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I Live Just Minutes From Brandenburg, Ky, Where I Had…

Tera Asked

I live just minutes from Brandenburg, KY, where I had found this wonderful magazine. My question is: last year my strawberry crop was the best crop in several years. I had moved it to a patch in a different area of the yard. Then at the end of the season, this weed took over my garden. Weeds have envaded my patch in the past and have never killed my plants so I had no concern, I just thought I’d have some work ahead of me. Then all at once my patch was gone. It looked like a desert. The only thing left were the runners here and there outside of my patch. What happened? Did they get a disease? Or was it the end of my strawberries’ life cycle? I’ve been told that strawberries don’t last more than four years.

The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Tera: It is always nice to hear positive feedback. We are glad that you enjoy the magazine! I cannot be certain what happened to your strawberries but here are a few things to consider. It is beneficial to move your strawberry crop every few years for long-term production so that disease and insect problems do not manifest. The main thing to consider when moving your fruit is the available sunlight and soil conditions of the new planting site. Strawberries require a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight and nutrient-rich soil. Strawberries are shallow rooted so it is important that the soil holds moisture. If you moved your fruit to a space where you previously had grown peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, or potatoes, it would have made them very susceptible to verticillium wilt. It is also important to grow your fruit in a weed-free space. Because they are shallow rooted, weed competition, if left unmanaged, can take over an entire crop very fast. Choosing disease-resistant cultivars is always a good idea. Earliglow, Allstar, Redchief, and Jewel are all good choices. Don’t let last year’s happenings discourage you from growing them again. Make sure the space is weed-free before planting!

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