Strawberries in the Home GardenStrawberry plants may be set during midsummer between the hills of corn or snap beans. They will thus have the balance of the season in which to develop into bearing plants and will yield a partial crop of fruit the following year. Make strawberry rows farther apart than usual in garden practise--24" or 30"-and sow globe beets, short rooted carrots or onions in rows between them both the first and the second season. Train the berry plant runners in a narrow ("hedge") row so as to allow plenty of room for the vegetables and yet produce abundance of good berries.
Tomato, pepper, eggplant, okra and sweet corn plants may be grown during
the first year of a strawberry bed provided the berry plants are
set 18" to 24" asunder in rows not less than 24" apart. Onion
sets may be planted down the middles between the berry rows at the
same time as the berry plants are set. As all these crops will have
been harvested before October the berry plants will have the autumn
in which to prepare for fruiting the next year. The vege- table
plants should be removed as soon as they have yielded their crops.
Strawberry beds that have fruited only once may be left until enough plants have been rooted to be transplanted to make new beds and then plowed or dug under; or they may be mowed with a scythe or a hay mowing machine (not the lawn mower), their leaves and the straw mulch shaken up and, when dried, burned on a breezy day where they lie. Soda nitrate and superphosphate (1 pound each to 100 sq. ft.) and a thorough soaking will put the bed in good shape for a crop the next year.
Everbearing strawberries require such frequent picking that the soil is sure to become hard packed. This will result in smaller, fewer berries than in unpacked soil. Weekly cultivation is a partial remedy but it is open to the objections that it is likely to injure the roots, to throw earth on the berries and to necessitate extra watering to offset the losses of moisture from the soil. Straw and marsh or salt hay, though good winter mulches, are less desirable for summer than buckwheat hulls and peat moss applied soon after the flowers open and increased as the season advances. But even these are likely to become packed between the rows by the frequent tramping.
To avoid all packing of the soil and also the otherwise necessary cultivation, lay out the beds in groups of three or four rows 18" apart with a 24" alley between the groups and with the plants of such large growing varieties as Mastodon 18" asunder. Spread the first application of buckwheat hulls as mentioned. Then, at intervals of 4' to 6' place bricks, broad side down. inthe alleys and lay 12" boards on them from end to end of the alleys. As these boards will not touch &,e soil they will not pack it when walked on but will also help to check evaporation. When not more than four rows are placed between the alleys all the plants may be reached easily from one alley or the next and far larger quantities of finer fruit may be gathered than without the boards.
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