strawberry Plants.

    If you are planting one row per hill then space the plants 12-15 inches apart and in rows about 20 inches wide. If you will have more than one row per hill place them in a staggered pattern so the plants have 12-15 inches uniformly around them and increase the width of the hill to about 30 inches.

    Depending on your location, make sure you protect the plants against cold and freezing over the winter. There are many commercial products like row covers available or you can use more straw or wood chips. Just make sure the material is heavy enough to not blow away but light enough to allow air and water to get through to the plants and to not smother them. Do this as soon as the plants have started dormancy, usually mid- to late November, and be sure to remove in the spring as soon as the plants show signs of new growth.

    Hope that helps to clear up the confusion. Enjoy those juicy ripe berries.

  • Reply
    May 8, 2015 at 12:17 am

    Wow! Thanks you for posting this information. It definitely has covered all of my questions.

    • Reply
      May 14, 2015 at 10:16 am

      Victoria, it sure sounds like too much water. Let it dry out and see if it pops out of it. Good luck!

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