That’s fortunate for you. Does the chips help keep the weeds out pretty well? I use straw and it gets weeds coming up through it about two weeks after, just about worthless, maybe I should put about a 6 inches of it around my trees. Do you have to fertilize more because of the wood taking away some N?
Same here, after my patch was done last year, in early June, I basically let the weeds take over and didn’t really tend to it, it was shameful how bad it got. It meant more work for me this year, I was out there for about 3 days pulling the old weeds off my plants back in March. Looks a lot better now, the strawb plants kinda help crowd out the weeds as they get bigger.
I was supposed to renovate the patch last year and it shows this year. I don’t know if you know what renovating strawbs involves, but it’s very important for a patch.
For those who don’t know what that means, is that after your patch (I’m talking about June-bearers only here) is played out for the year in June or July, you are supposed to mow down the patch, basically cut off all the leaves, but don’t mess with the crowns. Then, depending on how many rows you have, you take a tiller in between them and leave about a two foot wide row of crowns. After that, you fertilize those plants. The mowing and fertilizing invigorates the remaining plants, induces them to start runners and helps them with setting fruit buds for the following year.
When they start runners, you try to move them to stay in the row and pin them down to help them put down roots. The next year when they start growing leaves again, all the plants should make a thick row of plants that will choke out any weeds, basically, your strawbs become the “weeds”. You’re really not supposed to fert the patch in the spring with N, as that may cause the fruit to be too soft, but I’ve read some P or K is fine.
Sorry, if you know this already, but thought it might be helpful to others.
Good choice, my strawbs were from Nourse, too. Really good plants. I also have a Bristol, in my rasp patch from last year.
I don’t know where you are in PA, but I’m not too far south. We’re getting a bigger crop than last year because we didn’t have a hard freeze when the plants started blooming. So, depending on that, your area growers might already have some ripening.